Sweet Flight for the Creation of a Green Urban Forest~! Extracting Honey with CJ Korea Express
Fine dust is threatening our daily life! More than ever, we wish for a blue sky, a livable city and fresh air. Rather than captives of fate, if we are to act on our wants, we must work to make the surrounding environment green. After all, nature has its own air purifiers: the trees and forests, grassy land and flowers which insulate us from harm. But, did you know that the key to making the urban fabric green is none other than the humble honeybee?
Do honeybees really live on the rooftop of our company building?!
▲ "Areumnuri Ecological Park," the rooftop garden on Gunpo Integrated Freight Terminal of CJ Korea Express
Welcome to Gunpo Integrated Freight Terminal of CJ Korea Express! Just beyond the complex terminal where huge trailers are constantly going in and out, you can find a "green land". The rooftop garden is named "Areumnuri Ecological Park" and set against a backdrop of a busy expressway and transmission tower, with an array of trucks.
This ecological park built in 2008 has sixty kinds of flowers, trees and grass, creating an island of nature in the city. Its ecological pond is now home to swamp creatures such as narrow-mouthed toads and lightning bugs.
▲ Thick grass, flowers and trees are city's natural "air purifiers"!
Areumnuri Ecological Park welcomed a new member into the fold in 2015. It was the humble honey bee. As many as 150,000 bees now live out of seven beehives and fly freely around the park collecting and mixing pollen.
It's very interesting to see an ecological park full of green nature on the rooftop of a building. Not only that, but there are beehives and beekeeping equipment in it! What is happening there?
A Sense of Responsibility for Environment Leads to Formation of Nature in the City
▲ For the creation of shared value!
Why did CJ Korea Express start bee farming? That was driven by CJ Korea Express's unstinting commitment to "creating shared value." CJ Korea Express, which has engaged in logistics projects around the world, is working hard for "CSV (Creating Shared Value)" out of a sense of responsibility for environment.
▲ Scene of the "Wow Forest!" project with children
Building a forest for carbon reduction is part of the CSV activity. It includes an "Energy Forest" project which is creating a forest on abandoned roads in collaboration with Korea Expressway Corporation, and a "Wow Forest!" project which gives children of local child center the opportunity to experience being in a forest and learning about the importance of the environment. These projects show how seriously CJ Korea Express takes forest conservation.
In 2015, CJ Korea Express began to focus on creating a "forest downtown." As environmental pollution and fine dust are increasingly threatening our daily life, all staff and executives of CJ Korea Express agreed that making the city green would be the best way to protect the environment. One of the most effective ways to create a forest downtown was "bee farming."
▲ Staff and executives of CJ Korea Express and the CEO of Urban Bees Seoul (center) who started to engage in urban beekeeping
Urban beekeeping is a virtuous cycle where the honey harvested from beekeeping downtown, rather than in the countryside, is sold to support the forest downtown, with the profits buying more bees for the new urban forest, whose honey is, again, harvested and sold.
This project benefits the city residential environment and reduces levels of greenhouse gases. According to a recent study, moreover, urban beekeeping leads to a 20% increase in flowers and trees around the city, suggesting that bees play
a vital role in bringing nature to the city.
Urban Beekeeping Making City Green, CJ Korea Express Starts It
▲ Urban beekeeping at Gunpo's Areumnuri Ecological Park
CJ Korea Express, which aims to help make our city green, built a partnership with "Urban Bees Seoul," the social enterprise which undertakes and promotes urban beekeeping, and Seoul Green Trust, the forestry-related non-profit organization (NPO). As the first step on the path towards the urban forestation project, the three organizations started placing seven beehives in Gunpo Areumnuri Ecological Park in the summer of 2015.
Following this, the parcel terminal located in Gasan-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul, was also selected as a location for five beehives to be on its rooftop from this year. Amazingly, bees can fly even to the nearby Anyangcheon Stream to collect pollen, even though it can seem to outside observer that there are only buildings around them.
▲ Lee Seon-hwa in charge of CSV of CJ Korea Express (Left) and Park Jin, the CEO of Urban Bees Seoul (right)
Why are bees on the rooftop of our company?
What if those bees bother us as we rest on the rooftop ecological park?
Staff and executives of CJ Korea Express asked questions about the urban beekeeping CVS activity. When finding beehives on the rooftop, they wondered how bees could flourish in the middle of a downtown area.
"Bees can fly a long distance to collect honey, so it's not that a city has no way for them to make honey. There are always flowers and trees around us. All these things have the pollen the bees need.
In addition, bees are not a dangerous insect because they don't attack you first, unless they feel threatened by
vigorous movement or a large sound.
Following these words of CEO Park Jin of Urban Bees Seoul, manager Lee Seon-hwa of CSV management team under CJ Korea Express offered an additional explanation.
▲ Staff and executives of CJ Korea Express joining an event to extract honey in 2015
"The first event for extracting honey was held in Gunpo Areumnuri Ecological Park in winter last year. The 50kg of honey that was extracted in the name of our company was sold to executives. The honey seemed even more precious to us because we had extracted it ourselves. We experienced the benefits of bees by making beeswax candles and doing other various activities. All the profits, amounting to 10 million won, from the sale of honey named "CJ Korea Express Honey" were donated to Seoul Green Trust for
a project to create a forest downtown."
Some people might worry that urban honey might contain heavy metals or pollutants, but the honey of CJ Korea Express underwent through careful and thorough tests that demonstrated its high quality and safeness for consumption.
CJ Korea Express's Sweet Challenge, Cheer Us Up!
▲ The urban forest creation project together with CJ Korea Express, Urban Bees Seoul and Seoul Green Trust
The names of the various forests made by the profits from the sale of CJ Korea Express Honey include "Honeybee Forest," "Garden of Secrets," and "Carbon-offsetting City Forest Together With the Disabled." Starting with the Honeybee Forest whose name reminds us of the sweet taste of honey, many more forests are expected to be created. In addition, the urban beekeeping project conducted at the rooftop of CJ Korea Express will continue because it has contributed to the healthier ecology of our city.
"People usually say 'bees are very busy.'" But bees are able to balance work and play. They take enough rest, and then dedicate themselves to collecting honey when they work.
Experiencing the ecology of bees, I realized what I wanted more than anything. I wished the forests made by the profits from urban beekeeping could become places of rest and relaxation for urban citizens, a place for enjoying refreshment away from environment pollution, while feeling the wisdom of nature by watching the serene life of bees."
▲ CJ Korea Express's sweet challenge, cheer us up!
We hope the green urban forests created in sweet collaboration with CJ Korea Express, Urban Bees Seoul and Seoul Green Trust will make all our lives healthier.