SIL-MORE Group X Walk in Taiwan: A “Different” Beach Cleanup Operation

Protecting the Hsinchu Nanliao Fishing Harbor goes beyond just picking up garbage. It involves a profound understanding of the people, their stories, and the land along the coastline.

“Previous beach cleaning operations usually involved gathering, picking up trash, weighing it, and dispersing. But this time was different. A two-hour walking tour of Nanliao was arranged, urging us to put on headphones and follow along. The local tour guide used the perspectives and memories of the community to re-explore Nanliao’s present and past, transforming the beach cleanup into a sustainable action integrated into the local area. I strongly support it,” said Yang Tim, Chairman of SIL-MORE Group, reflecting on this distinctive corporate sustainability initiative.

Caption: Chairman Yang Tim of SIL-MORE Group participates in a walking tour of Nanliao.

“On February 17, Volunteer Day, professional teams from SIL-MORE Group, experts in high-tech electronic adhesives, traded their daily work attire for hats and gloves, converging on Nanliao, Hsinchu. Corporate volunteers joined them for a beach cleanup day.

They are no strangers to beach cleanup operations. SIL-MORE Group Group, primarily involved in the distribution of electronic adhesive materials,

has consistently shown concern for sustainability issues related to adhesive materials and plastics. The group’s volunteer club, established since 2016, has organized numerous beach and river cleaning activities. Collaborating with the Tucheng Community Development Association to preserve the century-old Anzhen and partnering with Gan Le Cultural Creation for cleaning the Three Gorges River, as well as working with the Zeppelin Foundation for “Do Something for Tamsui River,” they have actively contributed to Taiwan’s environmental conservation. The ESG Committee plans two beach cleanups annually, emphasizing the real implementation of the company’s sustainability concept through actions rather than mere rhetoric. The primary goal of beach cleanup extends beyond the weight of collected garbage, emphasizing environmental education to convey the importance of protection and the interconnectedness of local stories and landscapes.

Caption: Before cleaning the beach, plan a two-hour walking tour of Nanliao. The company and colleagues can communicate the action goals and build a team spirit to solve problems together.

The surprising revelation during the walking tour captured everyone’s attention. Beyond the narrow iron door lay a towering wooden ship model! While Nanliao is renowned for its fishing port, the sight of the colossal Fifth Generation Shipyard surprised many. Here, participants not only learned about Nanliao’s shipbuilding history but also engaged in the basic skills of old shipbuilders – driving nails. Though seemingly simple, wielding a heavy hammer requires skill, providing an authentic Nanliao experience.

Caption: Before cleaning the beach, plan a two-hour walking tour of Nanliao. The company and colleagues can communicate the action goals and build a team spirit to solve problems together.

As the precursor to Zhuqian Port, Nanliao has grappled with challenges like fishing port siltation, dwindling catches, population migration, environmental degradation, smuggling, and tourism transformation over the centuries. A thorough tour unveils the century-old history vividly remembered along the coastline. Sister Qin from the Fengdong Bamboo Tomb Cultural Association in Hsinchu City, who collaborated with Island Walk to guide SIL-MORE Group through Nanliao, shared, “Nanliao holds two hidden gems, not the well-known Wave Light Market or the internet-favorite fish scale ladder, but a shipyard and an ice factory. They represent Nanliao’s fishing village, preserving its past scenery and cultural memory. However, these sites are not open to the public, accessible only to VIP groups walking the island.”

Caption: The ice-making factory, operational for over 50 years beside the fishing port, served as refrigeration equipment for fishing boats in the past.

For Sister Qin, Nanliao is her decades-long home, a place encompassing not only internet-famous spots but also countless stories of people, their connections, and the land. Thus, she shared local memories and tales throughout the journey, such as Nanliao Street’s bustling grocery stores, the eel economic miracle earning her grandparents 110,000 a day, and childhood explorations of deserted fishing gear warehouses with torches. In the planned island walk itinerary, local guides not only navigated Nanliao Fishing Port but also collaborated with the seafood restaurant renovated by the Fifth Generation Shipyard, offering seasonal local aquatic products. This not only preserves cultural memories but also supports the sustainable operation of local industries. Sister Qin emphasized, “Nanliao’s essence lies in the history and past of the fishing village. Even with ongoing tourism development, we must not forget it.”

Caption: Chairman Yang Tim and company colleagues learned about the rise and fall of Nanliao.

The so-called Operation Beach Cleanup is more than just a one-time event. It is a rolling, sustainable cycle promoting co-prosperity and coexistence!

Despite the sea breeze and low temperatures in February, the SIL-MORE Group’s beach cleaning effort exceeded 600 kilograms. Perhaps the pre-cleanup walking tour created an emotional connection with the locals, inspiring everyone to learn more and actively contribute to this land.

Participant Kang Greg, “The walking tour before the beach cleanup allowed me to deeply understand Nanliao’s historical context, fostering a sense of identity and a desire to protect the land. Additionally, this beach cleanup revealed a deeper understanding of sustainability. It goes beyond environmental sustainability, passing on local memories through walking tours and achieving cultural sustainability. Finally, we dined at the Fifth Generation Shipyard’s restaurant, supporting local creativity through consumption. I believe this can achieve economic sustainability, allowing the preservation of cultural assets to continue. In summary, today is not just about cleaning the beach and picking up garbage. There is greater inspiration for sustainability.”

Caption: A different beach cleanup brings people closer to the land.

Associate Director Lai Jean remarked, “Beach cleanup serves as an internal communication method for environmental education, promoting our commitment to sustainability. It impacts employees, their families, friends, and subsequently, society. Sustainability is not a single-point approach; it involves connecting efforts at different levels for long-term influence.” Reflecting on the entire trip, Chairman Yang Tim acknowledged the depth of the island walk initiative and expressed a desire to explore more urban and rural areas in Taiwan through future sustainable actions, launching diverse sustainability initiatives. It seems the SIL-MORE Group’s journey towards co-prosperity and coexistence through sustainability is far from complete.

Caption: SIL-MORE Group’s beach cleaning operation to protect the Nanliao coastline not only exceeded 600 kilograms but also provided colleagues with a deeper understanding of the relationships between people and between people and land.

Written by: Walk in Taiwan

Translation: ChatGPT

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