"Nurturing an Ecosystem Together with the Local Community"
Ikoi no Mori Biotope at Shizuoka Plant

Sumitomo Bakelite's Shizuoka Plant discovered rare species of wildlife living at the proposed site of a land reclamation project based on the results of a survey of flora and fauna conducted there. As a result, the plant decided to create a biotope according to a five-year plan in order to preserve and nurture the vibrant natural environment.

Now Open to the Public After the Completion of the Five-year Project

Our company considered building a biotope as part of its biodiversity conservation activities. During the preliminary review, a survey of flora and fauna as well as a biodiversity assessment conducted in 2011 revealed rare wildlife living at the proposed site at Shizuoka Plant. Given this, we established a goal to preserve and restore the natural surroundings, with land reclamation work focused on the wetland area commencing in 2012 under the five-year plan.

Under the supervision of Professor Tatsumi Yamada of Tokoha University, work took place mainly on the wetland area and in 2014 we began hosting observation events for employees and their families. In 2016, we selected the name Ikoi no Mori (Comfort Forest) after calling on employees to name the biotope and established the biotope club to look after it. We then made preparations to open the biotope to the general public while completing conservation work and notifying our customers of the project. In April 2017, we opened the biotope to the general public and since then we have been engaging the local community through tours and hands-on seminars.

Activities until now

Creation of Irodori no Oka (Hill)
We used fill to form a four-meter tall hill to provide a viewing area overlooking the entire biotope. This hill serves as a meadow for seven autumnal flowers and bamboo lily. It also serves as a nesting ground for the kingfisher.

Measures against non-native species
Water hyacinths were removed as a way to guard against non-native species. A floating mass of waterweeds was set up to adjust the water quality of the regulating pond.


Creation of Kirameki no Shicchi (Wetland)
We created a calm wetland isolated from the land as a habitat for the darkspotted frog, killifish, and dragonflies, among others. Also, shallow and deep areas were created for emergent plants and floating plants, such as lotus.

Construction of organic path
A native grass species was introduced for an organic path along route set up from Irodori no Oka (Hill) and to Donguri Woods (Acorn) to Kirameki no Shicchi (Wetland).

A number of organisms are nurtured in Sumitomo Bakelite's biotope

Wild birds

Insects

Other wildlife

Plants

A Biotope that Fosters Greater Involvement with Stakeholders and Preserves Living Organisms

We are working to foster relationships with employees, their family members, and the local community, in order to promote understanding of our biotope among a larger audience.

Internally, the Biotope Committee takes the lead in taking care of the biotope and also plans opportunities for employees and their families to experience nature through observation events held under the supervision of Professor Tatsumi Yamada of Tokoha University and with the cooperation of students attending the university.

Externally, we communicate with city hall and exchange information with companies in the surrounding area.


Professor,
Socio-Environmental Studies Department
Tokoha University  
Tatsumi Yamada

Ikoi no Mori is expected to make a major contribution to the conservation of biodiversity and the natural environment. Until now, the presence of a factory was seen as a reason for the loss of local nature and nostalgic natural scenery, but Sumitomo Bakelite's revolutionary biotope concept makes it possible for this same factory to restore the vibrant nature of a local eco system.

For example, local killifish populations became invisible to the local community because waterways were paved over in concrete, but now at the biotope this species has made a major comeback. Also, dark-spotted frog, a species rarely seen nowadays, is breeding in the biotope's wetland. Moreover, the population of wildfowl and insects has grown because of the biotope, which is protecting local wildlife.

Local people can now enjoy the exciting experience of walking around the biotope to find a variety of wildlife in its beautiful wetland area and forest. This also serves a useful purpose in educating children about what it was like to live in rural communities many years ago.

I found myself surprised when visiting this biotope for the first time two years ago during an observation event. This is because I saw firsthand how a factory in an urban area was able to completely restore a natural setting that included rare flora such as golden lace and fragrant eupatorium, not to mention the site of colorful kingfisher flying about. Moreover, after seeing children running after grasshoppers and butterflies, I felt convinced that this biotope will provide an important learning opportunity about nature and living things. I hope that Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. will utilize this space to allow children to have greater interactions with nature.

Senior
Socio-Environmental Studies Department
Tokoha University 
Sotaro Nishizuka

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Assistant Manager
Environment and Waterworks Department
Fujieda City Office
Akira Ichikawa

I would like to congratulate Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. for completing the Ikoi no Mori biotope and opening it to the general public. Ikoi no Mori provides a rather nostalgic environment that feels far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I hope that many people will be able to witness firsthand the diverse flora and fauna that have resided here since ancient times, including killifish, dragonflies, kingfisher and acorns. Ikoi no Mori is meant to be enjoyed with a smile, while learning about the importance of our natural environment and biodiversity.

In May 2016, we launched a killifish preservation project after receiving endangered minami killifish from Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. Thanks to this donation, the number of killifish we are raising increased by three-fold in the space of one year. While our conservation pond is merely a miniature version of Sumitomo Bakelite’s biotope, we plan to continue our conservation efforts to follow in the footsteps of Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd.

Fujieda General Affairs Section
Fujieda Office
Nishinnbo Textile Inc.
Hiroshi Roppongi

Biotope Committee
Shizuoka Plant
Azusa Horie

One of my responsibilities is serving as a biotope guide. Inside the biotope, we have made a number of innovations to ensure more living organisms call the site home. This includes using rocks to create hiding places and making a shallow area in the water to increase the water temperature, to provide a better living environment for certain species. During tours, I make it a point to point out these innovations, which are sometimes hard to see, so that everyone who visits the biotope enjoys their stay.


A Place to Nurture Together with the Community

Ikoi no Mori preserves a natural environment for Oga lotus, an ancient species of lotus we received from other companies with biotopes, as well as a variety of flora and fauna that have lived in the Shida plain since ancient times. Additionally, the water flowing through the biotope is supplied by effluent from the Shizuoka Plant that has been rendered completely harmless at a water treatment facility.

Going forward, I hope that our customers and people from the local community who visit the biotope will better understand the importance of biodiversity. In this sense, we will use the biotope as a place for raising awareness and educating people about the environment.

Director
Senior Managing Executive Officer
Masayuki Inagaki


Sumitomo Bakelite's Biodiversity Conservation Initiatives

Our company's business activities rely on nature's bounty and for this reason we recognize the importance of conserving biodiversity. As such, we promote reduced environmental impacts and incorporate biodiversity conservation in our procurement policy. In terms of our initiatives during the product life cycle, we develop eco-friendly products, while outside of Japan we take part in local initiatives, including those that protect rare tree species. Furthermore, we are a promotion partner of "The Declaration of Biodiversity by Nippon Keidanren" and are implementing all possible measures following this declaration.

Call or email us about CSR.