With the goal of realizing a cohesive society in harmony with the environment, the Mitsui Chemicals Group engages in a variety of environment communication activities.
Open Event Concerning Marine Plastic Waste
Since 2015 Mitsui Chemicals has supported the Japan Environmental Action Network (JEAN), a pioneer organization fighting against marine litter in Japan, through the One-Coin Club, a joint CSR project by the company and our employees.
On November 7, 2018, as a part of our support work, we invited Ms. Azusa Kojima, the deputy director of JEAN, to hold an open event to consider the issue of marine plastic waste. More than 100 people from inside and outside the company attended the event. The active question-and-answer session demonstrated the high level of interest in this issue. This event also is a part of the Plastic Smart campaign hosted by the Ministry of the Environment.
Donating Benches Made of Felled Invasive Bishopwood
Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsui Chemicals Industrial Products Ltd. together donated benches made of bishopwood in a planting ceremony at the Ogasawara Mulberry Forest in Ogasawara Village on December 9, 2018. The planting ceremony is part of our support for the Ogasawara Mulberry Restoration Project, the second round of the Mitsui Chemicals Group World Natural Heritage Support Project. The benches are an effective way to use the bishopwood trees that were felled in clearing this invasive plant in Ogasawara.
To mark the 50th anniversary of reversion in 2018, Ogasawara Village is running a project to restore the woodland of Ogasawara Mulberry (Morus boninens), a species indigenous to the area. Ogasawara Mulberry once accounted for a large proportion of the woodlands on the Ogasawara Islands. However, the tree was highly prized as a source of timber, leading to uncontrolled felling early in the islands’ development. Coupled with the encroachment of bishopwood, this has resulted in the Ogasawara Mulberry population being reduced to just 100 trees throughout the archipelago today. The endemic species has therefore been designated as endangered and was placed on the Ministry of the Environment’s Red List. To support the replanting project, which is focused on Ogasawara Village’s next 50 years, we turned felled bishopwood into benches and signs for the Ogasawara Mulberry Forest on Chichijima Island and the Forest on Hahajima Island. The benches and signs are treated with NONROT™*, a protective wood coating supplied by Mitsui Chemicals Industrial Products. We also cleaned up the beaches upon learning that marine litter was an issue on the Ogasawara Islands. The cleanup was a part of the Plastic Smart campaign hosted by the Ministry of the Environment.
With ultra water-repellency, UV resistance, anti-septic / anti-fungal / anti-insect properties, NONROT™ is highly safe paint which maximizes the breathability (humidity control) that wood naturally possesses. It does not disturb the breathing of wood, allowing it to release the refreshing wood aroma.
Wildlife Survey on Rice Fields Providing Opportunities to Learn about Biodiversity
Mitsui Chemicals’ affiliate Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc. (MCAG) held the Wildlife Survey on Rice Fields together with JA (Japan Agriculture) Asahina (Taiwa Town, Kurakawa-gun, Miyagi Prefecture) on June 2018. MCAG has been conducting these surveys each year since 2012, which involves giving JA members, agricultural organizations, farmers, and consumers an opportunity to investigate what organisms live in rice fields while also facilitating serious consideration about agriculture, food, and the environment going forward.
This year, 31 people, including 10 grade three students from Tsurusu Elementary School located in Taiwa Town participated in the program, during which they observed a diverse variety of wildlife living in rice paddies while learning about the importance of growing rice in harmony with the environment.
We also conducted a program in cooperation with the Tohoku University Qatar Science Campus*1 and JA Sendai. This program involved 56 participants, including elementary school students and their guardians selected from regions across Miyagi Prefecture.
Not only involved in sales of agrochemicals, MCAG surveys the effects of agrochemical use on wildlife in rice paddies, which is useful for the improvement and development of agrochemical products. Further, MCAG conducts wildlife surveys, and we publish results summaries of these wildlife surveys that certify that rice was grown in rice paddies inhabited by a wide variety of wildlife, which contributes to adding value to local rice.
Further, we exhibited wildlife found in rice fields on Kasumigaseki Visiting Day for Children*2 held on August 2, 2018. Water scorpions and killifish, which are difficult to find in cities, were shown in water tanks along with guide panels. The children observed the creatures while we explained the importance of rice growing methods that gave consideration to biodiversity.
*1Tohoku University Qatar Science Campus:
The Qatar Science Campus was created using funds from the Qatar government for the fostering of next-generation leaders in reconstruction efforts following the Great East Japan earthquake. As part of the project, the Tohoku University School of Engineering conducts manufacturing and scientific experiment-related events for elementary, junior high school, and high school students in Miyagi Prefecture.
*2Kasumigaseki Visiting Day for Children
A joint initiative by MEXT and other ministries and agencies to give children a better understanding of the work undertaken there. This is an opportunity for children and their families to enjoy guided tours of government buildings to learn more about society during their summer holidays, while also deepening family relationships.
Raising awareness of biodiversity conservation in rice cultivation
Donation to the Singapore Government to Support Coral Protection
Five Mitsui Group companies in the Asia Pacific region*participated in the Grow-A-Reef-Garden project led by JTC Corporation and the National Parks Board (NParks). The project aims to protect coral reefs in the offshore of Small Sister’s Island in Singapore by sinking a large-scale artificial reef structure. The project opening ceremony was held with a great fanfare on October 18, 2018, attended by the Speaker of the Singapore Parliament and representatives from numerous donors, including from our company.
*Five companies of Mitsui Chemical Group in Asia-Pacific region :
Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific, Ltd., Mitsui Phenols Singapore Pte. Ltd., Mitsui Elastomers Singapore Pte. Ltd, Mitsui Chemicals Singapore R&D Centre Pte. Ltd., Prime Evolue Singapore Pte. Ltd.