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Toray Industries, Inc. was recently chosen by the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY) as the recipient of its 2008 Humanitarian Award. The award was in recognition for Toray’s environmentally friendly business activities, including its involvement in such areas as water treatment, water desalination and the carbon fiber composite materials business, as well as for its CSR activities targeting climate change prevention and sustainable social growth. The other recipients this year were United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and Mr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of the Republic of Iceland.
The award ceremony was held on October 23 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Toray was represented by its President, CEO and COO, Sadayuki Sakakibara. The award was presented on behalf of the UNA-NY by its President, Dr. Peter Rajsingh of New York University.
In his acceptance speech, Sakakibara spoke about the Boeing 787, an all-composite aircraft that is due to go into service next year. He said that the new plane would be 20% lighter than conventional aircraft and would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by using less fuel. Sakakibara also referred to reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Used in sea water desalination and water treatment plants throughout the world, these products help to meet the needs of 60 million people by producing 14 million tons of clean water every day. Those present responded with cheers and applause as Sakakibara introduced these and other examples of the contributions made by Toray.
Further evidence of the recognition earned by Toray came in the acceptance speech of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who concluded his remarks by saying that the award to Toray was â€œyet another indication of the growing role of corporations in addressing climate change,â€ and that efforts such as these would help to create a â€œpeaceful planet for generations to come.â€
Footnote: Each year the United Nations Association of New York presents Humanitarian Awards to corporations, individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions in specific fields. The theme for each year’s awards is based on one of the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 as targets to be achieved by 2015. Past recipients include UNICEF and the GE Foundation. The awards are presented at an Annual Award Gala Dinner hosted by the UNA-NY on a date close to United Nations Day (October 23).