FRONT RUNNER Environmental Documentary

Vol.4 On December 24, 2019

A Green Network with The Local Community in Thailand

The Canon Group in Thailand is engaged in a wide range of environmental activities spanning from manufacturing to marketing, and built on a base of communication with the local community.


01. What is the Green Network?

The Green Network is an environmental activity based on the collaboration with manufacturing companies (3 sites) and a marketing company.

The collaboration with manufacturing companies and a marketing company is a starting point of this activity

In Thailand, we have four Canon’s sites: Canon Hi-Tech (Thailand) Ltd. (hereinafter "CHT"), Ayutthaya Factory and Ratchasima Factory which produce inkjet printers, Canon Prachinburi (Thailand) Ltd. (hereinafter "CPT") which produces digital multifunction devices, and Canon Marketing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “CMT”) which is responsible for marketing in Thailand. Our manufacturing companies require efforts to make parts procurement environmentally conscious, reduce the amount of waste produced, and reduce energy consumption. On the other hand, our marketing company has a responsibility to communicate the environmental functions of Canon products to our customers, and aim to raise awareness of the environment in tandem with customers.
The Green Network is an environmental activity started in collaboration between these four sites, working together with members of the local community.

We have expanded the scope of these efforts based on communication with our customers and members of the local community

Members from our four sites have discussed environmental activities that should be undertaken by the Canon Group, and undertaken those activities. We have even gone beyond our own sites, expanding our scope to continuous activities that incorporate the opinions of our suppliers, local governments, and the general public, under the concept of our corporate philosophy: kyosei.
In 2011, the Ministry of Industry in Thailand started the Green Industry Project, which evaluates environmentally friendly operations by focusing on continuous improvement and social responsibility of corporations through their entire supply chains, with the goal of realizing sustainable development. CHT has been highly evaluated for its efforts aimed at streamlining its manufacturing, reducing environmental, and contributing to the local community. In 2018, CHT became the first Japanese corporation in Thailand to be awarded the highest rank, Green Industry Level 5, as a representative of Canon Group in Thailand.

Discussion with people in the local community

Discussion with people in the local community


Supply Chain Management

How did we realize this environmental activity through our entire supply chain?

At our manufacturing sites, we are expanding our Green Network and especially are supporting our suppliers as our important business partners.
We tackle environmental issues with our suppliers so that we can grow in tandem with them too.

It all begins with showing suppliers the benefits they stand to gain

Efforts in supply chain management undertaken by our manufacturing companies can be broadly divided into two approaches from different angles: (1) environment and (2) quality, cost, and delivery. Regarding (1) "Environment", we have prepared a manual explaining chemicals which are either prohibited or restricted in their use, as well as the proper methods of management, storage, waste management, monitoring, and evaluation. Canon employees have used that manual to support to our suppliers. In the beginning, our suppliers could not see how this would benefit them, and seemed worried that this would simply increase their workload. However, as we explained the benefits with an eye on the field, they began to see points needing improvement. And they truly felt their benefits, may make their business expansion, so they were happy to cooperate with us. Regarding (2) "Quality, Cost, and Delivery", our suppliers reduced waste by improving their production and transportation processes. We also established an award system, which offers extra motivation to our suppliers.
Members of the Canon Environment Division have been active since the stage when suppliers determined their policies, but in order to ensure that they feel deeply involved in this process, we have recommended that suppliers come up with their own environmental plans.

Supplier training

Supplier training

Voice from Canon’s members who have supported our suppliers

From CHT leaders, who manage this activity

Changes in the environment around production mean that the demands placed on us are changing day by day. All manner of efforts must be made in order to adapt to these changes. It is not enough for us to simply improve the manufacturing process in our factories; we must also improve our supply chain that supplies parts to us.
We use cutting edge technology to design products that are environmentally friendly, but the materials and parts we purchase from our suppliers also must adhere to the same level of high quality and environmental consciousness. For that reason, we must continue endeavors to develop understanding and raise awareness among our suppliers, and make an effort to strongly encourage their participation.

CHT leaders of supply chain management

CHT leaders of supply chain management

From CHT members, who directly support to our suppliers

Suppliers are more than just the party who supply parts to us. We think of them as our partners in making environmentally conscious products together. We have worked to share our thought with them as well. As part of this, we conduct PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle, as we go on site with suppliers to their factories, track their current status, find issues, and make changes in continuous development.
The suppliers who have continued efforts to create high quality and environmentally friendly parts have been highly appreciated and they earned Green Industly Level 3 from the Ministry of Industry, Thailand.
That has boosted our confidence as well.

CHT members of supply chain management

CHT members of supply chain management


Efforts toward environmental conservation activities that bring us face to face with nature

Planting trees, protecting wild animals, removing and utilizing water hyacinth.

Efforts to reflect the opinions of locals

The Canon Group in Thailand has for a long time conducted tree planting, clean-up activities, and other environmental conservation activities, but these activities were not sustained. Currently we meet with residents living near our factory once a year to listen to their opinions and requests regarding environmental impact as we make our plans. We have built a continuously operating mechanism, so that after engaging in environmental improvement activities with members of the community, we reflect on these activities and have a third party conduct a satisfaction survey*, then reflect the results of that survey on our long term plan.

*Satisfaction survey conducted by a third party: This survey serves as an index to determine whether our activities are truly benefiting the community and producing results, based on a questionnaire given to randomly selected local residents.

