Since 2001, Fuji Xerox has held annual training sessions for nature guides in partnership with the Nature Conservation Society of Japan (NACS-J). The goals of these training sessions are to raise environmental awareness among employees by giving them the opportunity to experience nature first-hand and to train human resources capable of supporting community environmental conservation activities. The training sessions are held at the Fuji Xerox Tsukahara Training Facility (in Minami-Ashigara City, Kanagawa Prefecture), with about 30 employees undergoing training each year. Trainees later take active part in environmental conservation activities throughout their communities. In addition to maintaining this training program, future plans call for creating opportunities for trained guides to apply their skills and for expanding the program network.
Learning Together with a Diverse Range of People about How Nature Works
The training session for nature guides is a course in which participants learn about what they need to know as guides, including nature conservation and how to give nature tours, over a course covering three days and two nights. The course starts with activities intended to cultivate an understanding of how nature works and the relationship between people and nature. After completing the workshop, nature guides register with NACS-J and seek to convey the interest, mystery, and significance of nature and its mechanisms to a wider audience.
Although these training sessions are held in Kanagawa Prefecture, participants from the general public come from all over Japan and represent a wide demographic and age cross-section, offering a wide range of experience and knowledge. Fuji Xerox employees who take part in the sessions experience a valuable opportunity to interact with participants from outside the company who offer a high awareness of the need for nature conservation.
Held July 18–20, in fiscal 2009, the ninth workshop involved 22 employees who were eventually registered as new nature guides. The total number of nature guides in the company now exceeds 250 persons.