LIXIL makes pioneering water and housing products that solve everyday, real-life challenges, making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere.
Leverage the knowledge and perspectives of a diverse workforce as a key driver of growth and innovation. Improve quality of life for all people through our products and services, irrespective of their age, gender, and the level of disability.
By 2050, one in five people are projected to be over the age of 60, with most of them living either alone or with their spouse only. Approximately 15% of the world’s population today also live with some degree of disability, and this rate is increasing every year.
Creating a sustainable society requires providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to play an active role in society.
LIXIL provides products and services to improve people’s lives based on LIXIL’s Purpose to “make better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere.”
Organizational diversity is the key driver of innovation and sustainable growth as we work to develop businesses that satisfy a wide range of customer needs. Based on our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Strategy, we aim to foster an inclusive culture that embraces employee diversity and create an environment that engages and includes all employees. We are seeking to embed this culture of inclusion across LIXIL and achieve key gender equity goals by 2030. Leverage the knowledge and perspectives of a diverse employee base as the driving force for growth and innovation, contributing to making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere.
We are also implementing universal design (UD) concepts that help improve the quality of life for all people irrespective of age, gender, or disability.
LIXIL has strengthened digital communication by revising our UD website in FYE2021 to ensure we provide the right information about our UD concepts and products to customers and business partners.
The new website has separate pages for end users and businesses to make it easier to access the information they need. We are also working on improving accessibility and usability by introducing font and contrast settings that are easy to read, intuitive design, and the alt attribute to specify alternative text for images that can’t be displayed, making the site easier to navigate for a broader range of people including people with disabilities or elderly people.
LIXIL launched its DOAC front door electric opening system in September 2020. DOAC enables people to lock and unlock and open and close their front door without touching it using a remote control. This helps people with disabilities, wheelchair users, elderly people, and others get in and out of the house easily.
We have designed this system so that it is easy to use and safe for all family members. For example, we developed an auto-assist function for moments when users don’t have the remote control on hand. Pushing the door lightly in these situations fully opens the door. The pinch-detection function, meanwhile, prevents the door from closing when it detects any abnormal contact or obstacle in its path. And the proprietary wireless system makes it possible to retrofit the electric opening system using existing doors and keys. The system can be installed in one day and is designed to accommodate various environments.
DOAC was developed by LIXIL’s new Business Incubation Center, which practices agile development of value-added products and services. Our team adopted an inclusive design approach when developing this product, interviewing various wheelchair users and inviting potential interested users to act as advisors from the early design stage. We intend to continue this rapid approach to product development that also meets diverse needs.
DOAC won a Social Products Award at the 8th Social Products Awards held in 2021 on the theme of products and services that help people with disabilities to live a full life and enjoy their work. DOAC was applauded for broadening the scope of independent activity for people with disabilities and improving the lives of a wide range of people. We were also recognized for our agile development approach, being based on a clear understanding of the needs of potential users gained through talking directly with them during the development stage.
LIXIL and Toyota Motor Corporation have jointly developed Mobile Toilet that wheelchair users can use with greater ease when outside the house. The toilet vehicle is easy to maneuver and has a comfortable and hygienic multifunctional toilet on board. Installing a number of these vehicles at event venues that typically don’t provide enough multifunctional toilets, such as music festivals, firework displays, and sports matches, would increase the range of places that wheelchair users can go. The vehicles could also prove useful in a natural disaster.
The ultra-low floor design enables people to get in and out of the vehicle on a gentle sloping surface. There is enough space inside the vehicle for a wheelchair to easily rotate. It also has a universal seat, or a large bed, that can be used in multiple ways, and an area in the front where wheelchair users and caregivers can wait. The vehicle also features a “nature window” that provides views and sounds of nature to help users relax.
We hope to help create a world in which everyone — including people who have given up on going out due to a lack of multifunctional toilets — can go where they want and do what they dream about.
Accessible Mobile Toilet
Inside the toilet vehicle
LIXIL is committed to creating inclusive public toilets that anyone can comfortably use, irrespective of their gender, age, or level of ability or disability. We have conducted surveys on toilet use together with universities, non-profit organizations, companies, and other groups, and have pursued various initiatives such as our inclusive toilets project to enable everyone to freely select the toilet cubicle that best suits their needs.
The broader spread of accessible toilets in recent years has enabled a much more diverse range of people, not only wheelchair users, to opt to use these toilets. For example, many people may find it difficult to use conventional, smaller-sized gender-segregated toilets, such as people with accompanying infants or ostomates, parents with children of the opposite sex, elderly people with a caregiver of the opposite sex, or transgender people or other sexual minorities. However, with a greater concentration of people now opting to use accessible toilets, some of these people may not be able to access them at the appropriate time.
To try to address some of these issues, LIXIL built a temporary suite of LIXIL PARK toilets for use by the public from July to September 2021 in the Fuji TV 1F square in Tokyo with the toilets segregated according to function, not gender, to satisfy diverse needs based on the concept of “peace of mind and comfort for all.” LIXIL PARK displayed five types of unisex toilet cubicles equipped with the necessary functionality to serve the differing needs of people including wheelchair users, ostomates, and people with accompanying infants. In other words, toilets segregated not by gender but by “needs” In addition, we prepared two types of private spaces: a nursing space and a calm-down space.* We also introduced a new approach to the concept of public toilet spaces by utilizing our withCUBE portable toilet solution that can be installed anywhere and fitted out freely to meet any specific need.
* A space to come to block out outside noise and calm your feelings. A place to calm or preempt any sense of panic. We envisage this space could be used by people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, mental health issues, or dementia for example.
LIXIL PARK overview
Toilet cubicles with different functionalities to suit different needs
Our new toilet facility installed in the LIXIL Tokyo headquarters in 2019 won a 2020 Good Design Award.
The facility enables everyone to select freely which toilet they want to use, irrespective of such categorizations as man, woman, adult, child, able-bodied person, or person with disabilities. The pods of different cubicles offer gender-neutral toilet options that respond to diverse needs and ease the difficulties faced by transgender users who have to choose between public toilets for men or women.
The vacant toilet monitor located at the entrance to the toilet space encourages users to “choose a cubicle that best suits you.” On each side of the corridor are toilets that anyone can use. There are also some gender-specific toilets and a handwashing corner, so that users can choose the most appropriate toilet for them without attracting attention.