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Conservation of Biodiversity

The importance of taking action for the conservation of biodiversity

Recently, recognition of the importance of the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use has increased around the world. In 2010, the Aichi Targets were adopted as global goals at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in Japan. In 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were announced, which included goals related to biodiversity. In 2019, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)*1 released its global assessment results. This report highlighted the adverse effects of human activities on ecosystems, stating that "around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction" and "nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history." For companies, efforts to conserve biodiversity are becoming an integral part of the promotion of sustainable management.

We of Toshiba Group are assessing the environmental impacts, including those on biodiversity, of our environmental measures. We implement these measures in relation to manufacturing, products and services, and they include global warming prevention, effective resource use, and chemical substance management. We set activity goals to reduce environmental impacts based on the assessment results. We are also contributing to creating a society that coexists with nature through biodiversity conservation activities that directly act on nature. Recovery and improvement of biodiversity and ecosystems take years. We will analyze risks and opportunities that may result from our biodiversity-related actions and continue to engage in long-term biodiversity conservation activities.


IPBES is an intergovernmental platform covering biodiversity and ecosystem services and is also known as the biodiversity version of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The pillars of its work are Assessments, Capacity Building, Knowledge Generation, and Policy Support. It works with specialists from various fields of study to assess the relationship between humans and nature, generate new knowledge, develop capabilities, and reflect such assessment results, knowledge, and capabilities in policy making. In May 2019, IPBES released a Summary for Policymakers (SPM) in the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

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Contributions to the achievement of 10 Aichi Targets

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 was adopted at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in Nagoya City in 2010. The plan sets a medium- to long-term vision for achieving "a society in harmony with nature" by 2050 and aims to achieve the mission and specific action goals, the Aichi Targets, by 2020. The Aichi Targets consist of 5 strategic goals and 20 individual targets.

Toshiba Group considers biodiversity conservation activities an important element of environmental management and manages them as one of the areas of the Sixth Environmental Action Plan. We have set a goal for 2020 to contribute to the achievement of 10 of the 20 individual Aichi Targets that are closely connected to our business activities (Targets 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, and 19). With the aim of contributing to the achievement of these 10 targets, we are promoting biodiversity conservation activities that are appropriate for the regional characteristics of each of 63 sites worldwide (39 in Japan, 24 overseas).

The Sixth Environmental Action Plan (FY2017–2020) – Biodiversity conservation activities –

Category of Aichi Targets Aichi Targets Toshiba Group's Activity Targets
Theme Description
Strategic Goal A Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity Target 1 Raising awareness Environmental education, information disclosure, and collaboration with outside organizations
Target 2 Incorporating targets into strategies and plans Incorporation of targets into environmental policies, Environmental Action Plans, and ISO 14001 goals and targets
Target 4 Sustainable production Mitigation of climate change and efficient use of resources
Strategic Goal B Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use Target 5 Reducing habitat loss Building ecosystem networks that connect natural habitats with Toshiba Group sites, planting trees
Target 8 Reducing chemical pollution Management of chemicals
Target 9 Eliminating alien species Elimination of alien species at company sites
Strategic Goal C Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity Target 11 Conserving protected areas Activities that contribute to preserving protected areas outside Toshiba Group sites
Target 12 Conserving endangered species Protecting rare plant and animal species, ex-situ conservation
Strategic Goal D Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services Target 14 Maintaining and managing ecosystem services Maintenance and improvement of cultural services
Strategic Goal E Boost implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building Target 19 Improving and spreading knowledge and technology Accumulating and disclosing ecosystem survey data (including habitat maps) and creating biodiversity conservation technologies

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Biodiversity conservation activities at 63 sites worldwide

In FY2019, activities to achieve the 10 Aichi Targets were implemented at an average of 71% of sites. Implementation rates were high for Targets 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 11, and 12 but low for Targets 9, 14, and 19.

For targets with low activity implementation rates, we will examine the causes and consider strategies to achieve higher rates to prepare for the final year of the Aichi Targets.

FY2019 activity implementation rate by target (all 63 sites)*2


*2 The percentage (%) of the number of sites that achieved each target (10 targets × 63 sites)

  Implementation results by target
Target 1 We promoted stakeholder education, nature watching events, workshops, and information dissemination.
Target 2 We created and implemented biodiversity conservation plans in line with ISO14001: 2015.*3
Target 4 We promoted reduction of GHG emissions and effective use of resources through our regular business activities.
Target 5 We promoted tree planting and continuation of the "creation of an ecosystem network" proposed in the Fifth Environmental Action Plan (2012–2016).
Target 8 We primarily focused on promotion of chemical substance management in business activities as well as environmentally conscious products and services.
Target 9 We launched efforts to remove alien species at Toshiba Group sites, but we made poor progress overall because there were many legal restrictions and cases that required specialized knowledge.
Target 11 We promoted activities to conserve biodiversity not only at Toshiba Group sites but also in protected areas outside Toshiba Group sites.
Target 12 We continued to promote "protection of rare species" as proposed in the Fifth Environmental Action Plan (2012–2016).
Target 14 We participated in activities such as tree planting designed to conserve underground water, but we made little progress overall because these activities often grew large in scale involving the government and local communities.
Target 19 We failed to translate our intention to conduct detailed ecosystem surveys, disclose survey results, and develop technologies to conserve biodiversity into Toshiba Group activity goals, so we made little progress.
The 2015 version added "sustainable resource use," "climate change mitigation and adaptation," and "protection of biodiversity and ecosystems" to the scope of environmental conservation activities.

