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Conservation of Biodiversity

Social issues
Risk of extinction of rare animal and plant species and degradation of ecosystem services
Risks and opportunities for Toshiba Group
Risks :
Unstable supply of resources, including water and minerals, and increased supply costs
Damage to reputation and brand image that results from the lack of effective programs
Opportunities :
Avoiding risks of unstable resource supply and increased supply costs
Increasing employees' motivation
Toshiba Group's policy
Contributing to 10 Aichi Targets, international goals to be achieved by 2020
Measures to take
Expanding the scope of environmental programs to include activities such as providing environmental education to employees, preserving protected areas and promoting collaboration with stakeholders, in addition to protecting rare animal and plant species inside business and production sites and building ecosystem networks

Toward realizing a society in harmony with nature

Toshiba Group is systematically implementing measures to fulfill three requirements for a sustainable society with a view to achieving a low-carbon, sound material-cycle society that strives to be in harmony with nature. In an effort to achieve a low-carbon, sound material-cycle society, we are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste generated by manufacturing processes. At the same time, we are also striving to reduce environmental impacts throughout product life cycles by providing energy- efficient products and by conserving resources when manufacturing products, as well as to develop low-carbon power generation technologies and renewable energy sources, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation.

Furthermore, to achieve a society in harmony with nature we aim to realize a world in which humans and all other living species can enjoy healthy lives and continue to benefit from nature's bounties. In addition to mitigating climate change and reducing chemical pollution, we are also conducting group-wide environmental activities based on a recognition of the importance of maintaining and expanding environments for conserving biodiversity.

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Fifth Environmental Action Plan Results

Under the Fifth Environmental Action Plan for the period from 2012 to 2016, Toshiba Group aimed to achieve the goal of developing biotopes at 62 major production and business sites worldwide.

In 2012, the Group set a goal of minimizing the adverse effects of its business activities on biodiversity and shifting its biodiversity policy toward initiatives for improvement to realize an ideal state of environmental management in 2016. These efforts aim to stop the decreases in the kinds of biodiversity that each site has decided to protect by 2016 and allow for such biodiversity to increase in subsequent years. Development of biotopes was promoted in three steps: biodiversity surveys, selection of metrics and development of measures, and measurement of effects. Biodiversity surveys consisted of investigations of living organisms and "red lists" in the environs of our sites, explorations of biodiversity by experts, and assessments of biodiversity potential at such sites and in neighboring areas. Based on this survey data, Toshiba Group selected living organisms to serve as metrics, took measures to protect them and increase their number, and made periodic measurements of effects, thereby verifying the appropriateness of the biotope development process. As a result of taking these three steps at 50% or more of our sites each year, we achieved the plan’s goals for all fiscal years. Out of a total of 62 sites, measures were taken to protect rare animal and plant species at 32 sites, and we made progress in building ecosystem networks at 42 sites. In terms of protection of rare species, Toshiba Group has been working to protect more than 100 species, including species of endangered plants (78%) and fish (38%). The major indicator species of ecosystem networks are butterflies (approx. 64%), birds (33%), and dragonflies (3%).

Incorporating these three steps into the medium-term plan enabled implementation of PDCA cycles by individual sites as well as by the Group as a whole.

Data on activities at individual sites is stored in a database for disclosure on our website. We will update the database as our environmental activities make progress.

Major rare species protected by Toshiba Group*

[Image] Major rare species protected by Toshiba Group

Definition of rarity: A species specified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a species listed in the Red Lists of various countries and regions, or a species so designated by experts

Fifth Environmental Action Plan: Plans and Results

Item FY2012
Percentage of sites surveyed 50%
- - -
Percentage of sites where indicators have been selected -
- -
Percentage of sites where effects have been measured - -

Toshiba Group Biodiversity Conservation Activity Database

[Image] Toshiba Group Biodiversity Conservation Activity Database

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Sixth Environmental Action Plan

Aichi targets were adopted at the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in Nagoya City in 2010. To take effective and urgent actions to minimize the loss of biodiversity to ensure by 2020 that ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services, Aichi Targets define 20 goals for the international community to achieve by 2020.

To better understand these goals, an in-house biodiversity working group examined the relationship between Toshiba Group's business activities and Aichi Targets. As a result, we discovered that our business activities relate to 10 of the 20 individual Aichi targets (targets, 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, and 19). With the aim of contributing to the achievement of these 10 targets, Toshiba Group is now promoting biodiversity conservation activities at 70 sites worldwide.

