Yokohama tree-planting event declared an environmental success

Jan. 1, 2020
More than 150 participants consisting of Yokohama employees and a guestlist that included the mayor of Fullerton, Calif., took part in planting more than 500 tree seedlings on the grounds of the tire maker's main American facility.
More than 150 participants consisting of Yokohama employees and a guestlist that included the mayor of Fullerton, Calif., took part in planting more than 500 tree seedlings on the grounds of the tire maker's main American facility.

The Dec. 3 planting was the final event of “Yokohama Green Week,” a series of eco-themed projects in Fullerton that were part of the “Yokohama Forever Forest” program, which is a long-term global initiative by the company’s parent firm in Japan, the Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. Its Grand Design 100 endeavor mandates environmental preservation.

“Forever Forest embodies our commitment to environmental preservation, and I’m very pleased to see so many people help us in this important and beneficial effort,” says President and CEO Takao Oishi, citing the corporate slogan of “excellence by nature.”

The trees are to help absorb carbon dioxide, which traps heat from leaving the atmosphere and thus contributes to global warming.

The Fullerton gardening project was led by Dr. Akira Miyawaki, a world-renowned ecologist noted for his work in reforestation and a professor emeritus at Yokohama National University. He has guided more than 1,700 tree-plantings around the world, resulting in the planting of 40 million trees. He has additionally led the successful reforestation efforts of tropical rainforests in Malaysia, Borneo and Japan.

 

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Miyawaki has held several prestigious posts, including being the first Asian president of the International Association for Ecology from 1996 to 2000 and a six-time consecutive vice president of the International Association for Vegetation Science. He was also the 2006 recipient of the Blue Planet Prize, the environmental studies equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

A similar planting took place last year at Yokohama’s plant in Salem, Va.

Prior to the Fullerton event, Miyawaki investigated trees indigenous to the specific area. Based on his research, he selected a variety of trees including sugar bush, California holly and five species of oak trees consisting of coast live oak, canyon live oak, Engelmann oak, scrub oak and lakeside lilac.

He then provided instructions on how to plant the trees using the “Miyawaki method,” which has been shown to accelerate forest growth when compared to traditional planting methods.

In the past two months, Miyawaki has overseen four Forever Forest plantings in Japan with more than 4,200 people planting 32,000-plus seedlings at the firm’s Hiratsuka (27,000 seedlings), Shinshiro-Minami (2,649) Onomichi (2,055) and Hiratsuka-East (631) facilities.

Since its inception in 2007, Forever Forest has seen 180,000 trees planted at company sites worldwide, including Japan, the Philippines, China, Thailand and the U.S. About 500,000 trees will ultimately be planted at the tire maker’s international facilities by 2017.

For more information visit www.yokohamatire.com.

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