Yokohama’s Thai unit promotes biodiversity
Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (YTMT) held an event at its plant site on October 20 to inform the public about its activities to promote biodiversity inside the site. The event was attended by local community leaders, government officials, and elementary school teachers, as well as staff responsible for the CSR activities of other companies with plants in the same industrial complex and representatives from local media.
The attendees received reports about the results of biodiversity monitoring on the plant site by YTMT employees as well as an explanation about plans to build a biotope to sustain and increase the diversity of life forms on the plant grounds. The visitors were also given a tour of the site by YTMT employees. The event was attended by YTMT President Toru Nakamura and members of Yokohama Rubber’s CSR Environmental Promotion Council.
Recognizing the need to monitor the effect of its manufacturing activities on the local environment in order to contribute to creation of a better environment, YTMT began biodiversity preservation activities in September 2013. Its first step was to conduct surveys of water quality and the current state of its local environment in order to determine the optimal location for its activities. The surveys focused on (1) birds, which survive on insects and fruits in the forest and therefore are a good barometer of the richness of the local ecosystem, (2) butterflies, which are easily affected by environmental changes and therefore provide a readily available clue to the state of the natural environment in nearby areas, and (3) dragonflies, which thrive near ponds and wetlands and therefore provide insights into water quality.
By capturing specimens or taking photographs of these creatures, YTMT employees built a database on the types of living creatures in the area, their food sources, habitat, and life cycles. The employees will use this data to better understand the biodiversity of YTMT’s plant site, consider means for preserving and increasing the diversity of life forms in the area, and then create a biotope that facilitates realization of this goal. The biotope is scheduled to be completed in February 2016, after which it will be used as site for continued monitoring of the environment and as a center for learning and exchanges with members of the local community.
Yokohama Rubber has established the goal of being a leading corporate sponsor of environmental protection as one of the basic policies in the Company’s “medium-term management plan: Grand Design 100 (GD100).” In addition, the Company and its subsidiaries around the world have been carrying out the Yokohama Forever Forest Project since 2007, with a goal of planting 500,000 trees at domestic and overseas production sites by the Yokohama Rubber’s 100th anniversary in 2017. YTMT has been an active participant in environmental protection activities, including the planting of 66,296 trees on its plant site since 2008. YTMT also held a “Salt Earth Making” event on earlier this year to help preserve the wildlife in Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park.
In the 2015 “OUR BASICS live” employee survey , the vast majority – over 80 % – of employees said they were proud to work for Continental. This result is once again around 10 % points higher than the previous survey carried out in 2011. This year, over 140,000 employees across the world took part in the anonymous survey. The questions mainly focused on corporate culture, working conditions, and management behavior, and for the third time in a row, there was a participation rate of over 80 %.
“The results of the survey show that our employees are proud of Continental and proud to be part of the company. By taking part in the “OUR BASICS live” survey, they have shown their commitment to Continental, because we can only continue to develop together if we receive feedback. This makes the responses from our employees really important to us. By participating in “OUR BASICS live” and subsequent discussions, our employees are taking advantage of one of the many opportunities to shape the company and actively contribute to its success,” explains Continental Executive Board member for Human Relations Dr. Ariane Reinhart.
How has the way the corporate values at Continental are experienced developed over the last few years? This question was a key focus of the 2015 “OUR BASICS live” employee survey. 85 %of Continental employees stated that they fully support the four values of Trust, Passion To Win, Freedom To Act, and For One Another. “Based on my own personal experience during my first year at Continental, I can confirm this endorsement of our corporate values. Wherever I am in the business world, these values appear to be a uniting element at all of our sites. They give us a shared DNA and help build a community across international borders,” says Reinhart.
For employees, Trust is the most important value, followed by Passion To Win, then Freedom To Act, and For One Another. “This is a great result for us. After all, Trust is the basis for all internal and external relationships,” states Reinhart. “And we understand that values create value. At Continental, the constant further development of our corporate culture is not an end in itself, but part of our innovative prowess and future viability. We can only be successful in the long term if we are prepared to question traditions and work For One Another across traditional boundaries.”
Employees see a need for improvement when it comes to integrating the corporate values into day-to-day work. “This sends us a clear message. We must continue to work on the culture of feedback in everyday working life, as feedback from employees is crucial for management personnel at all levels. After all, they are the ones who know exactly where the problems lie and what caused them. Therefore, together with their teams, our management personnel analyze the results of “OUR BASICS live” – as a Continental check-up – topic by topic and area by area. This is something we do with our heart and our mind,” explains Reinhart.