Goals for the Sixth Environmental Action Plan

Choosing 10 goals
from the 20 Aichi Targets
Toshiba Group's initiative (plan)
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
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
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
Target (14):
Maintaining and managing ecosystem services
Maintenance and improvement of cultural services
Target (19):
Improving and spreading knowledge and technology
Accumulating and disclosing ecosystem survey data (including habitat maps) and creating biodiversity conservation technologies

In addition to conducting ecosystem surveys, building ecosystem networks, and protecting rare animal and plant species, which we promoted under the Fifth Environmental Action Plan, we will play a more active part in promoting employee education, conserving protected areas, organizing nature observation meetings, and collaborating with stakeholders.

Moreover, Toshiba Group also participates in a biodiversity working group organized by the 4 Electrical and Electronic Industry Associations. Together with working members from other companies, we implement measures to improve electric and electronic companies' recognition of biodiversity and conduct research on international trends. Toshiba Group will continue to expand our educational activities inside and outside the group toward mainstreaming of biodiversity.

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Case Study 1: Protecting bird species


[Image] Protecting bird species

In an effort to protect bird species, we collaborate with a local NPO to establish a protection area on our factory premise. We adjust lawn-mowing schedules, and conduct surveys to count the number of birds that visit this area. Since such a measure was evaluated, we received the "Jury Prize" (the highest award) in the trophy of sustainable development held annually in Normandy.

Case Study 2: Employee education and raising of environmental awareness in local communities

Japan Semiconductor Corporation Headquarters & Iwate Operations Oita Operations

[Image] Employee education and raising of environmental awareness in local communities

At Iwate Operations, seven divisions inside the factory premises worked together to breed rare flower species, while at Oita Operations, employees bred Japanese freshwater snails, which firefly larvae feed on, by using wastewater treated inside the premises, and then released them in the nearby Kitabana River. For our environmental education for employees and contributions to raising environmental awareness in local communities, Toshiba Group was awarded an encouragement award in the Environmental Human Resource Building Corporate Award 2016 awards ceremony held by the Ministry of the Environment and the Environmental Consortium for Leadership Development.

Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University    Ryo Kosaka

[Image] Ryo KosakaThere is no doubt that a trend toward conserving biodiversity is emerging around the world. Many countries are currently striving to achieve the Aichi biodiversity targets adopted in Japan in 2010. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will mark a turning point for the Aichi targets for 2020 and 2050, when all parties, including Japan, will be evaluated for their progresses.

Biodiversity is also growing in importance in ISO Environmental Management. In the previous system, the issues related to the biodiversity was merely mentioned in appendixes. By contrast, under ISO14001, which was revised in 2015, biodiversity is mentioned as a requirement to be fulfilled on the same level as that of resources and climate change. Also, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include items related to biodiversity under the themes of terrestrial and marine ecosystems as well as of sustainable production and consumption.

Toshiba's initiatives have been highly evaluated for their bottom-up approach, which allows not only the head office but also individual factories and production sites to act on their own initiative to consider what animal and plant species must be protected and what programs must be implemented. The data presented in this report shows how initiatives are actively developed at many production sites to protect rare species, to develop biotopes, and to reduce the amount of chemicals discharged. At the same time, the data also reveals that efforts to protect against damage from invasive alien species are insufficient. The head office, individual factories and sites must periodically review what must be improved based on an overview of the activities carried out. Toshiba Group Environmental Report, which are issued periodically, provide an appropriate opportunity to reflect on Toshiba Group's environmental initiatives. Toshiba Group would be well advised to also consider setting goals for a specified period (e.g., for the next year, or for five years hence) in these reports. Toshiba Group is gathering and publishing data on the numbers of programs developed at factories around the globe within the framework of the Aichi targets. Therefore, to meet the requirements of the Aichi targets as benchmarks, the Group must clarify which targets it aims to achieve to what extent by when. In addition, environmental education must be evaluated not only in terms of whether or not it is provided to employees, but also in terms of how it enables employees to share their experiences and how it deepens their environmental knowledge.

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Biodiversity conservation through local collaboration

At Toshiba Group, we are promoting biodiversity conservation activities in collaboration with local stakeholders and governments. For example, Mr. Yuji Kishi, Professor Emeritus at the Keio University in Tokyo and representative of TR Net, a non-profit organization (NPO), advises us on our initiative targeting the Tsurumi River watershed. As for ex-situ conservation of daylilies at Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corp., we collaborate with Kanagawa Prefecture, which owns the Koajiro forest. Going forward, we will continue to promote biodiversity conservation activities in collaboration with local experts and interested parties

Tsurumi River Basin Networking (TR Net;NPO)

[Image] Survey of a production site conducted by Prof. Yuji Kishi, Representative (right)
Survey of a production site conducted by Prof. Emeritus Yuji Kishi, Representative (right)

[Image] Logo of TR Net (NPO)

(Japanese site)

An NPO represented by Professor Emeritus Yuji Kishi of the Keio University Faculty of Economics. TR Net has conducted a study on the ecosystem and implemented conservation projects at the Tsurumi River watershed for more than 20 years.

