We believe participation in initiatives such as the Corporate Afforestation project offers our employees opportunities to actively involve themselves in protecting and nurturing local environments.
All across Japan, municipal governments and corporations are working together on forest protection programs. In 2007, Kao decided to undertake a “Corporate Afforestation” project in Wakayama Prefecture. This project focuses on the upper reaches of the Kinokawa River, which is the source of all the water utilized at Kao’s Wakayama Plant, the largest of Kao’s production facilities in Japan. In addition to the Kao Forest Kimino project, which has been going since 2007, we have been working on forest conservation initiatives at Kao Forest Oishi since 2017.
An employee’s children take care of a local Japanese nutmeg sapling at home
Employees and their family members plant home-grown maple saplings (Kao Forest Oishi)
At Kao Forest Oishi, we took on a 0.8-hectare plot of neglected mountainous land in Wakayama Prefecture. Together with the local forestry association, we then cleared and prepared the land for planting. In order to protect the genetic makeup of the local trees, we collected saplings native to the area and had our employees cultivate them at home before relocating them to the forest. In 2018, we planted 67 saplings that came from 8 different species.
Our employees and their families will continue to work hand in hand with Kao overseas trainees, retired employees and the forestry association to promote forest conservation activities in the two Kao forests.
Since 2013, Kao employees have been volunteering to work with Earthwatch Japan, an accredited nonprofit, in research related to protecting the biodiversity of the tidal flats in areas hit by the tsunami triggered by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The experience of helping to promote reconstruction efforts and biodiversity helped raise employee awareness of such issues.
Tidal flat survey
Identifying the collected organisms
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