On Saturday, July 15, 2017, eight of our employees volunteered at “Gion Festival Zero Waste Campaign” event on behalf of Kyoto CSR Network*. This event encourages utilizing reusable tableware and utensils during the annual Gion Festival.
Gion Festival is one of Japan’s three major festivals and is a month long annual event in July attracting numerous domestic and foreign tourists.
Yoiyama, the main parade, is the high point of the event. Shijyo Karasuma, the main street of the downtown area is completely closed to vehicle traffic. Various street vendors line the street for pedestrians to enjoy. Yamaboko, the beautifully decorated floats, represent each neighbourhood and the rows of lanterns are lit up at night for all to enjoy.
The environmental concern is the garbage that is left behind is in direct proportion to the number of visitors. The dozens of tons of waste generated by this even have a negative impact on the environment.
This is why the “Gion Festival Zero Waste Campaign” was launched in 2014. Specifically, the goal of the volunteers is to reduce waste generated close to zero by encouraging vendors to rent and utilize reusable tableware and utensils, separating out recyclable waste and cleaning up the street afterwards.
Our employees volunteered from noon to 3pm on the day of Yoi Yoiyama, two days before the main parade. We set up eco-stations at several different locations and then encouraged the visitors to separate the recyclable waste, asked the street vendors to use the reusable tableware and utensils option, and cleaned up the area with tongs and bags. We acted as tourism volunteers when we were asked directions by visitors. We also distributed the bags to participants in different neighbourhoods to collect waste. Our employees gave us positive feedback. They enjoyed participating in the activities of the community groups and wished to extend their volunteer time.
Nidec-Read hopes to get more involved with the community groups and work together to resolve the local issues facing our community.
*Kyoto CSR Network is an organization for CSR representatives and civil servants. They provide opportunities to exchange information, to learn, and to coordinate with different industries.