Waste land transformed into 'AkzoNobel Green Garden'

At only 3 kilometers away from the Powder Coatings site in Ningbo all kinds of waste had been dumped on a piece of land of about 350 square meters.

The spoiled land consisted not only of weeds but also of construction materials, garbage, etc. Our colleagues from Powder Coatings decided to do something about it. In consultation with the mayor of the nearby village they proposed a total clean-up and the planting of trees to create an environmentally green area.

With support from the Community Program 2 trucks were rented and 160 trees and the necessary tools for cleaning and planting were purchased. In the meantime the ‘AkzoNobel tree planting team’ consisted of 80 people and on a Saturday they arrived at the polluted area. After a short instruction about the design of the garden, the volunteers were organized in teams of 2 persons each. In three hours the waste disappeared and the planting could begin. Besides the cleaning of the area, a digging, planting, watering and a logistics team were formed.

When the planting of each tree was finished, a red-ribbon was fastened on the tree with the name of the planters on it. The whole planting process also took about 3 hours. As Claire Guan, one of the volunteers said: ‘No one would say it was easy work, but everyone enjoyed the process of sweating, smiling, and was satisfied with the brand new picture. Completely unexpected was that more than 5 villagers came and join us. In the end, we put a stone named “AkzoNobel Green Garden” in front of the land. Guided by the “Blue sky, Green land” flag, we went back, 2 trucks carrying waste construction material and other waste followed, a land of green left behind.’

In March 2009 the AkzoNobel volunteers returned to ‘their’ garden to see if their planted trees had survived the winter. Although the villagers had taken good care of the garden, about one third of the planted trees had not survived, due to the (still) bad conditions of the land. The AkzoNobel crew set out early in the morning to weed the garden and plant new trees. The weather forecast predicted rain for the late afternoon, which meant that the conditions were very good for planting the trees. ‘It was a heavy but happy task’, said Madge Fu, one of the volunteers.

‘The weeding team, planting team, watering team as well as the logistics team cooperated very well and their joyful laughter overflowed the Green Garden. After 2 hours the appearance of our garden was totally changed and all participants were satisfied with their work. If more people join in this kind of activities, more spoiled land will become beautiful garden. If everyone joins in protecting the environment, the earth will have a new appearance.’