Toshiba Group's activities introduced in biodiversity journals

Toshiba Group's biodiversity conservation activities were introduced in the casebook on private sector engagement in biodiversity published by the Ministry of the Environment (May 2020) and KNCF NEWS Vol. 85 published by the Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation (August 2020).

[Image] Casebook on private sector engagement in biodiversity published by the Ministry of the Environment (page introducing Toshiba)
Casebook on private sector engagement in biodiversity published by the Ministry of the Environment (in Japanese)
(page introducing Toshiba)

KNCF NEWS Vol. 85 published by Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation (page introducing Toshiba)
KNCF NEWS Vol. 85 published by Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation
(page introducing Toshiba)

Toshiba Group Biodiversity Conservation Activity Database

We aggregate activities implemented at individual sites in a database, which we make available to the public on our website. The database also shows the correspondence between our activities and the Aichi Targets.

[Image] Toshiba Group Biodiversity Conservation Activity Database

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[Case 1]Protection of rare plant and animal species within the premise
(Aichi Target 12)

Kakegawa Engineering Center, Toshiba Carrier Corporation

[Image] A sunshade for black-spotted pond frogs
A sunshade for black-spotted pond frogs

The company chose black-spotted pond frogs and hyacinth orchids, which are both rare species, as protection targets and continues to study their habitats. For black-spotted pond frogs, the company has put up a sunshade in a marsh on the company premises to maintain an egg-laying and habitation area for them. The company also makes the most of the greenery area on its premises to invite nearby elementary schoolchildren to nature watching events. In addition, it donates beetle larvae from the site to kindergartens in the surrounding area. In this way, the company works to achieve a nature-rich environment and contribute to the local community.

[Case 2]Tree planting in cooperation with a water utility company and a government agency
(Aichi Target 14)

P.T. TEC Indonesia

[Image] Green & water restoration activities through tree planting
Green & water restoration activities through tree planting

In Batam, Indonesia, where forest destruction in water reservoir areas has continued over the last several years and concerns about a significant impact on water resources have arisen, the water utility company that manages the area called out to BP Batam, an organization under the control of the Batam Central Government, to jointly participate in the green restoration activities at Sei Harapan Reservoir, where the damage is the most serious. In support of this activity, P.T. TEC Indonesia is participating in the tree planting activities in order to contribute to the green restoration and maintenance as part of its CSR activities.

[Case 3]Community-based activities at semiconductor manufacturing sites across the country
(Aichi Target 1 & 12)

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation

[Image] Biodiversity Action Award 2019 ceremony
"Biodiversity Action Award 2019" ceremony

At the company's eight main manufacturing sites, environmental staff members work together with various stakeholders including experts, NPOs, NGOs, local residents, public administration, and employees to promote ongoing community-based biodiversity conservation activities. These sites share the content of their specific activities with one another in order to refine their own activities, which sparks a sense of unity within the Group and leads to heightened environmental awareness. The outcomes of these activities have been well received, and were awarded the "Biodiversity Action Award 2019" and the "Japan Nature Conservation Award 2020."

[Case 4]Creation of ecosystem networks with outside biotopes
(Aichi Target 5)

Nishinihon Kaden Recycle Corporation

[Image] A pansy biotope
A pansy biotope

Four kilometers west of the company is Japan's largest biotope, the "Hibikinada Biotope." The company plants pansies in its biotope with the hope that birds and butterflies would use the biotope as a stopping point. As a result, many butterflies fly to this biotope every year. The company also takes part in the tree planting project hosted by the Kitakyushu City government. The company grows stocks of laurel trees (oaks) from locally originated acorns and plants one part of them within their premise, and another part within public areas.

Each case is categorized under the Aichi Target number most relevant to the described activity. However, each activity may also relate to other targets as well.

Professor Ryo Kohsaka
Environmental Policies, Department of Social and Human Environment,
Graduate School of Environmental Studies
Nagoya University

[Image] Ryo KosakaThe year 2020 is the target year for the Aichi Targets agreed upon in 2010 whose objectives are the conservation of biodiversity and its sustainable use. In a sense, it is the year when governments and regions are given a report card on their performance and in which initiatives of business operators are naturally important elements. Unfortunately, as also seen in the IPBES report mentioned at the beginning of Toshiba`s report, situations are actually taking a turn for the worse in many aspects, rather than for the better, in a gradually accelerating speed.

