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Feature Image by: © Jasmine Carey. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV at a Rainforest Rescue Tree Planting Day.

From restoration to abundance: Transforming our natural environment with Rainforest Rescue

21st December 2022

In the age of rampant deforestation, our partner Rainforest Rescue is inspiring Aussie individuals and businesses to turn a new leaf and make saving and planting rainforests a part of their lives.

Rainforests are considered our planet’s lungs. To date, there’s no technology that can absorb CO2 from our atmosphere more effectively than our rainforests.

Yet deforestation remains one of the biggest threats to our environment, at a time when Australia is still recovering from the devastating natural disasters that wiped out so much of our nature and wildlife.

That’s why it’s so important to us, at Canon Australia and Canon Business Services ANZ (CBS ANZ), to partner with organisations like Rainforest Rescue in their mission to help Australia become a carbon-neutral, nature-positive nation.

For Canon, it’s a privilege being a Silver Partner of Rainforest Rescue, a not-for-profit based in Queensland that’s been saving, planting, and protecting rainforests since 1999.

Taken on a Canon EOS -1Ds Mark III by Darren Jew, Canon Master. 

Capturing progress in action

Our partnership with Rainforest Rescue has grown since Converga joined the Canon Group in 2017. Our relationship only got stronger as the not-for-profit received a Canon Oceania Grant in 2018, subsequently elevating our position from Bronze Partner to Silver Partner in 2021.

Over the course of our partnership, Rainforest Rescue has made great strides in nature conservation. From tree growth to new wildlife, the incredible results of the organisation’s hard work have been captured by its photography ambassadors, including Darren Jew, a Canon Master and six-time winner of the Australian Professional Nature Photographer of the Year award.

One of the reasons Rainforest Rescue applied for a Canon Oceania Grant, which included Canon equipment, was to be able to track and document the progress of its reforestation efforts through leading camera technology.

In Rainforest Rescue’s latest impact update (December 2022), the not-for-profit shared the exciting news of there being regular sightings of cassowaries at the NightWings rainforest in Mossman, Queensland — an initiative it launched in 2016 to create a healthy and biodiverse food chain for wildlife.

With the help of financial contributions from organisations, including Canon, 150 species of trees were planted in NightWings, most of which were fruiting trees that attract birds and bats.

Birds like cassowaries, which are native to Northern Australia and Southeast Asia, were rarely spotted in the rainforest before the organisation got involved.

Other species of birds have also been detected at the 15-hectare site, including channel-billed cuckoos, double-eyed fig parrots, and even a nest of Latham's snipes.

In addition, a wide array of insect life has been discovered at NightWings, from carnivorous grasshoppers to beautiful Ulysses butterflies.

The trees that were planted — the biggest of which are now five metres tall — will help with restoration by dispersing seeds to adjoining rainforests. The ability to document progress is one of the long-term impacts of receiving a Canon Oceania Grant.

The success of the NightWings project demonstrates how restoration can deliver strong conservation outcomes. Canon is excited to contribute to these outcomes.

Taken on a Canon EOS 1DX Mark II by Darren Jew, Canon Master. 

When trees grow, so does hope

Canon has a policy that recognises biodiversity as fundamental to creating a sustainable society and that actively promotes activities (such as Rainforest Rescue’s initiatives) contributing to biodiversity conservation.

However, restoring complex and dynamic biodiverse ecosystems is not something anyone can do alone. It needs to be a collaborative effort between communities, businesses, social enterprises, government, investors, and not-for-profits.

At Canon, we bring our collaborative spirit to everything we do, including supporting social and environmental change-makers. It’s reflected in our corporate philosophy, kyosei, which underscores our commitment to working together for the common good.

As part of our ongoing support for Rainforest Rescue’s reforestation efforts, we gift every employee based in Australia a seedling on their first work anniversary, which is planted in our Canon forest in the Daintree National Park.

Likewise, on National Tree Day, employees have the choice to plant a native tree in their own backyard or in the Canon forest.

Thus far, we’ve planted more than 5,100 trees, a number we are committed to growing.

Canon Australia is honoured to have the opportunity to get behind an organisation whose impact has been so significant. Rainforest Rescue was even recognised by the Queensland state government, with Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith, officially acknowledging its achievements in rainforest preservation and climate change mitigation. 

Taken on a Canon EOS R3 by Darren Jew, Canon Master. 

Reducing our environmental impact at all stages of the lifecycle

Supporting reforestation is a part of Canon Oceania’s broader environmental commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our activities and services. By supporting Rainforest Rescue’s projects, we are helping mitigate the effects of climate change, as well as protecting and enhancing our natural environment and supporting Australia’s biodiversity targets.

We appreciate that we have a responsibility to reduce our direct environmental impacts, as well as the impacts of our supply chain. We do this through activities like acquiring the CarbonZero certification in New Zealand.

Under this program, we have converted 80% of Canon New Zealand’s fleet to hybrid vehicles. By recycling our end-of-life products — such as such as printers, cartridges, copiers, and batteries in Australia — we prevented 2,900 tonnes of CO2 from entering our atmosphere in 2021 (the equivalent of planting 43,800 trees), while significantly saving water and reducing air pollution.

Learn more about Canon’s sustainability journey in our Moving Together, Going Further: Canon Oceania Sustainability Report 2022.

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