Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.  reports it is strengthening its activities to preserve biological diversity at its five plants in Japan.

The Mie Plant began such activities in fiscal year 2011, the company reports. The Shinshiro and Mishima Plants followed, beginning their efforts in the first half of fiscal year 2012, and the Ibaraki and Nagano Plants will do so in the second half.

Each of the Yokohama Group's companies carries out its business activities depending on the bounty of nature, starting with natural rubber, minerals and water in the ecosystems, the company reports.

To preserve the chain of diversified life (biodiversity) supporting those benefits and for the sustainable use of them, Yokohama Rubber formulated its Guidelines on Biodiversity in July 2010.

Included in the diversity guidelines are Action Guidelines that "Determine the Effect on Biodiversity and its Reduction." These guidelines have led to “nature monitoring” around Yokohama’s various locations.

The Mie Plant in Ise-shi, Mie Prefecture, draws water for cooling facilities from the nearby Miyagawa Valley, and discharges water to the Hinokijiri River. Based on the plant's nature monitoring, the plant participates in tree-planting activities in a program called "Industry Forest" sponsored by Mie Prefecture to preserve water sources upstream on the Miyagawa River.

It also monitors bird populations (grey-headed lapwings and bull-headed shrikes) in the downstream of the Miyagawa River, investigates water quality and fauna (medaka and dragonflies), cleans the basin along the Ise Bay where the Hinokijiri River enters, and endeavors to exterminate foreign plants (cutleaf evening primrose, etc.) and preserve native ones (seashore false bind weed, beach vitex, beach silvertop and blady grass).

Now in the second year since the activities started, the approach is shifting to voluntary activities by employees, Yokohama notes. Employees make plans and investigate on their own initiative, deepening their understanding of biodiversity and strengthening their ties with the local communities.

Starting the nature monitoring in the present fiscal year, the Shinshiro Plant in Shinshiro-shi, Aichi Prefecture, investigates effects of water intake from and drainage to the Toyogawa River system, while it works on activities to preserve the Yotsuya Senmaida, the famous terraced rice fields in the prefecture, which draw their water from the same sources as the Toyogawa River system.

The Mishima Plant in Mishima-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture, which also began its activities in the present fiscal year, is located next to a residential area known as "Spring-Water City," blessed with abundant clean water. The company works with full consideration for the neighboring residents.

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