Initiatives Supporting Business

In the education and childcare domain, the Benesse Group takes each customer's feedback seriously to provide and improve products and services. At the same time, the Group undertakes general activities by conducting background research and development for its business activities and promoting initiatives to support children's growth and education.

Surveys and Information Distributed by the Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute (BERD)

BERD explores a range of issues including the conditions surrounding pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, education and learning, mainly focusing on children, parents and guardians, and school teachers.

Since its predecessor was established in 1980, BERD has so far conducted over 400 research surveys in collaboration with research institutes around the world. The institute has given back to society by making the achievements of these research efforts available to a broad cross-section of society through information magazines and survey reports prepared for the frontlines of education. By having these insights and data used by people on the forefront of parenting and education, the institute aims to help solve issues facing society.

Main Recent Surveys Conducted by BERD

Study name Year Participants Topic
Fourth Basic Study on Parenting and Lifestyles 2011 Guardians of elementary and junior high school students Attitudes and behavior regarding parenting
Second Basic Survey on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Child Raising 2011 Couples pregnant or with a child up to 2 years of age Environment and views on raising children from the stage of pregnancy to parenting
2012 Survey of Guardians' Attitudes toward School Education 2012 Guardians of elementary and junior high school students Attitudes toward school and public education
Second Survey of the Scholastic and Daily Life of University Students 2012 University students Attitudes and behavior toward study and lifestyle
Second Basic Survey on Early Childhood Education and Child Care 2012 Principal of kindergartens, childcare centers, and licensed nursery schools Conditions of preschool education and childcare
2013 Report on People without Children 2013 Men and women without children, non-pregnant women Actual conditions on awareness and behavior towards having children
Survey on Associations between High Schools and Universities 2013 High school principals and university deans Position (agree/disagree) on future direction of university entrance exams
1st Study on Preschool Home Education and Longitudinal Study (3-4 year olds) 2013 Mothers with children Changes in lifestyle and attitudes from the preschool period to entry into elementary school
Study on Policies for Using ICT in Education 2013 Teachers at public elementary and junior high schools Actual ICT usage conditions and awareness of teachers
Survey on Learning of Elementary and Junior High School Students 2014 Children between year 4 of elementary school and year 2 of junior high and their parents To clarify the effect of parent involvement on children's learning
Fifth Basic Learning Survey 2015 Fifth grade of elementary school and second grade of junior high school (public) The survey makes a wide-ranging assessment of the status of children's learning and shows changes through the years.
Home education survey and longitudinal survey of 1- to 12-year-olds 2016 Mothers participating for 5 years in a longitudinal survey of 4- to 8-year-olds Learning among 1- to 12- year-olds and parental involvement and awareness
International survey of home education of 1- to 6-year-olds 2017 Young children in Japan, China, Indonesia, and Finland Exploration of the development of young children's readiness and desire to learn, and parents'/guardians' involvement, in different sociocultural environments
  • * Including surveys implemented by Benesse Educational Research & Development Center and the Benesse Institute for the Child Sciences and Parenting
  • * The results of the surveys and research are disclosed on the BERD's website (Japanese only).

Future Skills Project Research Society

Benesse Corporation functions as the secretariat for the Future Skills Project Research Society, which was established in July 2010 with the central theme of fostering human resources that can succeed in society.

Cultivating students into individuals who possess both personal initiative and the ability to apply skills is a pressing issue facing society. Therefore, developing a new university curriculum through collaboration and discussion among businesspeople and university personnel, as well as research and practical learning creates great value for society.

The research society's members included corporations—(Astellas Pharma Inc., Suntory Holdings Limited, Shiseido Co., Ltd., Oracle Corporation Japan, Nomura Securities Co., Ltd., and Benesse Corporation)—and universities (Aoyama Gakuin University, Sophia University, Meiji University, Rikkyo University and Tokyo University of Science).

