Working with China's printing industry to bring about the “Green Dream” for the Horqin Desert

October 17, 2016

The “Tree Planting Activities by the Industrial Collaboration of Green Printing” are now starting to become established, just as hundreds of Mongolian Scots pine trees have taken root in this desert over the last 12 months.

■ Erecting a memorial, depicting the commitment of China's printing industry
FUJIFILM (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “FFCN”) sent its employees to the Horqin Desert in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China on August 9, 2016, to take part in the second round of the “Tree Planting Activities by the Industrial Collaboration of Green Printing,” which the company launched with the Printing Technology Association of China last year. Over 30 people took part in the tree-planting operation, including volunteers from major players in the printing industry and desert reforestation volunteers. It was also the day when a new memorial was ceremoniously unveiled on the site, depicting the Chinese printing industry's passion and hope to “restore greenery to this once-fertile land with herds of cows and flocks of sheep” and “promote green printing for the reforestation of the Horqin Desert.” While all the participants watched as the memorial was unveiled by Ms. Wang Yan Bin, the Director General of the Department of Printing and Distribution, State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television and President of The Printing Technology Association of China, and FFCN's Naoto Yurube, the General Manager of the Graphic Systems Division.

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Up until about 30 years ago, Horqin had expanses of lush-green fields. However, the natural greenery has diminished due to cultivation and livestock farming, which has accelerated desertification. Yet, the gravity of the situation is difficult to see unless you come and visit the site first-hand. Many participating volunteers said they did not realize how much greenery had already been lost and to what extent desertification had progressed until they stepped into the barren land in person. In the unveiling ceremony, Ms. Wang Yan Bin expressed “regret of past actions” and “a determined commitment to the future,” saying “In witnessing the extent of desertification, we must reflect upon the effect of excessive development on our environment. Solely pursuing economic performance makes us ignore the strains we cause on the environment, sacrificing our forests and other elements of nature as we can see here today. Yet, if we continue to make steady efforts, even just a small effort at a time, I am convinced that we can stop this desertification one day, reverse the situation and turn the barren land back into green fields.”
As if substantiating her words, hundreds of Mongolian Scots pine trees, planted last year jointly by the Printing Technology Association of China, China Print Magazine and FFCN, have taken root and grown steadily over the last 12 months.

■ High expectations for the expansion of green printing in China amidst growing environmental awareness
 It was back in 1998 when Fujifilm's labor union formed the volunteer team “Green Volunteer Corps” and launched tree-planting operations after learning that this region had turned into desert as a result of excessive livestock farming. Since then, over the last 18 years, the team has carried out a reforestation campaign called the “Green Journey” in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China. FFCN joined the initiative in 2006 and this is their 11th year in operation. Last year, the company joined forces with the Printing Technology Association of China and China Print Magazine to expand its scale of activities. In August this year, for the second time after last year, a team of employees was sent to Horqin in collaboration with China's printing industry to not only carry out tree-planting but also offer project support and work with a greater number of companies to bring about the “Green Dream” of reforesting the desert land. Commenting on the importance of “industrial collaboration” and the roles FFCN should play in the future, FFCN's General Manager Yurube said, “China is developing an increasing awareness of the environment across the country. Seizing this opportunity, we are providing Fujifilm's insight into environmental conservation and the latest technologies we have fostered over many years to the Chinese market more aggressively than ever before to help our clients, especially those in the printing industry, strengthen their corporate muscles through greater resource saving, recycling and environmental response. Through this process we want to call on more and more Chinese companies to adopt the concept of green printing.”

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■ Proposing further enhancement of industry collaboration to preserve the environment for future generations
On the day of the tree-planting operation, participating volunteers received instructions from the staff of the NPO “Green Network” before lining up side by side and planting some 200 young Mongolian Scots pine trees across 3200 square meters of desert land while egging one another on to boost morale. To ensure that as many trees as possible take root, it is crucial to water the young trees after planting. However, watering these trees on desert land involved a substantial workload, given the fact that the only source of water was a well. Participants formed a human chain to relay buckets of water from the well and pour it onto the sandy soil, while wishing for the healthy growth of the pine trees.
The area where the trees were planted this time is only a tiny part of the vast Horqin Desert. The trees planted have the effect of delaying its desertification by just two seconds. Yet, even a small amount of effort will evolve into a major force if accumulated with persistence. After finishing the day's operations, many volunteers talked about how they realized the importance of encouraging as many people as possible to plant more trees.

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The tree-planting operation was followed by the “Green Sharing Meeting,” in which FFCN's Li Dan renewed his call for the need to achieve “environmental response, efficiency improvement and cost reduction.” He described specific details of “green printing,” which Fujifilm has promoted, and asked for the participants' cooperation in expanding the concept. General Manager Yurube presented a book about Fujifilm's reforestation campaign (“Who Has Been Changed by Tree Planting?”) to the volunteers from all the participating companies, and explained the concepts of the “Green Journey” and the “Green Dream” before calling on them to work together to “create a beautiful environment for future generations.”

Fujifilm will continue to work on developing and supplying resource-saving solutions such as SUPERIA to the printing industry around the world to help reduce the strain on the environment, achieve high quality, provide added value and improve profitability, while contributing to the industry's sustainable development and helping to resolve environmental issues.