In February 2007, Fuji Electric launched a restoration project for rural woodlands near Nagomi, a town in Kumamoto Prefecture adjacent to Nankan, where the Group operates a solar cell plant. As nobody had been assigned to care for the property, its scrub and forest had been left unattended. Our goal was to regenerate rural fields and woodlands* to help people, flora and fauna live in harmony.
Residents of Nagomi, students from the Prefectural University of Kumamoto and Fuji Electric employees joined forces to work on this project, cutting back scrub and planting trees, re-establishing fields on land lying fallow, creating compost from cattle manure and fallen leaves, clearing undergrowth and carrying out other tasks.
These efforts have visibly improved the area's biodiversity. In the forested area located in the upper reaches of woodland, we cut back undergrowth, thinned out bamboo and removed dead and fallen trees. This cleared the way for a healthy growth of new saplings. Furthermore, as a result of the organic regeneration of terraced paddies without recourse to agrochemicals, we have been able to confirm the reappearance of loach, freshwater crabs, newts, toads and other wildlife.
The site has come to serve as a forum for exchange with local people and an important center where younger participants could learn about the importance of nature.
In August 2011, these efforts were certified by Kumamoto Prefecture as resulting in woods that absorb 6,69 tons of CO2 annually.
* "Rural fields and woodlands" in this context refers to an area that is neither developed nor in its natural state, but is shaped by the hand of man. It is principally made up of secondary forest, agricultural land, ponds and reservoirs.
The Fuji Electric Environmental School was launched in 2008 to help children get in touch with nature and learn the importance of environmental conservation while having fun.
In FY2010, the alpinist Ken Noguchi was invited to be the "principal" and, with the help of 18 students from Prefectural University of Kumamoto, the Environmental School was in session on October 9 for 30 local elementary school students at the site of the Kumamoto Prefecture Rural Woodlands Restoration Project.
Through rice harvesting and bamboo grove thinning, as well as forest observation, the students learn about environmental conservation and the importance of teamwork. The rural woodland restoration experience is good for body and soul.
GE Fuji Electric Meter Co., Ltd., an affiliate, has an agreement with the city of Azumino in Nagano Prefecture concerning a forestry restoration project in 2009. Prefectural authorities are taking an intermediary role in this new collaborative undertaking among regional bodies in Nagano Prefecture and private companies for forest restoration.
These activities, which took place four times in FY2010, were joined by 219 people, who thinned and cleaned out the forest areas.
Through the Nagano Prefecture Forest CO2 Absorption Assessment and Certification Program, this project has been certified as resulting in the absorption of 8.6 tons of CO2 annually.
Fuji Electric launched field restoration in FY2009 to make effective use of agricultural land and preserve traditional farming methods by restoring uncultivated fields.*
In FY2010, during the fifth round of these activities, a total of 363 Fuji Electric employees and their families raised and harvested crops such as wheat, millet, potatoes and squash. We will expand these activities in FY2011 by opening up new tracts of uncultivated land.
* Land that has not been sown with crops for one year or more, with no plans for cultivation in the next few years.
Fuji Electric has launched the Nature Practicum program to enable employees and their families to experience the joy of nature and the importance of environmental conservation, and to encourage communication among them.
In FY2010, this program was launched in the Chubu and Chiba regions in Japan. A total of 107 employees and their families took part in activities such as nature observation and bamboo grove thinning, increasing their awareness of environmental conservation.
We deepened community engagement in Chiba through the participation of local school children with special needs and J-League soccer JEF United Ichihara Chiba players and staff. We intend to expand this program to other communities.
The Fuji Electric Labor Union conducted its second cleanup of Mt. Fuji under the slogan "Let's protect the waters and greenery of Mt. Fuji, so has to leave a beautiful Mt. Fuji for our children and future generations!"
In June 2010 a 36-member team of employees and their family members collected illegally discarded batteries and cans along the Kawaguchiko Kodachi Tokai Nature Trail.
Fuji Electric in Japan supports the Takao Forest-Building Group, which has planted numerous and diverse species of trees at an artificial forest in the suburbs of Tokyo. In 2005, we began participating in the group's activities, such as planting broad-leafed trees, cutting back underbrush, clearing away running plants and thinning damaged cedar and cypress trees. Most participants were employees of our Tokyo factory.
Fuji Electric joins communities around our plants and business sites in Japan and overseas to conduct cleanups. In FY2010, 2,900 employees participated in local cleanups throughout Japan.
At the cleanup conducted around the Tokyo factory in the city of Hino on November 26, 15 kg of burnable trash and 8.9 kg of non-burnable trash were collected.
In Hiroshima, about 80 employees and family members participated in the "Zero Trash, Clean Work" campaign conducted annually by the city of Hiroshima.
On December 4 at the Mie factory, employees and their family members conducted a beautification effort along the commuter routes to the plant. They picked up trash for about two hours in the early morning, filling up bags with cans and PET bottles.
At Fuji Electric Dalian in China, a group of 40 employees and their family members climbed Dahei Mountain, which is near the company, and picked up trash along the way.
Fuji Electric is backing the efforts in India by the Children's Forest Program, organized by OISCA for the promotion of environmental education and tree-planting activities by schools In December 2010, Company employees visited three elementary in the Indian capital of Delhi to make donations of personal computers, microscopes and water purifiers, in addition to planting commemorative saplings.
In addition, we began selling beverages in Fuji Electric branded PET bottles to Group employees in November 2009. Part of the sales from these purchases has been used to build a framework for the Children's Forest Program. Around ¥200 thousand has been donated so far.