Improving Education for Children in Thailand
MHI Keeps Building Close Ties with Society
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) manufactures and sells all kinds of machinery, from power plants to residential air conditioners.
Besides manufacturing environmentally products, MHI demonstrates that it is kind to people through activities at its production base in Thailand. We follow those efforts.
To Be a Good Corporate Citizen—Supporting Schools Alongside the People of Thailand
Air-conditioning systems are essential for comfortable living, keeping us warm in winter and cool in summer. Energy-efficient and otherwise environmentally friendly models are on the rise, too, giving consumers both greater choice and pleasure from being able to contribute to society through their selection.
Since its founding in 1884, MHI has supplied a wide range of mechanical systems, from large-scale products such as power plants and rockets through to mass-produced items like forklifts, and currently also manufactures residential air conditioners under the Beaver brand. As a company involved in building social infrastructure essential to our lives, MHI was quick to turn its attention to creation of sustainable products, workstyle reform and social contribution activities.
One such initiative is support for schools undertaken by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-Mahajak Air Conditioners Co., Ltd. (MACO), a core company involved in the production and sale of residential and commercial air-conditioning systems established in 1988 on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. Right from the start, MACO has pursued a localization policy, actively seeking to lay down roots in Thai society by hiring locally and communicating technology accumulated by MHI over the years, for example through extended periods of training in Japan. It was during that process that employees voiced their desire to be more proactive in helping find solutions for Thailand’s social problems.
“Thailand went through a period of rapid economic growth from around 1985, but the flipside of that was a widening income gap between the capital region and rural areas. Education disparities were also severe with poorer villages lacking adequate school facilities and teaching materials. Many MACO employees come from rural areas, too, and it was their coming forward about wanting to do something about the situation that spurred us into action,” explains MACO Executive Director Osamu Miyake.
This led to the provision of support to kindergartens as well as elementary and junior high schools. Each year, one school meeting three criteria—it must be in an employee’s hometown, be lacking sufficient facilities or equipment, and have a staff and local community who are eager to make their school better—is chosen from among schools in areas of Thailand such as the north and northeast to receive contributions, which might include school buildings, gymnasiums, cafeterias, toilets and teaching materials.
“A major feature is that MACO does not simply contribute funds for rebuilding facilities or purchasing materials, but instead discusses plans with the school and related parties, provides support for design and management of the work, and donates actual items. This method enables efficient use of budgeted funds and, above all, allows us closer involvement with people in the community. In fact, many employees volunteer to help with construction work, interacting with children, their parents and others in the community.”
So far, MACO has provided assistance to 21 kindergartens and schools and employees involved right from the start truly feel the difference they have made.
“With new buildings, new toilets, children take a more positive approach to learning. It is not uncommon for children in poorer villages to skip school to help support their families, but the improvements instill in their parents a desire to send their children to school if at all possible. You can feel whole communities become buoyed by active, healthy children going off to school, and motivation lifting among the adults, too,” says MACO’s Pornchit Aramroon.
Roughly 20 years on, children from schools that received assistance are starting to become full-fledged members of society in their own right. Some are even returning to their old schools as teachers or getting involved in efforts to improve education at their school for those who follow while working a corporate job.
MACO aims to be a good corporate citizen in the true sense, setting down roots in Thailand’s society to exist and grow alongside its citizens. This, indeed, is the ideal shape of corporate development for the future.
MHI Production is Earth-Friendly
Established in Thailand in 1988 as a joint venture with a local corporation, MACO is now a core company within the MHI Group’s air-conditioning systems business. In keeping with the spirit of the MHI Group’s Basic Policy on Environmental Matters, MACO has been engaged in environmentally friendly production ever since its establishment. The company has put in place a range of environment-related facilities to reduce its environmental impact, for example through proper treatment of wastewater and exhaust gas from the air conditioner manufacturing process, as well as refrigerant collection and spill prevention to allay concerns about related global warming effects. The efforts are part of ongoing upgrades to a production process that is kind on the planet.
In a plant of approximately 110,000m2 located on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, MACO produces air conditioners for Japan and elsewhere, undertaking everything from design and development to procurement, manufacturing, sales and customer service. The company contributes to job creation with many employees hired locally.
The Beaver Air Conditioner RY Series is ecologically designed with a JET operating mode for distributing air throughout even large rooms. A wealth of convenient features include WARP mode, for quick attainment of the set temperature in the vicinity of the unit, and flexible remote-control adjustment of airflow direction.