2023 Welcoming Ceremony|President Hiroaki Sunakawa’s Greetings (Summary)

On April 3, 2023, Cataler’s Welcoming Ceremony for New Employees was held at the Deming Prize Commemorative Hall in the company’s headquarters. The same as the last year, the ceremony was conducted face-to-face. We welcomed 22 new employees and the president extended his greetings.

▼Greetings from President Hiroaki Sunakawa

Ladies and Gentlemen, congratulations for joining our company! I feel a great joy for welcoming you, new employees full of hope, here today.

The day of the welcoming ceremony is the day I look forward to the most in a year, because it is an occasion when you, new employees young and full of energy, become colleagues of ours. Before you face this day, you chose Cataler from among many companies and passed the rigorous employment examination. For that fact, I would like to express my respect to you.

Well, as you are about to start a brand-new life as a member of society, I wonder what feelings you have now. Are they bright, full of hope, and 100% positive? I guess you also have anxiety and worry about the future of the company, because there exist many unstable elements in society and economy, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and recent situation in Ukraine. But please don’t worry. In Cataler, we are responding to these immediate issues promptly and precisely, and beyond that, we are accelerating our efforts to sustainably succeed even over the next ten or twenty years.

First of all, let me talk about our efforts towards the realization of a carbon neutral society. At the time when Cataler was founded, people in the world was suffering from various types of pollution, including air polution and water contamination. It was under those circumstances that Cataler started to develop a countermeasure for the pollution with Toyota Motor Corporation, carrying the hope of people from all around the world. And we eventually completed an exhaust gas purification system using a catalyst and activated carbon, and it has grown into the current business of Cataler, which boasts of the annual sales of 700 billion yen.

And now, after 50 years, we have climatic problems, such as grobal warming. Facing the completely same situation as we faced at the time of the founding, we think we would like to take a new step forward as a “company developing products which contribute to the reduction of CO2 as well as the realization of a carbon neutral society.” We hope that this plan will have grown into a big business by 2070, 50 years from now. And I hope you will also work on this project with a big dream and expectation.

In terms of business, we have established the Digital Reform Headquarters in order to take a leap forward to become one of the top enterprises in the field of DX (digital transformation). Now, Cataler is promoting the digitalization of information as well as the digitalization of operation processes. Furthermore, in order to get through the once-in-a-century period of transition, we are incorporating a philosophy of TPS (Toyota Production System) into our kaizen activities to strengthen our competitiveness. Last year, we newly established a division in charge of TPS. Now, under the direct guidance of Toyota Motor Corporation, TPS activities has started in full scale in our Production, Engineering, and Administrative Divisions.

In terms of education, we broke away from the conventional trial-and-error education system, where, figuratively speaking, we had to “go three steps forward and then two steps backward,” and have newly adopted an education system called C-HAM (Cataler Human Asset Management). In this new system, we can “go three steps forward and then we can go two more steps forward.” We will support your skill improvement and career development with C-HAM and make you competitive at a rate five times faster than a conventional education system.

In addition, in terms of our employees’ daily lives, we have been working on our workstyle reform activities called C-WIN (Cataler Workstyle Innovation), introducing new systems aiming to enhance the employees’ work-life balance. Recent years have seen our employees’ work-life balance drastically improved through various activities, including the expansion of flextime system and telecommuting program, the creation of annual paid leave system by the hour (a bold attempt for a manufacturing company), and the child-care leave system which is easy to be taken by male employees as well. Also, we have been working to enhance our welfare systems. The Selective Welfare Program, which we designed in collaboration with the labour union, has been used by many of our employees in various fields. Due to this program, our Employee Satisfaction has been improved. I hope you will utilize these systems effectively and realize your greater work-life balance.

In these ways, Cataler is responding to changes in society promptly, while supporting its employees and their families by listening to their opinions and suggestions. And that is why I think you will be able to enjoy your new life here as a member of society.
Now, I would like to talk about my three expectations to you.

My first expectation is based on the words in the Analects of Confucius, which is “Knowing something is not as good as liking it. Liking something is not as good as enjoying it.” It means, “Those who are familiar with the things can never get the better of those who like them. But those who like them can never get the better of those who enjoy them.” I expect you to not only learn your job but also get to like it. For this purpose, I expect you to get to like Cataler first. And please be a person who can enjoy your company life. Please keep having your present motivation that makes you “challenge yourself to new things with high objective.” Furthermore, I hope that you will develop a global perspective, with the recognition that you are standing on the big stage called the Planet Earth, and that you will, with enjoyment, aim to become a world-class professional.

My second expectation is related to “communication” and “teamwork.” Even the most excellent person can not get the work done alone. Cataler requires personnel who can collaborate with other people from various departments, and who can produce results through teamwork. To do this, you need to acquire a certain level of communication skills, and you can improve these skills endlessly as long as you keep practicing. Please greet your seniors or bosses willingly and ask them for advice, because these positive communication attempts can enhance your communication skills. And I hope that you will build good teamwork with your future colleagues of Global Cataler and usher in a new era for the company.

My third expectation is that you will spend your time safely and healthily both at the worlplace and in your private life. Always make a decision and take action with the “courage to be called a coward,” even when you drive a car or enjoy leisure in your private life, as well as when you are in the company, of course. If you felt the slightest fear or if you thought, “It might be dangerous,” your act of “Stopping,” “Not Moving,” and “Not Interfering” would protect you from being involved in an accident or disaster. I would like you to do your work dynamically and aggressively, but when it comes to safety, I would like you to become, from today, a coward who takes action with the utmost care.

Lastly, in concluding my remarks, I hope that you will grow up steadily to become hugely successful as a member of Cataler and to get through the next 50 years splendidly, and that each one of you will fulfill a lifelong dream, be happy and healthy, and live a rewarding life.