〔Human rights/Labor practices〕Together with our employeesSupport for the normalization concept
ADVANCE CO., LTD., a special subsidiary company for the employment of the disabled
ADVANCED Co., Ltd. was founded in 1992 as a KOSÉ subsidiary to provide a workplace for disabled persons to manufacture cosmetic products together with non-disabled people. In the following year a factory, ADVANCE Tokyo Factory, was built near KOSÉ’s main factory in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture. At the same time the company was approved as the first special-purpose subsidiary in the cosmetics industry (the 25th in all industries) and operating as a manufacturing arm of KOSÉ ever since.
Implementation of normalization
ADVANCE is a financially independent company that, rather than performing light or supplementary work, is engaged in manufacturing the same cosmetic products as those manufactured by its parent company, KOSÉ. At present, the company is mainly engaged in the processing, such as filling, packaging and finishing, of cream, lotion, emulsion and makeup products.
Disabled and non-disabled employees work together on the production line with the aim of further increasing productivity. Furthermore, the company at an early stage launched efforts to comply with ISO 9001, the international standard for quality assurance, and was certified in 1998.
Like the KOSÉ Group’s other affiliate companies, ADVANCE has also adopted an environmental management system that complies with the international standard. In 2003, it received certification for ISO 14001.
As of September, 2016, out of a total of 121 employees, 42 have disabilities, including 21 with severe disabilities. Their disabilities include hearing disability, speech disability, physical disability, and mental disability. The company recognizes the disabilities as their personal characteristic that should be valued, and established a workplace that optimizes their capability by implementing appropriate facilities and providing nurturing support.
In fact, today both disabled and non-disabled employees are playing their role without being aware of such disabilities as a result of the company’s workplace normalization efforts.
Improvement of facility environment and personnel development
The ADVANCE’s factory is designed with unique functions that allow employees with disabilities to work safely and comfortably. Major production facilities, including two filling rooms and three production lines, have various disabled-friendly features, such as Braille blocks, stepless designs throughout, extra-wide automatic doors, handrails for passages in the factory, toilets and lockers for wheelchair users, emergency lights and alarms, flashing lamps to signal that a machine has stopped operating, and dedicated chairs for production line workers with orthopedic impairments.
ADVANCE places particular emphasis on the development of human resources. It allocates tasks and provides training according to individual ability. Employees with disabilities who are highly competent are assigned the position of production manager, which increases their motivation. Symptoms of disabilities are affected by aging and how to support those with disabilities varies according to their age. The company therefore strengthens its cooperation not only with disabled employees, their families, and other companies but also with support organizations so that it can respond to future changes as they occur at different stages of life.