March 10, 2021

Donation of Recycled Notebooks and Charcoal for Soil Remediation to the Setouchi Olive Foundation - Shimadzu Group Effort for Waste Management

Donation to Setouchi Olive Foundation

As part of our efforts to build a circular society, Shimadzu recycles over 99 % of waste materials generated at its business facilities. Recently, we have donated original notebooks made from recycled used paper and charcoal made from carbonized wood debris to the NPO Setouchi Olive Foundation in Japan.

This article highlights some activities of the foundation and Shimadzu Group waste management practices.


Setouchi Olive Foundation

The Setouchi Olive Foundation as a nonprofit organization (NPO) engages in activities to protect and restore the natural environment in the Seto Inland Sea region.

The foundation was set up in 2000 after the mediation settlement of “Teshima incident,” which was Japan’s largest illegal dumping of hazardous industrial waste to date. The foundation was established in response to pleas from the architect Tadao Ando and Kohei Nakabo, the lead lawyer of the legal team for the Teshima incident. It received NPO status in 2007 and became an authorized NPO in 2010.

Funds are used for planting and cultivating olive trees as well as for subsidizing organizations and individuals involved in environmental education, conservation and restoration activities.

What Shimadzu Contributes to the Foundation

Shimadzu has continued to make donations to the Foundation since 2016.

The original notebooks donated in this case were made from recycled waste paper produced by Shimadzu offices or manufacturing sites. The donations also help raise environmental awareness within the company by educating employees that it is the result of sorting their paper waste.

Original Shimadzu Notebooks Made of Recycled Paper

Original Shimadzu Notebooks Made of Recycled Paper

The notebooks were distributed to Teshima elementary and junior high school students and to the Hitomi Childcare Center by the Foundation.

Distributing the Shimadzu Notebooks at the Teshima Junior High School in Tonosho Town

Distributing the Shimadzu Notebooks at the Teshima Junior High School in Tonosho Town


The charcoal is made by carbonizing wood debris from wood pallets and packaging materials used for logistics for Shimadzu Group and is used to improve the soil physical qualities in green areas on Shimadzu premises. In Teshima, the charcoal is scattered as soil amendments on five olive groves on the island that are operated by the foundation.

Scattering the Charcoal in Teshima

Scattering the Charcoal in Teshima

Olive Grove with Soil Improvement Charcoal Spread on It

Olive Grove with Soil Improvement Charcoal Spread on It

Waste Management in the Shimadzu Group

Based on Shimadzu’s corporate philosophy, “Contributing to Society through Science and Technology,” the entire Shimadzu Group is involved in promoting environmental management practices. As part of such efforts, Shimadzu has been focusing on waste management.

Shimadzu Logistics Service Corporation promotes eco-friendly packing in an effort to reduce energy usage during transportation. The company is working to reduce environmental impact at the logistics stage through the introduction of environmentally-friendly reinforced cardboard and the use of certified wood from sustainably managed forests.

 Waste Output and Recycling Rates of shimadzu

Waste Output and Recycling Rates

Comment from the NPO Setouchi Olive Foundation Secretariat

The NPO Setouchi Olive Foundation Secretariat made the following comment regarding Shimadzu activities.

We receive charcoal from Shimadzu each year and use it in our olive groves as soil amendments. Adding the charcoal not only improves water drainage but also ensures appropriate levels of water retention. That helps produce superior olive oil by preventing root rot and disease during the rainy season and preventing them from drying out during the summer”, said the Foundation Secretariat.

The notebooks are donated to pre-school children and elementary and junior high school students in Teshima. The kids are always very excited about receiving the notebooks each year. We are glad to see the pre-school kids use them to draw pictures and the school students for taking notes in their classes.

Comment from the Person in Charge at Shimadzu Corporation

It makes me very happy to think that wood pallets and other wood materials used by Shimadzu are being transformed to help restore the environment for growing olives and that our notebooks made from paper waste are used in education for future generations. I hope we can continue these activities and recycle resources in the future as well.

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