Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC)
In the forests covering nearly two-thirds of Japan's land, approximately 40% of the trees have been planted by people. Without periodic thinning (meaning the identifying and removing denser parts where many trees didn't get much light, which was causing poor growth) and other appropriate care, the growing trees will not be healthy, lowering the value of the resulting lumber. Furthermore, unmanaged planted forests are not fully capable of providing public benefits such as landslide prevention and CO2 absorption. Partly because domestically produced lumber cannot compete with cheap imported lumber, forestry has been declining in Japan and many forests have been abandoned and continue to devastate. As a consequence, damage from landslides, etc. is becoming serious.
Toyota employees carry out forest maintenance activities in the planted forests in Toyota City to help them regain their vigor. Since its formation in 2000, an in-house volunteer group called Toyota Forest Keepers has been carrying out forest maintenance activities and providing woodwork workshops on how to utilize thinned lumber. In 2008, the Forest Keepers made an agreement with the Forestry Department of Toyoda City Hall, with the goal of expanding activities, including thinning of city-owned forests and donating benches to city facilities. The group is also expanding its programs to other companies within the Toyota Group, promoting its programs targeting employees and their family members and offering hands-on forest maintenance events.
Thinning guidance on proper methods for cutting trees
Participants of hands-on forest maintenance event
Instruction by the volunteer group Toyota Forest Keepers