[Image] Tsurumi River Basin Networking (NPO) Representative Director Professor Emeritus of Keio University Mr. Yuji Kishi
Tsurumi River Basin
Networking (NPO)
Representative Director
Professor Emeritus of
Keio University
Mr. Yuji Kishi

In other words, mainstreaming biodiversity means that all individuals and organizations confirm the crisis of and hope for biodiversity in their daily lives and business activities, find ways of contributing to conservation and reconstruction, and implement these on a daily basis. The potentials of production sites are drastically being reconsidered today from this new perspective. For example, a review of production sites in the context of vast expanses of land (ecosystems) such as nearby river systems and their basins indicates that each site is a party to the crisis and represents hope for its ecosystem because it is an important part of the ecosystem and fulfills a role unique to the area where it is located. Also, it is a focus of great expectation and hope as a new place that provides a living environment to neighboring organisms that can fly, or as a candidate for ex-situ conservation for those which are endangered in the local ecosystem and cannot fly. Furthermore, nature reserves of corporate sites are characteristically managed strictly because they are placed under rigorous security management. If we just realize this, the logical conclusion is that corporate sites can be centers of hope for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity in the ecological spaces (including river systems and their valleys, hills, etc.) where they are located.

The biodiversity crisis will be overcome through diverse ways and means when individuals and organizations figure out, in all aspects of their daily lives and business activities, and recognize this as a challenge that they should solve and take action for on their own initiative in cooperation with their local communities. I sincerely hope that Toshiba, which has brilliantly realized this simple, clear, and powerful truth and started a local and global biotope strategy, will play an active role in mainstreaming biodiversity.

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Collaboration with Dai Nippon Printing Group

Working in collaboration at 12 company sites in 6 areas across Japan

Toshiba Group and Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) Group are working together to carry out biodiversity conservation activities by making use of each other's company premises at 12 sites in 6 areas across Japan. Joint projects include the following: protecting rare species; building ecosystem networks that connect the two corporate groups' business sites; joint biological species surveys; and joint nature observation sessions. In the project to protect rare species, we are striving to maintain local species populations by protecting and breeding rare animal and plant species on company premises. In addition, we are working to return animals and plants to their original habitats to help restore them to the wild.

To build ecosystem networks, we are working to develop biological corridors that connect company sites to local parks and rivers by growing the same species of grass that butterflies eat on the premises of the two corporate groups.

For this project, we selected company sites located in the same drainage basins or the same hilly areas. A drainage basin is an area where rainwater flows into a river. Like a community forest or hill, a drainage basin constitutes an ecosystem unit. When relocating animal and plant habitats between collaborating company sites, we take care to ensure that such habitats are located within the same drainage basin or hilly area.

Image of a biological corridor that connects local communities
[Image] Image of a biological corridor that connects local communities

Collaborating at 12 company sites in 6 areas
[Image] Collaborating at 12 company sites in 6 areas

Toshiba Lifestyle Products & Services Corporation was acquired by China's Midea Group in July 2016. Nevertheless, the company will continue to collaborate with Dai Nippon Printing Group Nagoya Plant.

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Case Study 1: Collaboration with Dai Nippon Printing Group: Joint hamakanzo daylily returning ceremony in Koajiro Forest

Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation Yokosuka Operations

[Image] Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation Yokosuka Operations

As the culmination of the hamakanzo daylily protection program launched jointly by Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation and DNP Technopack Co., Ltd. (Dai Nippon Printing Group company) in 2015, we held a Joint Daylily Returning Ceremony on June 4, 2017 to transplant the daylily stocks grown on the two companies’ premises to Koajiro Forest.

At Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation's Head Office and then Yokosuka Operations in 2012, we transplanted 28 stocks of hamakanzo daylily, which were on the verge of extinction in the Miura Peninsula's Koajiro Forest due to the serious damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and excessive picking. We then bred them on the company premise. In 2015, we transplanted 30 daylily stocks from the company's site to DNP Technopack's Yokohama Plant. We also returned to Koajiro Forest in 2014 the daylily stocks we bred at Yokosuka Operations and in 2016, DNP Technopack's Yokohama Plant returned their stocks. At this year's returning ceremony, with the support of the Koajiro Field Activity Coordination Council*, the two companies' employees worked together to return all of the approximately 900 daylily stocks to their natural habitat. We expect them to bloom beautiful orange flowers from summer to autumn every year.

A non-profit organization that promotes management and maintenance of Kanagawa Prefecture-owned Koajiro Forest on the Miura Peninsula in collaboration with the prefecture, Miura City, and the Kanagawa Trust Midori Foundation.

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Biodiversity Guidelines

Toshiba Group formulated the Biodiversity Guidelines in September 2009. The Group will strive to make its initiatives for preserving biodiversity visible 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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