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HCRL staff with three employees of Hitachi You and I Co., Ltd. (back row, center).
A safe, accessible workplace was created with the help of various staff members.
If documents are shredded too finely they are difficult to recycle; too coarsely, and information could be exposed. To address this, Hitachi Information Systems, Ltd. in 1999 became the first company in Japan to commercialize a closed-loop recycling system *1 using wet shredders to turn waste documents into pulp, which paper manufacturers use to make paper that is recycled back to the company in a closed loop. The system has won high marks for conservation and security, and many companies are adopting it. In partnership with HITACHI You and I Co., Ltd. *2 , a special unit of Hitachi, Ltd., we have modified this system so that it may be operated by mentally challenged people. The system was first implemented in 2001 at Fancl Smile Co., Ltd., a special subsidiary of Fancl Corporation, and subsequently at a nonprofit group, the city of Fujisawa in Kanagawa Prefecture (Japan), and four Hitachi Group companies. As of March 2006, this has led to the employment of 19 individuals at these seven locations.
Left:The system includes a message board showing work procedures and safety measures.
Right:HITACHI You and I Co., Ltd. is in charge of paper recycling.
Hitachi, Ltd.'s Central Research Laboratory (HCRL) implemented the system in 2005.
HCRL worked with the Nakano Welfare Organization for the Challenged, and other organizations to create a safe, accessible environment for challenged people. HCRL now has two mentally challenged people in charge of collecting and sorting documents, pulping them, and removing the pulp. Several creative ideas make it easy for employees to work safely and efficiently, including a message board listing work procedures. Hirokazu Aoyagi, general affairs unit manager, reports that the hard work of these employees has inspired the other staff, and created employment opportunities for mentally challenged people at other workplaces.
It is our goal to create employment for some 100 mentally challenged people by packaging the business model we have established, extending it to other Hitachi Group facilities, other businesses, and governmental agencies, implementing at least 20 systems in the next few years.
(Published in July 2006)