Updated on August 29, 2018
Since its inception in 1972, the Kohda Site of Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations Corporation in Japan has had the goal of creating a park-like factory with lush greenery, and has conserved the natural forest on the site, naming it "Sony Forest." Since 2008, Sony has been building an owl-friendly environment at the forest. Bird feeders, bird houses and spaces where the owl can fly, for example, have been set out continually since that time. As a result, a family of owls built a nest at Sony Forest in 2016, with three chicks hatching that year and more hatching every year since. While the owls are the most notable residents, the vibrant ecosystem at Sony Forest is also home to bush warblers, Japanese white-eyes, Japanese pygmy woodpeckers, and many other small birds, as well as raccoon dogs, mice, and other small animals.
The Kohda Site has also contributed to the local community by building a walking path and installing athletic equipment in the forest for locals to use. It is used for outdoor educational purposes by many local elementary school students. In 2015, Sony participated in the Kagayake Aichi Sustainability Research Institute,*1 an Aichi prefectural government project. The researchers, who are local university students, planned and executed PR measures to publicize the Sony Forest throughout the area. The activities associated with this project have raised environmental awareness among employees and raised public awareness of the rest of the environmental activities taking place at the Kohda Site.
In recognition of Sony Forest activities, the Kohda Site received Superlative Stage certification under SEGES*1 from the Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure in 2011, making it the first site in Japan to earn this honor. Moreover, in 2017, the Kohda Site received Green Legacy*2 certification in recognition of its ongoing activities. The Kohda Site is also conducting a nature conservation project using Sony Forest, in cooperation with other local companies. Seedlings of native species in the area are essential in conservation of the local ecosystem, and Sony Forest has preserved many trees unique to the area, including the konara oak and the Japanese clethra. The Kohda Site's nature conservation project entails collecting seeds of trees within Sony Forest, raising them until they become seedlings, and then donating them to local administrations and NPOs for forestation projects. This project was certified as an exemplary project in 2015 by the Japan Committee for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB-J).