Yokohama's 'Forever Forest' effort branches out

April 12, 2012

Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) planted 2,500 more tree seedlings at its manufacturing plant in Salem, Va., bringing the facility’s total to 6,800 seedlings in Yokohama’s ongoing global “Forever Forest” program, which aims to plant more than 500,000 trees worldwide by 2017.

This third phase of the environmental program in Salem follows events held in April 2009 (2,300 seedlings planted) and May 2010 (2,000 seedlings). A variety of trees indigenous to the area were selected, including Northern Red Oak, Chestnut Oak, White Oak, Red Maple, Black Gum and Sourwood.

Mature trees can annually absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide, which traps heat from leaving the atmosphere and is a major contributing factor in global warming. 

The Forever Forest campaign is under the direction of renowned ecologist Dr. Akira Miyawaki, well known for his successful reforestation activities around the world. Under his guidance, YTC’s parent company, The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., is on course to its goal of half-million trees planted over a 10-year period at Yokohama’s 17 locations worldwide. To date, more than 200,000 trees have been planted. 

“This program is very important to Yokohama’s environmental efforts in the United States and around the world,” says Mickey Sakurai, Yokohama executive vice president, manufacturing and technology. “Yokohama has made a major commitment to protecting earth, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions is part of that effort. The trees in the Forever Forest program will be a symbol of that commitment for many years to come."

In its sixth year, the Forever Forest project is thriving in Japan, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Thailand and the U.S.

Within the United States, Forever Forest planting events have been held at Yokohama’s production facility in Salem,  Fullerton, Calif. (December 2010 and December 2011), Painesville, Ohio (2011), and Versailles, Ky. (2010).