In April 2014, the research society became a general incorporated association (Chairman: Yuichiro Anzai, President of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Executive Advisor for Academic Affairs at Keio University). With an organizational structure that is even more strongly aligned with the public interest, the society will pursue the possibilities of practical learning through industry-academia partnerships with a large number of universities and companies.

A symposium hosted by the Future Skills Project Research Society

Product Safety Measures Based on the Five Core Safety and Security Initiatives

Product SafetyBenesse Corporation has a Product Safety Policy in place, to deliver safe products customers can use with peace of mind, and is promoting the following five initiatives. We have been commended highly for these initiatives. Benesse Corporation received the Director-General for Commerce and Distribution Policy Award in the FY2010 Best Contributors to Product Safety Awards by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Benesse Corporation's Five Core Safety and Security Initiatives

  • 1. Knowing exactly what is in our products
    We research the materials used in our products at both the planning and actual production stages of development.
  • 2. Restricting use of substances that are not good for the environment or the human body
    We restrict the use of hormone-disrupting chemicals, substances of ecological concern, suspected chemical carcinogens, and heavy metals. Further, we work diligently to disclose information, giving consideration to small children and individuals with allergies. We scrupulously indicate the presence of even one small part in any product as well as any allergens.
  • 3. Using product-use scenarios to prevent accidents
    We make every effort to design risk-free products, including by envisioning cases where small children handle products that are not for children and ensuring that product packaging does not pose a risk of suffocation or injury.
  • 4. Reinforcing in-house safety inspections with third-party checks as needed
    We set up an in-house department dedicated to inspecting the safety of all our products. Moreover, we enlist the cooperation of specialized institutions in Japan and overseas to conduct more detailed analysis and highly precise safety checks if we have even the slightest concern about a product's safety.
  • 5. Working with affiliates on improvements
    We constantly strive to create products based on the latest safety standards, going beyond legal compliance to utilize customer feedback and examples from within and outside of the company.

Acting on Customer Feedback

Benesse Corporation has a framework in place to quickly respond to customer feedback, where received opinions and request are shared within the company. This leads to the improvement of products and services, along with the strengthening of risk management. Every year, Benesse Corporation receives communications from customers. These voices are shared among our unit in charge of customer feedback. This unit makes customer feedback visible to the organization by suggesting improvements to relevant departments, making reports to management, and taking other steps to facilitate ongoing improvement and enhancement from the customer's perspective.

System for Reflecting Customer Feedback

Action on information security

The group is working to strengthen information security and protection of personal information to further enhance customer trust.
The Benesse Group is committed to becoming tougher than anyone on protecting customer data. To that end, we are taking ongoing action to strengthen information security by, among other things, becoming certified externally and providing training internally.

External certifications

Registration as a PrivacyMark business

Benesse Corporation underwent inspection by JIPDEC and in November 2016 was registered as a PrivacyMark business.

Acquisition of ISO 27001 certification

Four companies (Benesse Holdings, Benesse Corporation, Benesse InfoShell, and Benesse BASE COM) had acquired certification as of March 25, 2016.
ISO 27001 is an international standard on management systems and security controls to protect information assets and gain the trust of customers, business partners, and other stakeholders.
Benesse plans to eventually have the entire group certified to the ISO 27001 (ISMS) standard.

Internal initiatives

Security Day

Following the discovery of a personal data breach in 2014, July 7 was designated "Security Day." Benesse Corporation and Benesse InfoShell hold morning assemblies on information security at around this time every year and a variety of other events, such as presentations on internal initiatives and talks given by outside experts, are organized to ensure that the lessons of past incidents are not forgotten and that employees are committed to high standards of information security.

Training in information security

Training in information security is provided at Benesse Group companies.
Benesse Holdings and Benesse Corporation provide online training courses that everyone at Benesse (from directors to part-time staff) must take to remind themselves of the rules and basics of information security (particularly personal data security) and how they should conduct themselves to maintain security.
As Benesse InfoShell is the group's systems manager, its employees undergo more rigorous training under a special information security program.

Last updated : 2018/12/25