(Left) Nobuyuki Okizono
Assistant Manager R&D Technical Administration Division
(Right) Yoko Sato
Under the slogan of "One Metropolitan Area," since FY March 2013 Tokyo Office and Mazda R&D Center Yokohama (MRY) have strengthened their mutual coordination and continued to participate in unique social contribution activities. It is characteristic of Tokyo Office and MRY to conduct socially beneficial activities in collaboration with Mazda vehicle owners. The coordination between Tokyo Office and MRY has begun to produce positive effects, as exemplified by the increase in the number of employees at Tokyo Office who work as volunteers.
To contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, harmonious coexistence with local communities, and community activities
Mazda has supported the Keihin Afforestation Project*1 promoted by Yokohama City. In June 2009, MRY transplanted indigenous wild water plants to create a biotope based in a pond on the premises. By creating habitats for aquatic life including dragonflies, MRY strives to restore natural environments and increase the amount of greenery. MRY has also been participating in a collaborative project*2 implemented by companies, citizens, local governments, specialists and students, entitled "How Far Does a Dragonfly Fly?" Since 2004, MRY has been conducting surveys of dragonflies, tracking the conditions of their arrival.
- In July, MRY cooperated in conducting a three-day study of dragonfly flight patterns (In the study, investigators visually checked and caught dragonflies to trace their species condition of arrival, and travel between survey points).
- In November, Yokohama City held an eco-tour for its residents (with 40 participants including NGO members), whose program also included an on-site observation of the biotope on the premises of MRY. MRY thus helped promote people's awareness of the biodiversity conservation efforts made by Yokohama City.
- *1In Yokohama City, the Keihin Afforestation Project has been carried out since 2005. This project regards the green spaces on corporate properties and the facilities open to the public in the Keihin district (Tokyo-Yokohama) as important regional assets, and aims to increase and use these assets including public green spaces and waterfronts so as to build forests in this district and pass them on to future generations, through joint efforts by companies, citizens, and local governments.
- *2By surveying the growth and migration status of dragonflies, which serve as an indicator for the abundance of greenery, the project is intended to verify that company green spaces play important roles as habitats for various life forms. The results of ten-year surveys conducted under this project indicate that company green spaces play a role similar to that of satoyama (managed woodlands or grasslands near human settlements) (from a report, about 10-year record of Keihin Afforestation linked together by dragonfly, issued in March 2013).
To contribute to human resources education provided by schools in local communities
In response to requests from local communities, since its establishment in 1987, MRY has accepted tours to observe the Center, serving as an extracurricular lesson or social study class needed from universities, etc.
- June: Around 10 local primary school children visited MRY
- January: Around 20 local students visited MRY as an extracurricular lesson
To communicate the joy of automobiles to children in orphanages and deepen the interaction with them
As part of their social contribution activities, Mazda employee volunteers, jointly with Mazda vehicle owners, participate in projects designed for children residing in child welfare institutions primarily in Yokohama and Kawasaki cities.
One of these projects is "Let's Feel the Joy of a Convertible!" which has been held since 2007 to convey the excitement of cars and driving to these children and give them a happy and enjoyable experience. Also, Mazda employees have annually participated in the "Santa Project." This project was launched at Mazda's initiative in 2003 and is now organized jointly by 19 companies and organizations primarily in Kanagawa Prefecture.
- A total of 50 volunteers, including Mazda employees and Mazda vehicle owners, participated in "Let's Feel the Joy of a Convertible! 2013" held in November 2013. The event featured such activities as riding in a Roadster (MX-5 overseas) with the top down, and playing games that are fun for all ages.
To help Mazda vehicle owners conduct voluntary social contribution activities, by offering MRY as a venue
Mazda has provided MRY as the venue for the Roadster (MX-5 overseas) Charity Flea Markets held under the auspices of participating Mazda vehicle owners and the Company. Mazda presents a booth staffed by volunteer employees.
In April and October, the Roadster Charity Flea Markets were held. The number of participants totaled approximately 400, including 30 employee volunteers. At the Mazda booth, volunteer employees sold daily articles and Mazda merchandise gathered with the help of employees, as well as okonomiyaki, a savory pancake popular in Hiroshima. (A portion of the proceeds from the flea markets was donated to the Japan Red Cross Society for the relief fund for areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and was used for charitable activities.)
To enhance the disaster preparedness of neighboring communities by providing support for periodic disaster drills
In November 2008, MRY concluded a disaster prevention agreement*3 with the Kanagawa Ward Office and residents' associations in neighborhood self-governing bodies. In March 2009, MRY joined the Kanagawa Ward Waterfront Area Disaster Prevention Council, comprising 11 companies in the Keihin waterfront district, local neighborhood self-governing bodies, and neighborhood associations, helping to carry out initiatives to enhance regional disaster preparedness. One of these initiatives is holding joint disaster drills on a regular basis.
In March, MRY carried out the 9th joint periodic disaster drill, in which the participants learned about how to use fire extinguishers, provide first aid and operate AEDs.*4 (Around 150 persons participated).
- *3The MRY facility is offered as a temporary evacuation area to be used before moving to a disaster prevention facility.
- *4An AED (automated external defibrillator) is a medical device that sends an electric shock to the heart that will restore normal heart rhythm to a victim whose heart has suddenly lost the function to pump blood.