Seiko Epson Corporation recently launched a three-year international partnership with global conservation organization WWF focusing on forest restoration and conservation around the world. This partnership is the first of its kind for a Japanese corporation in the electronics and precision instruments sector and builds on the existing relationship between the two organizations that started in March 2022 working on marine conservation in Southeast Asia.
Based on a shared ambition to tackle common environmental concerns, the partnership will encompass three objectives:
- Addressing Epson’s environmental footprint,
- Supporting WWF’s forest restoration and conservation projects in seven countries in four regions, and
- Communicating about environmental issues.
To make this possible, Epson is planning a contribution of 240 million Japanese Yen (approximately 97 million Pesos) over the next three years starting from March 2023 that will go towards WWF forestry projects.
Through the partnership, Epson will be supporting forest conservation activities and nature recovery efforts implemented by WWF across several “Deforestation Fronts”(1) and will aim to improve sustainability in their supply chain as a participant of WWF’s Forests Forward(2) program. To realize a nature-positive world together, the collaboration will also promote the responsible use of forest resources (paper) in business, as well as future considerations for the conservation of freshwater ecosystems and activities that contribute to a circular economy.(3)
“We are delighted to sign this agreement with the WWF,” said Yasunori Ogawa, global president of Epson. “The world is facing an environmental catastrophe and it is essential we act now to preserve the biodiversity of our planet before it is too late. This partnership reflects Epson’s commitment to conserving the environment, reducing waste, and ensuring that the use of natural resources is sustainable. With a goal of realizing a future in which people can live in harmony with nature, the WWF is a perfect fit for Epson.”
In 2021, Epson announced its Environmental Vision in which it pledged to become carbon negative and eliminate the use of non-renewable underground resources by 2050. To achieve these goals, the company is rolling out a series of initiatives aimed at achieving decarbonization, closing the resource loop, providing products and services that reduce environmental impacts and developing environmental technologies. Epson recognizes that the engagement of the whole community is necessary to achieve a sustainable society, and is working with like-minded partners such as WWF to raise awareness of and take bold actions to solve environmental issues facing our planet.
“WWF welcomes this ambitious partnership with Epson for the future of the forest,” said TOBAI, Sadayosi, CEO of WWF-Japan. “It’s not only a single company’s commitment, but also reflects a significant step forward to accelerate efforts from the private sector to prevent the degradation of nature, in particular the forests, that we all depend on.”
The protection and responsible management of forest ecosystems has been high on the agenda at recent global discussions such as UN COP27 for climate and UN COP15 for biodiversity. It is critical that we ride on this momentum by making robust commitments and urgent transformative changes necessary to reverse biodiversity loss and build a more sustainable society.
Through the partnership and participation in the Forests Forward program, Epson and WWF are together committed to saving threatened forest in vital landscapes within, and beyond, Epson’s supply chain by improving forest management and restoring nature.
Details about Partnership Activities
Forest conservation projects implemented by WWF-Japan
WWF Japan is working to conserve forest ecosystems in areas of deforestation such as Southeast Asia and South America, shift to sustainable production of agricultural, forestry, and livestock products that are leading drivers of deforestation, and promote sustainable use in Japan, which is a significant consumer country.
Credits: ©︎ Anton Vorauer/WWF
Credits: ©︎ WWF-Japan
(1) Deforestation Front
The causes, pace and magnitude of deforestation and forest degradation have changed over time. The way that different causes of deforestation link together and the effects they have on forests varies across regions. Globally, a multitude of approaches have been implemented to halt deforestation and forest degradation. While progress has been made in halting forest loss and degradation, both continue at alarming rates. According to a WWF report, 43 million hectares of forest were lost in “deforestation fronts” in 24 countries between 2004 and 2017. For more details, visit WWF’s Deforestation Front projects.
(2) Forests Forward
WWF’s Forests Forward program engages businesses, local communities, and other key stakeholders to change forest valuation, management, protection, and recovery methods to benefit nature, people, and the climate.
For more details, visit https://forestsforward.panda.org/
(3) Circular Economy
In contrast to one-way businesses based on traditional methods of mass production and mass disposal, the circular socio-economic system recycles limited resources and continues to use them for as long as possible to eliminate waste. From the initial development stage, products and services are designed to greatly minimize the use and disposal of new resources.
Epson and WWF Marine Conservation in Southeast Asia
Launched in 2022 in Southeast Asia, Epson partnered with WWF-Singapore to scale coral restoration efforts in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, as well as mangrove restoration in the Philippines. By working with local stakeholders and institutions, these restoration efforts support and restore the critically important marine ecosystem health that we all depend on, while building capacity among local communities as key stakeholders in the long-term maintenance and management of their coastal resources. These current programs complement the upcoming forest conservation activities in Borneo and Sumatra Islands to protect biodiversity above land and under water, contributing to the restoration of both ecosystems on a larger scale.
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