In this sense, this report, though taken from the standpoint of initiatives of one business operator, is internationally important in terms of its disclosure timing indicating the progress of the mainstreaming of biodiversity within the private sectors.

This report has an easy to read format showing the progress of initiatives and case studies inside and outside Japan with respect to the ten goals of Aichi Targets. Especially, Toshiba's joint effort with Dai Nippon Printing Group to protect rare life, conduct biological research, and hold nature watching events is worthy of note in the sense that it exceeds the boundaries of companies and affiliates. I hope the company will make further efforts to enact multi-layered collaboration in conservation activities inside and outside Japan with the government administration and society as a whole.

Traditionally, Toshiba characteristically takes a bottom-up approach in its initiatives by giving each site as well as its head office the freedom to think about what conservation and initiatives they can implement on their own. I can see from the report that this approach is spreading throughout the company's overseas sites. I welcome this trend since developing activities for conservation of the environment and its sustainable use overseas including that of biodiversity, within the framework of Aichi Targets and sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are linked to the targets, is urgently needed today due to the rapid development of overseas businesses.

This report clarifies risks and opportunities as Toshiba`s overall activity format. While many companies have hard time making decisions when it comes to biodiversity, the report well organizes the risks and opportunites into the categories of supply chain, reputational risk, motivation and so on. I hope the company will make even further efforts to set out numerical targets regarding the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and make contributions as a member of the community and society through its business activities as a company that has direct contact with consumers and investors.

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Promotion of collaboration with industry groups and other companies

Toshiba Group works with electrical and electronics industry groups and other companies to expand awareness-raising activities and information disclosure regarding conservation of biodiversity.

Toshiba as a member of the biodiversity working group hosted by the Four Electrical and Electronic Industry Associations

To raise awareness of and to promote biodiversity conservation activities in the industry, we work with other member companies to roll out measures to make biodiversity conservation a mainstream activity, and we continue to do research and hold discussions on international biodiversity issues, including the SDGs, marine plastic issues, and international goals after the Aichi Targets (Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework). In 2018, we published Let's Try Biodiversity, a booklet introducing case examples of biodiversity conservation efforts; the target readers are companies that intend to launch conservation activities. We then published an English version of the booklet as well as additional booklets focusing on marine plastic issues and sustainable use of paper. As the final year of the Aichi Targets is approaching, the Four Electrical and Electronic Industry Associations will review their activities and consider activity themes for FY2021 and onward.

[Image] Let's Try Biodiversity—A first comprehensive guidance for business sectors to start biodiversity conservation activities
Let's Try Biodiversity—A first comprehensive guidance for business sectors to start biodiversity conservation activities

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Collaboration with Dai Nippon Printing Group

Toshiba Group and Dai Nippon Printing Group have been promoting biodiversity conservation activities by using 15 sites of both groups in 6 regions in Japan. While building ecosystem networks that connect the sites of the two companies, protecting rare animal and plant species, conducting joint biological research, holding joint nature observation meetings, and carrying out joint voluntary cleaning activities, we are also aiming to increase employee awareness at both companies.

Collaboration (1) Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture
Japan Semiconductor Corporation Headquarters & Iwate Operations / Kitakami Plant, D.T.Fine Electronics Co., Ltd.
Collaboration (2) Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture
Toshiba Corporation Komukai Complex / Kawasaki Plant, D.T.Fine Electronics Co., Ltd.

[Image] Cutting away underbrush in the flower bed for rare species (Collaboration 1)
Cutting away underbrush in the flower bed for rare species
(Collaboration 1)

[Image] Biological research at Daishigawara tideland (Collaboration 2)
Biological research at Daishigawara tideland
(Collaboration 2)

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Toshiba Group Biodiversity Guidelines

Toshiba Group formulated the Biodiversity Guidelines in September 2009. The Group will strive to make its initiatives for making the preserving of biodiversity visible to all by analyzing its business activities and diverse environmental issues, including biodiversity, in comprehensive, quantitative terms and thus reduce environmental impacts and utilize ecosystem services in a sustainable manner.

Toshiba Group Biodiversity Guidelines

Basic policy

In order to conserve biodiversity and promote the sustainable use of biological resources that constitute biodiversity, Toshiba Group will implement the following measures:

  • Analysis of the impact of our business activities on biodiversity
  • Reduction of the impact on biodiversity and the sustainable use of resources through our business operations
  • Development of an organizational framework to promote these measures

Specific actions

  1. We will take appropriate measures to protect ecosystems when building factories or relocating facilities.
  2. We will collaborate with local public agencies and private organizations.
  3. We will continue our commitment to corporate citizenship activities as members of a sustainable society.
  4. We will assess the impact and effects of environmental measures on various aspects of the environment, including biodiversity.
  5. We will promote initiatives for the conservation of biodiversity in supply chains, including the mining of resources.
  6. We will assess the impact of substance emissions and the consumption of resources required for our business activities.
  7. We will study the structures and systems of nature and make technological contributions to society in accordance with the characteristics of our businesses.

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