While Fujifilm today is a diversified global company with three main business segments spanning imaging solutions, healthcare & material solutions as well as document solutions, many likely know Fujifilm as the Japanese photography company and the once rival to Kodak. Founded in 1934, Fujifilm grew quickly to garner a near-monopoly on camera film in Japan, similar to the Eastman Kodak Company, which dominated in the United States. The two companies went on to enjoy decades of intense rivalry, competition and innovation.
The 21st century saw the rapid spread of digital technology, and consequently, the demand for photographic films plummeted with the growing popularity of digital cameras and smartphones. What differentiated the world’s two camera giants, Fujifilm and Kodak, was the former’s foresight and willingness to adapt in the face of disruption. Even as early as the 1980s, Fujifilm had foreseen the eventual switch from film to digital. The company promptly developed a strategy to prepare for the switch to digital and to develop new business lines. While both Fujifilm and Kodak recognized this fundamental change, Fujifilm adapted to this shift much more successfully than Kodak, which went on to file for bankruptcy in January 2012.
Fujifilm has had a long history of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts, and the company continues to bolster these efforts today. In 2017, Fujifilm announced its Sustainable Value Plan 2030 (SVP 2030), which not only set ambitious CSR targets but laid the strategic foundation for the company’s sustainable growth. Under SVP 2030, Fujifilm introduced further measures to resolve social issues through its business activities, including the launch of innovative technologies, products and services, in its aim to develop into a company that can make a greater contribution to creating a sustainable society.
Priority areas of this plan include the environment, health, daily life and work style, in addition to supply chain and governance. Within health, one of the company’s targets is to leverage its resources and proprietary technologies, gained through its photographic film development, to develop new treatment solutions for unmet medical needs where effective treatments have yet to be discovered. The company has already made progress towards this target, having begun U.S. Phase I clinical trials of the anti-cancer agent FF-10832 for advanced solid tumours and Phase II clinical trials in Japan on therapeutic radiopharmaceutical F-1614 targeted at refractory melanocytoma. These examples highlight how Fujifilm is integrating its goal of positive social change into its long-term business strategy and activities.
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