HIRATSUKA, Japan—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. achieved its decade-old goal of planting 500,000 trees at its facilities worldwide as part of the company's centennial celebration.
Chairman Tadanobu Nagumo and President Masataka Yamaishi joined others recently at the firm's Hiratsuka tire plant to celebrate the planting of the commemorative 500,000th tree.
The company initiated the "Yokohama Forever Forest" global tree-planting project in 2007 and carried out dozens of plantings in the intervening 10 years at 34 YRC locations in Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Russia and the U.S. In all, YRC said 53,611 Yokohama Rubber employees, family members and local residents participated in the project.
The company said it plans to continue the spirit of the initiative through various related activities, including planting trees at new plants, providing saplings to various regions, promoting wild bird watching events and monitoring CO2 absorption amounts, as well as contributing to biodiversity conservation efforts on its business premises and in surrounding communities.
The Forever Forest project has been sponsoring planting activities based on the "potential natural vegetation" concept advocated by Akira Miyawaki, plant ecologist and emeritus professor of Yokohama National University. He has extensive experience in planting trees in Japan and abroad, YRC said.
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 know-how gained through the Forever Forest project also has been applied to activities outside of Yokohama Rubber, thereby expanding the project's contributions to society, YRC said.
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 supported the town's efforts to create a forest, called "Chinkon no Mori" as part of its reconstruction plan.
Over four years starting in 2012, YRC helped the town develop "Heisei no Mori," a model for the larger "Chinkon no Mori," and cooperated in the creation of coastal disaster prevention forests in Miyagi Prefecture's Iwanuma City and in Shizuoka Prefecture's Kakegawa City.
YRC said its various corporate social responsibility efforts have earned it a place for 13 years running on the FTSE4Good Index of companies demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.
The company also recently was recognized for its response to climate change by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)—a nongovernmental organization that rates the environmental protection activities of the world's leading corporations.
YRC's CSR vision is "To Build a Trusted Identity as a Contributing Member of the Global Community."