Mechanism from planning to review

Mechanism from planning to review

Removing and making effective use of water hyacinth

Water hyacinth is an aquatic plant native to South America, but it can spread quickly, adapting to tropical and subtropical regions around the world as it returns to the wild. Once the water hyacinth covers the surface of a river or lake, it prevents sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starved the water of oxygen, often killing fish. The spread of water hyacinth has become a serious problem in Thailand as well, eliciting a response from the government.

CHT and other of Canon Group in Thailand have worked with the Thai government and local residents for the past few years to remove water hyacinth together. Recently, CHT collaborate with local government and Agricultural and Agro-Industrial product Improvement Institute of Kasetsart University to made plates, bags, paper, clothing and bio fertilizer from this plant (root, stalk, leave and flower). And the community sold them at local events and CHT supported to establish “Community Learning Center” for teaching other people how to make these items too.

Making salt licks important for wild animals

Sodium in sodium chloride (= salt) is an essential mineral for wild animals to maintain their health. However, in tropical areas the heavy rainfall causes severe erosion, so minerals in the soil that contain sodium get washed away. Canon made a dicision to make salt licks in order to secure adequate minerals and food for wild animals. Before starting this activity, Khao Yai National Park staff taught how to make salt licks to Canon staff. A total of our 70 members participated in 2019, and made salt licks in 2 places.

Local Forest Replanting Activities

Recognizing the importance of protecting forests that are now being lost, the CHT Ratchasima Factory is undertaking activities to replant forests. In 2019, we cooperated with regional governments and local communities 3 times on replanting activities, in which we planted 400 native seedlings in an area spanning 4,800 square meters. First, we held lectures to help local people understand a mechanism of environmental conservation and biodiversity. In this lecture, we communicated to them the importance of living in harmony with the forests and properly managing them, as well as the fact that they must protect limited forest resources and increase green areas in order to remain sustainable as a region, then we joined in the activities together.

Voice from CHT members who participated in these activities

We are deeply invested in environmental communication activities, so we participate every year. So far, we have built banks to reduce erosion of soil at national parks, planted trees, dug canals and released fish, and have participated in activities to protect animals living in riparian environments as well. We see our company as a member of the community. That is why it is important for us to participate in environmental activities, and we are very proud of ourselves doing them. We look forward to doing it on our days off. We're happy to have people from outside the company join us in these activities, and we exchange information with them. We feel like we have built great relationships with everyone in the community.

Acheinawat Pattarametakorn (Left)
Jirawat Chomram (Right)
Chief Operator 3, QA Div., Canon Hi-Tech (Thailand)

Acheinawat Pattarametakorn (Left)
Jirawat Chomram (Right)
Chief Operator 3, QA Div., Canon Hi-Tech (Thailand)


Efforts to make a richer future

Endeavors, to create in collaboration with schools and research institutes.

Environmental Education for Children

The Canon Group in Thailand is cooperating with the Thai government's Department of Environmental Quality Promotion to teach trash sorting classes at schools. Canon employees teach children the environmental problems happening now, the concept of 3R (reduce, reuse, and recycle) and the fact that they can recycle trash if they sort it properly. We presented to the children a manual how to sort trash, garbage cans color coded for easy sorting, and tables and chairs made from recycled materials. We will continue conducting this activity in the future, so that future generations of children will take an interest in recycling and practice it in their daily lives.

"ECOLISM", a campaign to introduce the environmental functions of Canon products

CMT which is responsible for the marketing started the "Canon Ecolism" campaign in 2016. We intend to introduce that, based on our corporate philosophy: kyosei, Canon create produsts that clear high standards for environmental awareness to the market in Thailand.
We introduce our part procurement that is compliant with global regulations, as well as the power saving technology in our digital multifunction printers, and the fact that this can reduce carbon dioxide emissions. We present this product information from an "environmental" perspective so that customers can use Canon products with peace of mind.

Research to utilize removed water hyacinths

This activity began with the issue of how water hyacinth spreading in Thailand could be used effectively. We have cooperated with people from the community and local governments to remove water hyacinth, and started a project with Thammasart University on a project entitled "Eliminating and Effectively Using Water Hyacinth". After that, we created an organization for conducting joint operation, and are engaged in activities based on a 5 year plan (2018 - 2022). The specific content of this activity is an initiative to compost the removed water hyacinth and food waste from the CHT cafeterias, so they can be reborn into a new role as biofuel or fertilizer.
Because we are not yet making a large amount of biofuel, it is only being supplied to some regional government agencies. When the volume increases in the future, we hope to supply this to the entire region. We also hope to move to the test phase after verifying the impact on the environment from this fertilizer.

Message from Hathairat Rerkudomsin of CHT, the leader of this activity

In order to maximize use of our resources and minimize our environmental burden throughout all of our businesses that we conduct with our stakeholders, we hope to build and nurture our mutual relationship with the local community.
Our mission goes beyond the operation of environmental activities in our company. The "Green Network" encompasses improving knowledge and understanding of sustainable development and raising awareness among people, while encouraging participation by our suppliers, local communities, educational institutions, and the government.
We hope to become a driving force for environmental maintenance activities that bring about a brighter future, in all manner of situations.

Hathairat Rerkudomsin
Manager of Environment dept., HRM Div.
Canon Hi-Tech (Thailand)

Hathairat Rerkudomsin
Manager of Environment dept., HRM Div.
Canon Hi-Tech (Thailand)