The protection of biodiversity—rich ecosystems living on Earth—is an important theme in environmental activities. The KOBELCO Group has established its own Kobelco Biodiversity Guidelines, which arrange activities it has been working on as environmental management from the perspective of biodiversity. In line with the guidelines, the Group is promoting contribution to biodiversity through business activities and cooperation with local communities.
The KOBELCO Group recognizes the importance of preserving biodiversity and will carry out activities accordingly based on the following guidelines.
The Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) and the Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation have formulated the Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren and Action Policy, with the aim of creating a sustainable society by building a society in harmony with nature. Kobe Steel, Ltd. endorsed the declaration in December 2019.
As an environmental and social contribution activity, we conduct forest development activities to preserve and promote biodiversity, make picture books on the theme of forests (KOBELCO Forest Fairy Tale Prize) and join to Environmental Education Outreach to Children's Centers to make children think about nature.
The KOBELCO Group collects stories about forests from students in elementary, junior high, and high schools across Japan with the aim of raising a generation of children who will carry with them an appreciation for all the many blessings that forests have to offer. The winning stories are transformed into picture books with illustrations by professional picture book authors. Around 2,000 sets of the finished picture books were donated to elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, special needs schools, and public libraries in jurisdictions supported by local governments and used for environmental education.
Recently, there were many occurrences which made us notice importance of nature and the fact that we are very fragile and week in the nature. Themes of many pieces symbolize such background in recent years. I think that is one of the characteristics of 8th prize.
The winner of elementary school students' section tried to express the global warming, which is one of the most concerned problem all over the world with fantasy. It is difficult, so that I felt reliable.
Heavy rain was continued and forest was flooded last year, but the winning story of junior high school and high school students' section gave us the hope that forest will definitely recover as long as there are people who love the forest. I deeply appreciate that children get deep knowledge about forest, have hope for anything and provide brighter future.
Forest Development Activities (Fiscal 2019)
Since 2011, employee volunteers have been engaging in forest development activities in two locations.
At the KOBELCO Forest in Miki City, we participate in the Corporate Forest Creation Project promoted by the Hyogoken Ryokka Suishin Kyokai (Hyogo Greening Promotion Association) and help with activities at the Hyogo Prefectural Mikiyama Forest Park to create more abundant forests.
At the ECOWAY Forest in Kobe's Nada Ward, we participate in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's Rokko Mountain Range Green Belt Development Project to help prevent landslide disasters, to preserve and nurture diversity in ecosystems and seeds, and to promote better urban environments and scenic views. These activities are carried out with guidance from the NPO Rokko Nature Learning with the aim of developing forests with a good balance between tall trees and undergrowth and a diverse mix of tree ages and varieties. By trimming trees, clearing out undergrowth, and planting new trees, we help preserve and promote biodiversity in forests.
*In fiscal 2020, we canceled the activities to prevent COVID-19 spreading. (Detail is below: )
Submerged breakwater construction material
Steel slag has earned a favorable reputation from fishermen, since demonstration testing has shown it to be effective in the restoration of the marine environment, including seaweed flourishing due to the nutrients such as iron and minerals that it contains. As a result, iron and steel slag hydrated matrix was adopted as a material for the construction of submerged breakwaters in the Suma district. Going forward, we will continue to promote the use of steel slag products as materials for marine and port construction, drawing on our track record using them as a material for marine environment improvement.
Biotope in Nadahama Science Square
At Nadahama Science Square (Nada ward, Kobe city), facility for communication with local residence, we set up biotope and grow Sanguisorba tenuifolia, Pulsatilla cernua and Synurus excelsus etc. We preserve biodiversity and regularly hold nature observation event for local children by association with the NPO Rokko Nature Learning and specialists (In fiscal 2020, we canceled the event to prevent COVID-19 spreading.) We will preserve biotope and contribute to keep ecosystem.