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This summer brought new growth to Flex Chengdu, as an employee-led initiative transformed a stretch of dry, barren land into a beautiful, lush community garden bursting with organic vegetables.
The Flex factory in Chengdu, China sits in the heart of the Chinese interior, near the capital of Sichuan province. The Flex site provides high precision plastic tool, fixture and component manufacturing solutions for customers all over the world. The hundreds of employees working at the plant also wanted to create something new for the local community in the deserted lot next to the factory. Around the world, Flex has taken a pledge to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with a program called "Flex 20 by 2020." Supporting the environment, increasing the number of employee volunteer hours and number of sites with community activities are core goals for Flex 20 by 2020.
As Flex planned an unprecedented series of worldwide Earth Day activities for the spring of 2017, nearly 400 employees gathered outside the Chengdu facility to turn an empty field into a source of healthy organic vegetables that would nurture the environment and support the local community.
Fallow land prior to planting
Restored plot featuring the beautiful garden with full irrigation
Sichuan providence is the home to 80% of the world's giant pandas, and a great deal of bamboo, but there aren't many sources for fresh, healthy vegetables in the area. Flex employees saw the lack of organic vegetables as a challenge, and an opportunity to increase team cohesion, build unity, improve communication and encourage cooperation. Employees built out 500 m2 of raised beds, complete with irrigation, planting peanuts, tomatoes, eggplant, chilies, corn, cowpeas, pumpkins and more.
Tomatoes growing in the garden
When harvest time arrived, the freshly-picked vegetables were taken home by workers to supplement their home cooked meals, giving employees a chance to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.
Flex employees picking green beans
"This year, we expanded our Earth Day efforts. Our sites delivered many impressive results," said Kelly Hampton, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Global Citizenship. "Sustainability is a core value we share across Flex, and it's wonderful to see people taking initiative to reconnect with the environment and build camaraderie."
The plot will have fresh crops rotated in each season so that the garden is used throughout the year. The site's General Manager Chun Liu, noted that it is Flex's duty to protect the earth and provide a better environment for employees, his team plans to continue providing opportunities to support the environment. In the meantime, employees are already planning to enlarge the planting area next year.
Clearing the ground
Congratulations to the team at Flex Chengdu, for embracing the Flex values of intense collaboration, fast execution and a commitment to improving their workplace, and the environment. More information about the company's commitment to global citizenship can be found on the Flex sustainability pages.