Within the scope of "the international year of the forest" Panasonic employees planted 3.000 new trees together with pupils from an elementary school in Hamburg. October 21, 2011, was a beautiful day with bright sunshine when 45 colleagues set off towards a forest area on the outskirts of Hamburg. There, we met up with a grade three class of elementary school "Rahlstedter Höhe", a class that had participated in our kids school – eco learning programme. We had invited them to join our activity in order for them to broaden their newly acquainted environmental knowledge by a practical experience in the real forest.
Everyone was welcomed by Mr. Green and the forester and his team, who explained the proceedings and the way we had to work. The kids loved Mr. Green and could hardly be torn away from him.We received the spades and the 3,000 copper beech plants (50-80 cm tall), formed teams of one adult plus one or two pupils and off we took into the forest depths and undergrowth to start the planting. It takes about 4 spade cuts to plant a tree which sums up to the incredible number of 12,000 cuts for all trees!
We retimbered an existing birch tree forest area. Birches only live 50-60 years and then they make space for the beeches. Beeches naturally grow in this area, but they are in danger of becoming extinct due to clearings and transformation of ground. Therefore, by planting these young beech trees we contributed to the protection of our environment. It took us only record breaking 3 hours to plant the whole amount of new trees.
After the work was done everyone enjoyed the fresh clean air in the forest while having a snack and a drink provided by our catering. The kids once again played with Mr. Green or sat by the campfire. Our activity was joined by local media from newspapers and a TV station, who filmed a two-minute sequence for their evening programme. Upon returning to the office in the afternoon everyone was happy and positively exhausted. All-in-all it was a successful ECO RELAY-activity, that helped building our team spirit and that everyone will remember!
Panasonic has donated one Life Innovation Container (LI Container) to the Millennium Promise Alliance, an NPO working towards the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in the Tanzanian inland village of Mbola. The LI Container will be used to benefit the lifestyles of many people living in an environment without normal electricity supplies.
A donation ceremony was held in Mbola Village on October 24, with those in attendance including the Commissioner of the Tabora Region; Mbola Village project managers; Mr. Shuichiro Kawaguchi, Ambassador of Japan to Tanzania; and almost 1,000 residents of the village.
Representing Panasonic, Executive Officer Hidetoshi Osawa offered a greeting in which he expressed his thanks to those attending the event, and said: "This LI Container can be used in a number of ways, including providing audiovisual education to children, giving local people greater access to information, and for mobile phone recharging businesses. We sincerely hope that it will help realize a more prosperous, sustainable lifestyle for the people of this village."
In the second half of the ceremony, electricity generated by the LI Container was used to power a DVD showing for children from the Mbola elementary school, featuring footage of children in Japan. An "origami armor" demonstration was also given, using Japanese newspapers. This was followed by a performance by the Mbola elementary school students of a song they had written themselves in gratitude for the LI Container, adding to a memorable day of cultural exchange between Japan and Tanzania.
Finally, General Manager Michiko Ogawa of the Corporate Citizenship Group gave a piano recital of the Tanzania Tanzania, a famous song familiar to all Tanzanian people. The locals all sang along, creating a most pleasant atmosphere in which the ceremony could come to a close.
Panasonic Latin America continues supporting Green activities as part of the ecological vision of the company, this time in Panama a volunteer group of Panasonic Staff with their families and friends collaborated in a worldwide beach cleaning day to preserve the oceans. In a rainy morning the Panasonic team was armed with gloves and bags to collect the garbage on the coast, in coordination with the ecological institution ANCON. 37% of the collected garbage was plastic bottle (PET) and at the end of the day we collected 3,134 pounds of plastic garbage. This material will be recycling. Year after year Panasonic Panama participates in this activity and supporting the environment. One more time Panasonic Panama helps the planet with an ecological activity.
A New way of teaching, through the project Pro Escuela
Also Panasonic Panama continues with its plan of social responsibility, this time supporting the project Pro-Escuela, which provides orientation for leaders teachers to improve their teaching techniques, which consequent helps the students in their schools. Pro Escuela offers educational tours to Ecological Reserves (with expenses paid) and also a measurement of educational quality at the beginning and end of the year. This time we visit Barro Colorado Ecological Reserve, the largest forested island in the Panama Canal, where you can find a biological research station of international renown. During the visit to Barro Colorado teachers were able to get first hand contact with the animals and plants of the place, as well as received valuable information from the guides assigned. With this initiative of Panasonic, the teachers receive materials to work, they are trained and advised throughout the year, to bring a new efficient educational style.
On October 1, a total of 500 representatives of nine Panasonic Group companies in Taiwan -- including management executives, employees, and their families -- took part in a beach clean-up activity organized by the New Taipei City government in Dapeng Village, Wanli District. As of this year, the Panasonic Group in Taiwan has been designated as the adopted body(*) for this sandy beach, which has been renamed as Panasonic Beach as a result. In doing so, the company aims to fulfill its role in society and restore beauty to the beach.
Speaking at the event on behalf of the Panasonic Group companies, President Akihiro Nakatani of Panasonic Taiwan said, "As a corporate member of Taiwanese society, we would like to express our thanks to all the local people and fans of Panasonic, and to make an effort to conserve the environment in Taiwan where we ourselves live. In the spirit of Panasonic's eco ideas, we employees want to help protect Taiwan and our planet as a whole."
The beach chosen for this clean-up activity not only has a long history of its own, but is also situated right next to a real mecca of surfing in Taiwan. A famous national highway known as Coffee Road runs parallel to the beach, which is filled with people enjoying their time off at weekends. The participants in this event joined forces to clean up the litter scattered across this area to help restore both the beach and the clear seas off Taiwan's northern coast to their great original beauty.
* Adopted body: A system whereby local residents volunteer to conduct clean-up activities on roads, rivers, beaches, and other public property under local government administration. By encouraging residents to work to create a comfortable living environment, the scheme aims to promote greater attachment to the area in question, to promote new forms of communication, and to create livelier communities.
Today staff from Panasonic UK have volunteered their support to the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) by participating in a bug and bird box building task. Staff were busily sawing, hammering and sanding away in an undertaking organised by Panasonic UK's Eco Ideas team and BBOWT and produced ten expertly crafted boxes during their lunch break which were available for employees to take home to install in trees and on fences in their gardens or donated to local schools that had requested them.
Fundraising Manager from BBOWT, Emily Gould explained the benefits of building the boxes; "Building bird boxes and bug boxes is a fantastic way for all of us to help our local wildlife. As many of our bird species are suffering loss of their natural habitats, this is a simple but effective way we can help garden birds, and ensure that the work of our Wildlife Trust is spread out into the wider environment. Panasonic staff did a great job in producing some excellent homes for birds and bugs – a lunch hour very well spent!"
Panasonic has been working for a number of years with BBOWT which was established in 1959 by local ecologists who could see the extent of harm being done to the rich natural environment of the three counties. BBOWT is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts working across Britain to achieve the shared aim of securing a better future for wildlife has organised other eco diversity projects with Panasonic including scrub clearance at Crowthorne’s Wildmoor Heath. The Panasonic global 'Eco Ideas' strategy means that in its 100th anniversary year in 2018, the company aims to be the No.1 Green Innovation Company in the electronics industry and the lunch break task showed how much support the employees were giving to ensure the company reaches its goal.