Community engagement

Community engagement

Rio Tinto-Komatsu Joint Scholarship Programme at Tohoku University

In keeping with our focus on physical and mental health, safety and the environment, and the desire to help children and other vulnerable people, Rio Tinto’s community support activities in Japan focus primarily on Tohoku. This region experienced the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011.

Rio Tinto and Komatsu Ltd., a leading global construction and industrial machinery company, joined forces in 2011 to provide scholarships to students of Tohoku University affected by the earthquake who otherwise would have difficulty continuing their studies. To date, the programme, which provides 400 million yen of scholarship funding over ten years, has assisted around 200 students.

Award ceremony for the new scholarship recipients in 2016


The ARTS for HOPE project was initiated to provide mental health care for children and others affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake through arts activities. It leverages the experiences of the non-profit organisation "Wonder Art Production / Hospital Art Lab", which undertakes arts programmes in hospitals. 

Rio Tinto has been supporting ARTS for HOPE since 2012 through donations and employee volunteering.

Summer Arts Camp – Rio Tinto Japan employees participated in ARTS for HOPE’s summer arts camps for elementary school children from the disaster area. These allowed the children to spend time in nature and away from their temporary housing

Happy Painting Project – Rio Tinto employees participated in a painting project with elementary school children with disabilities in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.

Happy Flower Project - Rio Tinto Japan employees created paper flowers during their lunch break, for the "Maoi Dream Balloon Project", an annual event held in Minami Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

Vigor Japan

In keeping with our focus on mental health and supporting vulnerable children in the disaster areas, in 2015 and 2016, Rio Tinto supported the work of Ms Amya Miller of Vigor Japan. Amya visited nursery schools throughout Rikuzentakata City to provide lay mental health care for children living with the aftermath of the March 2011 disaster.

Ms.Amya Miller and children at nursery school in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture

Regional Cooperation Association for “Kitaku Konnansha” (people stranded after a disaster) Yotsuya Station

Rio Tinto Japan has been a member of the "Regional Cooperation Association for ‘Kitaku Konnansha’ in the Yotsuya Station Area" since 2012. The association helps people unable to return to their homes in the event of a major disaster such as an earthquake. 

At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011, much of the transportation in Tokyo was disrupted, leaving many people stranded and unable to return home. As a member of the association, Rio Tinto will be able to help the local community near our office in the event of another disaster affecting Tokyo.

We are also helping to strengthen safety measures in the area near the office by participating in regular training drills and by exchanging information with the other members of the association.

Evacuation drills with local residents near the office

Other activities

23rd World Scout Jamboree – “From the Earth to My Life” exhibit

At the 23rd World Scout Jamboree held in 2015 in Kirara-hama, in Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefecture, Rio Tinto joined with several of its Japanese business partners to help teach thousands of young people about the importance of natural resources to our daily lives. The World Scout Jamboree, which is held every four years, was hosted by Japan for the first time in 44 years and welcomed more than 32,000 Scouts from 150 countries.

Rio Tinto’s open-air exhibit, called “From the Earth to my Life”, showed the Scouts important minerals – such as iron ore, bauxite and copper ore – that are transformed into the steel, aluminium and copper metal that go into manufacturing a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Our partners, with whom we collaborated in the exhibit, included Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Kobe Steel Ltd, JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation, and Toyota Motor Corporation.

Bridgestone Corporation also displayed the world’s largest tyre – which is used on the ultra-large haul trucks deployed at Rio Tinto’s mines – and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd showcased one of its ASTACO excavators. The team also worked together with Boy Scouts of America, who brought their “Mining in Society” exhibit to the Jamboree.

The open-air exhibit at the Jamboree

Rio Tinto shared its commitment to safety with the Scouts at the Jamboree, teaching them about the importance of staying hydrated while camping at the very hottest time of the year in Kirara-hama. The company provided fans printed with handy hyperthermia tips, and put up “Are you dehydrated?” posters reminding the Scouts to drink enough water.