On the southern Japanese island of Shikoku, located at the foot of the Asan Mountains looking out across the Tokushima Plain, Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Tokushima Itano Factory manufactures pharmaceuticals and soy products. Designed to be an eco-friendly and people-friendly plant based on the concept of building harmonious relationships with the natural environment, the site features a section of untouched forest and biotope that offer a natural environment for diverse wildlife. The biotope pond, fed by cooling water from the plant, creates an environment for diverse aquatic creatures, including dragonfly larva, water scorpions, and pygmy water lilies. A spot has been made for rhinoceros beetles to emerge from the ground near the biotope pond. Every year leaves from deciduous trees on the plant grounds are used to raise several hundred of the beetles, which are popular with children who come to tour the plant.
Prioritizing Harmonious Coexistence with the Natural Environment and Local Communities
Otsuka Pharmaceutical has established a biotope on the premises of one of its factories. In addition, by protecting untouched forests, it maintains natural environments where diverse creatures can live, helping to protect endangered species. The company also works hard to contribute to local communities, for instance by opening factory grounds to the public for use as a park and supporting learning by offering factory tours.
Creating Biotopes and Building Harmonious Relationships with Wildlife and the Local Community
What is more, cyprinid fish, a small freshwater species that was thought to have gone extinct in Tokushima Prefecture, was rediscovered in 2004. The company joined a project started by Tokushima Prefecture in cooperation with industry, government, academia, and the public, to protect and propagate the fish and return it to nature.
In June 2012, Otsuka Pharmaceutical signed an agreement pertaining to the protection and propagation of the rare wild cyprinid fish, and the following November released 1,000 cyprinid fish received from Tokushima Prefecture into the biotope pond. This was the start of efforts to protect, propagate, and nurture them. The fish have been raised carefully while exchanging brood fish with other breeding sites in the prefecture. The fish have propagated to the point where they are ready to be returned to their native habitats, which is the ultimate goal of the program. Tokushima Prefecture plans to conduct trial releases during fiscal 2015.
In recognition of these kinds of conservation efforts, the Itano Factory was chosen in 2010 as among the'Best 100: Corporate Greening Linked to Conservation of Biodiversity' by Japan's Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Tokushima Wajiki Factory actively participates in local nature conservation activities, and is involved in the Acorn Project of the Tokushima Prefecture Government South District Administration Bureau. The project raises seedlings of acorn-bearing trees that are native to the region. Once the seedlings are large enough, they are distributed to local communities and also planted on the factory grounds.
Maintaining Factory Grounds as Parks
Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Tokushima Wajiki Factory carries out environmentally friendly production as a factory park that is integrated with people and nature in a verdant hilly area. The factory's grounds are open to the local community. When the weather is nice, children can be seen running around the plant's large lawn while local residents walk the grounds. It is also a popular place for enjoying weeping cherry blossoms in spring. In order to protect this abundant green space, the factory refrains from using pesticides and herbicides as much as possible.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Saga Factory opens its grounds during the cherry blossom season for enjoyment by people who visit it as a new hot spot for cherry blossom viewing. Making use of its lush green environment, the factory also hosted a class, in cooperation with the town of of Yoshinogari, at which nearby elementary school students learned about forest trees.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Fukuroi Factory is also committed to maintaining and managing its green spaces in an environmentally friendly way, and employees regularly weed the beautiful lawn in order to protect it.