500,000th tree planted in Yokohama Forever Forest project

The Yokohama Rubber Co, Ltd, planted the 500,000th tree in its Forever Forest project on September 14. Begun in 2007, the latest landmark matches the tyre manufacturer’s goal. Chairman Tadanobu Nagumo and president Masataka Yamaishi joined others to celebrate planting of the commemorative tree at the Hiratsuka Factory. To build upon the project’s success to date, Yokohama Rubber said it would continue various related activities, including planting trees at new plants, providing saplings to various regions, promoting wild bird watching events, and monitoring CO2 absorption amounts. It added that it would also contribute to biodiversity conservation efforts within our business premises and in the surrounding communities.

The Yokohama Forever Forest is a global tree-planting project for planting half a million saplings at Yokohama Rubber manufacturing sites, sales offices, and related facilities in Japan and overseas by 2017, the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding. Under the guidance of Akira Miyawaki, plant ecologist and emeritus professor of Yokohama National University, who has extensive experience in planting trees in Japan and abroad, the project has been sponsoring planting activities based on the “potential natural vegetation” concept advocated by Miyawaki.

The project’s goals include: developing participants’ environmental awareness; helping decelerate global warming; disaster prevention and the formation of environmental conservation forests; and preserving biodiversity. The project has promoted the direct participation of Yokohama Rubber employees and others in creating forests by collecting acorns, nursing saplings, and then planting them. Tree plantings have been held in 34 locations in Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, the United States and Russia, with the participation of 53,611 people, including Yokohama Rubber employees and their family members as well as residents of the local community (as of August 20, 2017).

The knowhow gained through the Yokohama Forever Forest project has also been applied to activities outside the Yokohama Rubber Group, thereby expanding the project’s contributions to society. For example, in the town of Otsuchi-cho in Iwate Prefecture’s Kamihei-gun, an area that suffered extensive damage during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Yokohama Rubber has supported the town’s efforts to create a forest, called the “Chinkon no Mori,” as part of its reconstruction plan. Over four years starting in 2012, Yokohama Rubber played a major role in the development of the town’s “Heisei no Mori,” a model for the larger “Chinkon no Mori”. Yokohama Rubber has also cooperated in the creation of coastal disaster prevention forests in Miyagi Prefecture’s Iwanuma City and in Shizuoka Prefecture’s Kakegawa City. In addition, the Company has supported numerous tree-planting activities undertaken by local governments, schools, companies, and NPOs, donating a total of 312,341 saplings.

Yokohama Rubber is promoting various activities targeted at environmental protection and contributions to its local communities and the broader society in line with its CSR management vision “to build a trusted identity as a contributing member of the global community.” Yokohama Rubber’s CSR activities are highly regarded overseas as well as in Japan, and the Company has been included in the FTSE4Good Index of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices for thirteen straight years.

Yokohama Rubber’s CSR activities have also been recognized by inclusion in the initial Supplier Engagement Leaderboard, a short list of companies recognized for their environmental efforts throughout the supply chain by the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), a nongovernmental organization conducting surveys and ratings of the environmental protection activities of the world’s leading corporations. In October 2016, the company’s response to climate change was recognized by its inclusion in the CDP’s Climate A List.

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