The General Motors (GM) Boryeong Transmission plant in Boryeong, South Korea is a relatively new program that began with a corporate initiative to implement conservation programs at GM’s international manufacturing facilities. Over time, it has transformed into a well-rounded conservation and education program that is cherished by its employees.
The program has been well-received by the participating schools, the community and the local media.
The program’s main focus is a pollinator garden project that incorporates education initiatives for students at two local schools; the goal is to increase awareness and interest in wildlife and environmental concerns within the local community. The program is designed to be sustainable by allowing students to participate across multiple grade levels. Botany is a part of junior and senior students’ formal curriculum at nearby Ju-san High School, making their involvement in the pollinator gardens a perfect fit into their education. All of the students at BR Jeong-sim School, a school for disabled students in the community, also participate by planting and monitoring in the pollinator garden, with the assistance of employees. Jungjae Yu, an environmental engineer who leads the Boryeong team, has expressed the importance of this partnership, as it provides the students with the benefits of socialization as well as pollinator education, while also furthering GM’s commitment to the environment and the communities they work in.
Local schools’ participation in the conservation program is significant for this region, as it is not part of the culture in the Republic of Korea to bring community members to corporate facilities like GM’s Boryeong Transmission plant. Fortunately, this practice has been well-received by the community and the local media, and the schools have committed to continuing this partnership.
For Boryeong, the most challenging hurdle to success has been the language barrier, but it is a barrier the team has worked hard to overcome. With the help of the regional Environment & Compliance team the materials provided by WHC were translated from English to Korean to allow the whole team to understand and use them. All of the training and documentation of program activities is conducted in Korean, which was then translated into English for the WHC Conservation Certification application.
The program’s success would not have been possible without the support provided to the team by regional and corporate-level leadership at GM. This leadership first acquainted plant managers with the concept of a conservation program, and has ensured success by provided training and other support for the plant’s employees as the program has developed.
The Boryeong plant’s conservation program has made admirable contributions to both conservation and education in the Boryeong community. As conveyed by Mr. Yu, participation in the site’s conservation program has helped GM employees to change their personal mindset about environmental issues, and it is a program that employees take great pride in.
|Tags:||Education & Awareness, formal learning, landscaping, pollinators|
|Site Location:||Boryeong, Chungnam, South Korea|
|Partners:||BR Jeong-sim School, Ju-san High School|
|WHC Index Link:||View Project|