SEKISUI CHEMICAL GROUP has spent decades showing how material innovation can form the very fabric of a vibrant and sustainable future.

Reposted from the Wall Street Journal

Today, the world is united by a need to overcome myriad collective challenges, from climate change to health concerns. Facing global warming and resource depletion, forward-looking companies are investing in safety systems for electric and autonomous vehicles, while infrastructure decay in the world’s megacities is opening fresh ways to reimagine urban life that is both vibrant and sustainable.

Founded on the needs of post-war innovation, SEKISUI is a manufacturer rooted in invention that shapes a more secure—and sustainable—future. From the poly-pail containers that solved Tokyo’s domestic waste problem in the 1960s to the medical tubes ensuring safe and accurate testing today, the company merges material innovation with real-life needs.

SEKISUI is building on a legacy of materials innovation to foster an exciting and sustainable future.

Under its growth plan, Vision 2030: Innovation for the Earth, SEKISUI is building on a legacy of materials innovation to foster an exciting and sustainable future. Here are four sectors in which the Osaka- and Tokyo-based company is breaking new ground—showing an approach to innovation that has helped to place SEKISUI in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index for a fifth straight year.

INNOVATIVE MOBILITY

The fastest commercial electric vehicles (EVs) accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds. Meanwhile, driverless cars demand heightened vigilance from the person behind the wheel. SEKISUI’s pioneering wedge-shaped interlaying film for digital windshield displays enables greater safety and control for the vehicles of tomorrow. Unlike standard interlaying film, the SEKISUI film brings a crystal-clear image of speed, road conditions and other information directly into the driver’s line of sight, thanks to the unique way the wedged material refracts light. With the dashboard in the windshield, drivers can keep their eyes on the road with fewer distractions.

ADVANCED LIFELINES

Hidden from sight, sewage pipes are an urban lifeline but their deterioration is fast accelerating in advanced nations. One of SEKISUI’s most important innovations for social infrastructure is the SPR (sewage pipe renewal) method. Designed to allow busy cities to upgrade essential infrastructure without disrupting daily life, the innovation is already changing urban renewal across the world.

Repairing and upgrading old sewage pipes is typically a messy business. Roads have to be torn up, traffic jams ensue and waste has to be carted away. With SPR, a thin PVC band is inserted through a standard manhole and coiled within an existing pipe to create another new pipe within. Construction can be performed without digging up the ground or interrupting water flow, all while eliminating the need for emission-heavy construction machinery. To date, SPR has been used to resuscitate hundreds of miles of antiquated, leaky sewage lines across the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific.

RESIDENTIAL SOLUTIONS

In 2019, a massive typhoon linked to climate change caused widespread power outages across Japan, leaving many families without lighting, heat, water and internet access in the middle of a major disaster. SEKISUI’s groundbreaking self-sufficient house is designed to keep families connected to basic necessities, even during natural disasters, while also offering a net zero-energy home for the future.

The Green First ZERO house enables a dynamic eco-friendly cycle of energy self-sufficiency: rooftop solar panels charge batteries and EVs during the day, while EVs and batteries power the house by night. And its low energy usage offers a way to shrink the carbon footprint of the global housing industry, which accounts for a fifth of energy use worldwide.

In its Town & Community Development program, SEKISUI is also deploying innovative water storage and emergency-use portable toilet systems to enable normal life in the event of critical emergency.

LIFE SCIENCES

The coronavirus pandemic produced many heroes of innovation in the healthcare industry and one essential that underpinned the ability to respond rapidly to the virus was medical diagnostic testing. SEKISUI has been pushing boundaries in this highly specialized field for more than four decades. The company developed the world’s first commercial plastic vacuum blood-collection tubes, giving healthcare staff and technicians a much-needed alternative to tubes made of breakable glass that were easily contaminated.

Today, SEKISUI’s pioneering diagnostic tests are essential for doctors to understand how they can help patients lead healthier lives. From chemistry reagents for laboratories to rapid testing kits for cholesterol and blood glucose to adenovirus and strep throat, these diagnostic tools are essential in the improvement of wellbeing and community health.

In some cases, global challenges offer the space to bring about hope for a better future. Drawing on a long history of problem solving through innovation, SEKISUI’s preventative approach is paving the way for better lives, everyday.

For SEKISUI, grounded by a belief that materials innovation can enable safer and more sustainable lives, global challenges offer the space to bring hope for a better future.

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