RAKUTEN

Rakuten Green Tour

To raise environmental awareness through sports in Asia and America

STORY

01

The sports community for the environment

Rakuten Green Tour combines physical and green activities in order to use the influence of sports to raise eco-awareness about local environmental issues, hand in hand with non-profit organizations and professional athletes.

02

Rakuten CSR made in USA

Rakuten made its CSR initiatives “environment” and “local communities” global by launching the "Rakuten Green Tour" in the USA in summer 2015, and in Asia in 2016. Rakuten is passionate about sports and hopes that combining environmental protection efforts with sports events will have a profound impact on a great number of people.

PROJECTS

Rakuten and AVP across the country

Rakuten Green Tour was launched in summer 2015, thanks to the united efforts of Rakuten, Rakuten Card and the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), the premiere professional beach volleyball tour in the USA.

Green activities with local NPOs

Social responsibility activities were conducted in four cities of the 2015 AVP Tour - New York , Chicago, Cincinnati and Huntington Beach - addressing environmental issues specific to those areas, hand in hand with non-profit organizations and professional athletes.

Hudson River Park clean-up

For the first three stops of Rakuten Green Tour in the US, dozens of volunteers - staff, athletes, sports fans - gathered for half a day to realize city embellishments. In New York City, they worked alongside park horticulturalists to eliminate weeds and plant a tree in Hudson River Park.

City embellishments in Chicago and Cincinnati

In Chicago, a compost bin system was built to be used in Kilbourn Park Organic Green House where the importance of organic products is taught to local communities. In Cincinnati, volunteers did urban gardening, pulling out weeds and adding fertilizer to the soil near two stadiums that receive the visits of many sports fans.

23kg of trash off the beach

Even if beaches represent one of California’s most prized features, some of them regularly face serious pollution issues and are actually listed among USA’s most polluted beaches. In collaboration with Orange County Coastkeeper, over 70 volunteers were gathered to collect 23kg of trash from the sand near the 2015 AVP Tour venue.

Rakuten Card to support Hunting Beach greenification

In order to give back to the community which hosted the final game of the Rakuten Card Cup, Rakuten Card made a donation to The Huntington Beach Tree Society. The money collected by the association is used not only to improve and maintain the 77 parks of the city but also to support actions of volunteers.

The Nature "Protecting our forests and water" with The Nature Conservancy

Finally, Rakuten made a donation to The Nature Conservancy to help with the acquisition of 10,000 acres of land in Northern Sierra Nevada, California. The waters of this area, referred to as the American River Headwaters, flow into the Sacramento River, providing drinking water to more than 4.3 million Californians.

Reducing water supply shortage and fire risks

In recent years, a poor forest management due to reduced economic activities in this region, has resulted in a canopy too dense for forests to correctly play their role in the water cycle. It has put the Sierra Nevada at significant risk of megafires.
In properly managed forests, trees are widely spaced enough to, on the one hand grow thick with a bark that will resist fires and prevent the tree from dying, and on the other hand for the snow to hit the ground. It can thus accumulate during winter in the shade of the trees, providing more water during the year. The Nature Conservancy is using this critical land as a demonstration site to show that healthy forests have an impact on snow pack management and fire risk, and thus on water supply and wildlife habitat.

Green Tour launched in Asia

Rakuten Green Tour in Singapore started with an opening ceremony, in the presence of Misako ITO, Counsellor at the Embassy of Japan in Singapore and in charge of the SJ50 project, Mr. Robert GAMBADELLA, Chief of the Singapore Sports Institute, professional beach volleyball players, Rakuten employees and local communities.

Raptor conservation from Japan to Singapore

Before enjoying outdoor activities and realizing how beautiful the nature around them is, and how important it is to preserve it, the participants attended a presentation given by The Nature Society of Singapore about its raptor conservation program that echoes Rakuten’s Forest project in Japan.

Sports x Science

The participants then took advantage of the equipment provided by Singapore Sports Institute (SSI), in a room filled with various sensors to analyze with precision the movements of athletes. They got to interact and learn from the professional beach volleyball players, and see what differentiates them thanks to the data measured by the SSI.

Fun activities for the whole family

Rakuten Green Tour in Singapore program continued on the outdoor beach volleyball courts where Rakuten employees' families and the Sports Hub visitors enjoyed mini-games with the professional athletes and earned prizes.

Watersports introduction

Kayaks and dragon boat acitivities were also organized by the Water Sports Centre、the Singapore Dragon Boat Association and the Singapore Canoe Federation.
The day ended with an exhibition tournament between the beach volleyball players who spent the day with the participants of Rakuten Green Tour.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Activity place number

5cities

Participant number

519people

Volunteer work time

341work time

PROJECT TEAM

Rakuten Card

Rakuten Card was a co-organizer of Rakuten Green Tour in the USA in 2015. It notably sponsored the inaugural Rakuten Card Cup within the 2015 AVP Tour, consisting of a series of exhibition matches, and made a donation to The Huntington Beach Tree Society.

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is an American charitable environmental organization founded in 1951. It today gathers over one million members, including 600 scientists, and is considered as one the most trusted national organizations.

Orange County Coastkeeper

Orange County Coastkeeper was founded in 1999 as a non-profit organization to identify and remedy pollution issues affecting water quality in Orange County’s rivers, bays and coastal regions. Its mission is to protect and preserve the region’s marine habitats and watersheds through education, advocacy, restoration, research and enforcement.

Huntington Beach Tree Society

The Huntington Beach Tree Society was founded as a non-profit organization in 1998 to help protect and care for the urban forest. The urban forest is the aggregate of all community vegetation and green spaces that provide benefits vital to enriching the quality of life.

Give Back Cincinnati

Give Back Cincinnati is the largest non-profit organization in Cincinnati, with 2,400 active members and 15 years of service. It plans over two dozen of free volunteer opportunities annually, to give back to the local communities through various types of activity, such as school and community center makeovers or eco awareness raising campaigns.

Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse

Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse advances environmental stewardship in local communities by connecting people to nature, teaching sustainable gardening practices, and promoting fresh and healthy food to people of all ages through garden-based educational programs.

Friends of Hudson River Park

Founded in 1999, Friends of Hudson River Park is an independent NPO dedicated to the completion, care, and enhancement of the Hudson River Park, and is the designated fundraising partner of the Hudson River Park Trust. Friends creates opportunities for public contributions to and participation in the Park's operations and growth, to guarantee its future for generations of New Yorkers, Americans and visitors from around the world.

Nature Society (Singapore)

The Nature Society (Singapore) or NSS is a non-government, non-profit organisation dedicated to the appreciation, conservation, study and enjoyment of the natural heritage in Singapore, Malaysia and the surrounding region.

SJ 50

In January 2016, Rakuten Green Tour moved to Asia, starting with Singapore. 2016 is indeed a remarkable year for Singapore and Japan which celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.