President Interview

President Interview

We interviewed the President, Yasuhito Kawase.

—-was founded on January 1, 2018. Can you please tell us about the circumstances under which the company started?

President Kawase:Our refinement recycling business and environmental engineering business are expanding due to a shift toward electric vehicles overseas. Our organization is expanding accordingly. It is important to keep our organization versatile by delegating authority to the operating companies in each country. This allows us to focus on on-site feel and speed in business. At the same time, when I talk to people in other fields, I hear that it’s a problem that both solvents and other unused resources are untouched and turned to waste. Our society emphasizes the economy too much. As a result, “shaming waste,” which existed in Japan during the Edo period, has become a thing of the past. This is especially true in other counties countries. In order to solve this problem, it is essential to restore a strong sense of ethics in people’s minds. In order to respond to the above issue, our company started a mind-refinement business in addition the resource-refinement business and environmental-refinement business that already existed. We currently have a total of seven group companies and have shifted our organizational structure to a holding structure in order to control all business.

—-There have been drastic management innovations since Refine Holdings, Co., Ltd.’s inception, but could you please tell us about the vision of the company?

President Kawase:REFINE HOLDINGS CO., LTD.’s management philosophy is as follows: “By establishing a society where humankind can sustainably develop, we will contribute to society by providing resource-, environment-, and mind-refinement work.” To speak more clearly as a group, we will continue to practice business activities that will make humankind more sustainable. Humankind is currently in a critical situation concerning resources and global warming issues and we cannot say that we live in sustainable society. What we can do as a corporation is limited, but I think it’s important to make our society sustainable and offer persistence by forming businesses that contribute to sustainability.

—-It seems that there are many opportunities for new businesses to form. Could you talk about the company’s current core business, the details, and the future development?

President Kawase:In China, it’s mandatory for electric vehicles to make up 10% of all electric vehicles in 2019. Except for Japan, developed countries have established policies that will make most of the vehicles electric by 2030. We have established a reputation for circulation technology (recovery from exhaust gas and the refining cycle) of solvent NMP (N methyl 2 pyrrolidine), which is used for manufacturing lithium-ion battery electrodes that are central to motorization and have high market shares. In order to respond to these societal changes, we’ve constructed a new plant in Hefei, China. We are planning on constructing a new plant in Dalian as well. Additionally, we are collaborating with other companies to construct a plant in Chengdu. Moreover, most solvents are currently made from petroleum. However, we are using renewable resources in order to make solvents sustainable. When this is achieved, it will be possible to establish carbon dioxide-free products in the solvent application field.

—-What are the new businesses your company is developing?

President Kawase:“Sea Act Co., LTD.” is conducting research and development in order to produce “bioactive substances,” mainly using microalgae. From this point on, the nature of declining birthrate and aging population issues that the world will be facing would be large burdens placed on healthy people due to the short length of a healthy human lifespan. “Sea Act Co., LTD.” is conducting research and development in order to produce useful substances that could “refine the human body” using natural materials. I can talk about Satoumi Refine Co., LTD, which was established in March 2018, next. This company is manufacturing and distributing feed for sheep using unused marine products. The characteristics of lamb that consumed said feed do not have a strong odor specific to lamb but has good flavor. In addition, the health of those who consume this lamb is carefully considered. It is said that based on this being “sheep refinement,” it is also “mind refinement”.

—- Could you please tell us about “mind refinement”?

President Kawase:There are several global concerns: various environmental issues, resource issues, and global warming due to CO2 emissions. Given that such issues are expanding, I feel that we’re prioritizing the economy, leading “ethics” and “unselfish mind” to be neglected. I would like modern businessmen to remember “sense of nature,” “sense of ethics” and “selfish mind”, which people tend to forget. Instead, I would like help create an environment that the society can sustainably develop. Some specific work that we are focusing on is refining traditional crafts, such as expensive, unused kimonos, by using calligraphy to transform them into highly valuable goods. We’re also holding LTS seminars to re-examine one’s own role in life.

—-Finally, could you please give a message to all the people involved with REFINE HOLDINGS CO., LTD.?

President Kawase:Based on a REFINE HOLDINGS CO., LTD. management philosophy that I mentioned, in order to establish a society where humankind can sustainably develop, we will refine resources, environment, and mind. I would like to implement things we can do as a company, one by one. In order to make society truly sustainable, it is essential to collaborate with those who share a similar philosophy in a variety of fields. I sincerely hope that this circle will expand.