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Conservation of Biodiversity

Ex-situ conservation of rare flora and fauna

Toshiba Group is carrying out biodiversity conservation activities at 66 business and production sites worldwide. We have confirmed that more than 100 rare species inhabit these sites, where we are developing activities to protect these species.

Over 100 rare species inhabit our sites

Toshiba Group is developing biodiversity conservation activities at 66 business and production sites worldwide. First, during the two-year period from 2012 to 2013, we conducted ecosystem surveys on and around our business and production sites. We actively take measures to protect rare animal and plant species found within our sites. On the premises of the sites, Toshiba Group also promotes ex-situ conservation (Article 9 of the Convention on Biological Diversity)* in order to protect and artificially breed (inside the sites) rare flora and fauna which inhabit the surrounding areas before returning them to their original habitats.

As a result of these activities, at present more than 100 rare species inhabit Toshiba Group's business and production sites.

*
Measures taken to recover and rehabilitate threatened species and reintroduce them into their original habitats under appropriate conditions as well as measures taken to complement in-situ measures (as stipulated in Article 8 of the Convention) aiming to conserve such threatened species within their original habitats

Significance of promoting ex-situ conservation on our site premises

Compared to parks and forests, where government organizations and NPOs promote initiatives to protect rare species, corporate production sites are better insulated from excessive picking or hunting by third parties thanks to more effective security measures; such sites also are at lower risk of feeding damage due to natural predators or invasive alien species. Therefore, corporate sites share the characteristics of strict nature preserves. We recognize the effects of our land use on ecosystems. At the same time, as part of efforts to protect the diversity of rare species through our new ecosystem conservation initiatives, we will continue to make use of the characteristics of our business and production sites having large areas of land.

■ 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

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Japanese Luedorfia butterflyToshiba Lifestyle Products & Services Aichi Operations

At Toshiba Lifestyle Products & Services Corporation Aichi Operations, we have been conducting ecosystem surveys on-site since 2014. These surveys revealed Japanese Luedorfia butterflies on the Aichi Operations premises.

[Image] Japanese Luedorfia butterfly (adult) found on the Aichi Operations premises

[Image] Japanese Luedorfia butterfly (adult) found on the Aichi Operations premises

Japanese Luedorfia butterfly (adult) found on the Aichi Operations premises

Japanese Luedorfia butterflies inhabit Japan's mountains and forests. In recent years, however, due to the abandonment and development of mountains, their numbers have been decreasing, and they are designated as a vulnerable species in the Ministry of the Environment's RDB and in Aichi Prefecture's RDB.

They are rarely seen in flatlands or urban areas; it is especially rare for them to inhabit a company's site. Kan-aoi plants, which they feed on, grow naturally on the factory premises, where we find Japanese Luedorfia adult butterflies, along with many eggs and larvae, each year. To conserve the habitats of Japanese Luedorfia butterflies, we periodically cut down bamboo shoots and shrubs, thereby providing flying space for the butterflies and helping kan-aoi plants to grow.

[Image] Japanese Luedorfia butterfly eggs
Japanese Luedorfia butterfly eggs

[Image] Japanese Luedorfia butterfly larva
Japanese Luedorfia butterfly larva

[Image] Kan-aoi plant, which Japanese Luedorfia butterflies feed on
Kan-aoi plant, which Japanese Luedorfia butterflies feed on

[Image] Ecosystem survey
Ecosystem survey

■ Other rare species discovered on the premises of Aichi Operations

[Image] Japanese alder
Japanese alder
Designated as a near-threatened species in the Ministry of the Environment RDB

[Image] Star magnolia
Star magnolia
Designated as a near-threatened species in the Ministry of the Environment RDB
Designated as a vulnerable species in the Aichi Prefecture RDB

[Image] Clematis
Clematis
Designated as a near-threatened species in the Ministry of the Environment RDB
Endangered species (Aichi Prefecture RDB)

[Image] Shimajitamuraso plant (Salvia isensis)
Shimajitamuraso plant (Salvia isensis)
Vulnerable species (Ministry of the Environment RDB)
Near-threatened species (Aichi Prefecture RDB)

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Kinran (Cephalanthera falcata)Toshiba Corp. Yokohama Complex

Despite its location on artificially reclaimed land, many kinran (Cephalanthera falcata) orchids grow on the premises of Toshiba Corporation Yokohama Complex. Kinran orchids were first discovered here in 2008, and full-scale conservation activities began in 2013.

[Image] Kinran orchid growing on the premises of Yokohama Complex

[Image] Kinran orchid growing on the premises of Yokohama Complex

Kinran orchid growing on the premises of Yokohama Complex

Kinran orchids used to be a common sight in Japanese woods. However, due to the abandonment of forests and excessive picking of plants resulting from a wildflower boom, the number of individual plants has been decreasing. The kinran orchid is now designated as a vulnerable species in the Ministry of the Environment's Red Data Book (RDB) as well as Kanagawa Prefecture's RDB.

Many orchid species find it difficult to grow with only the nutrition they can acquire themselves; they need the help of orchid fungi to absorb nutritive salts. For this reason, when breeding orchids, it is effective to sow seeds in locations confirmed to have orchid fungi. Sowing seeds require a large number of seeds. The problem, however, is that under natural conditions, the chance of securing seeds is extremely low.

Therefore, at Yokohama Complex, staff members are working to collect seeds by artificial insemination and to conduct orchid fungus habitat surveys and germination experiments by sowing seeds with the help of experts in order to protect and propagate kinran orchids.

<Artificial insemination experiment>

[Image] Artificial insemination experiment

<Seed sowing experiment>

[Image] Seed sowing experiment

Stages before kinran orchid seed germination

[Image] Stages before kinran orchid seed germination

At Yokohama Complex, we confirmed growth up to stage 3 and verified the presence of orchid fungi.

*
Protocorm: A ball-like cell mass formed by orchid seed embryos as they grow and differentiate by using nutritive salt supplies from symbiotic fungi (orchid fungi)

<Results>

Results FY2013 FY2014
Artificial inseminationApprox. 20,000 seedsApprox. 200,000 seeds
Orchid fungi habitat survey12 spots60 spots

In the future, we will work to grow orchids from seeds in places where we have confirmed the presence of orchid fungi. It may take more than ten years for the plants to bloom, but we will continue our activities with a view to maintaining their natural habitat forever.

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Golden venus chubToshiba Corp. Himeji Operations-Semiconductor

Toshiba Corp. Himeji Operations-Semiconductor has been working to protect golden venus chubs since 2013.

[Image] Golden venus chub
Golden venus chub

[Image] Reservoir on the Himeji Operations-Semiconductor premises
Reservoir on the Himeji Operations-Semiconductor premises

Golden venus chubs are already extinct in the Ibo River system in the factory's vicinity, though some individual organisms are protected in the Himeji City Aquarium. They are designated as an endangered species in the Ministry of the Environment's RDB and are ranked A in Hyogo Prefecture's RDB (equivalent to a critically endangered or endangered species in the Ministry of the Environment's RDB).

The Himeji City Aquarium was searching for a new protected area to distribute extinction risks and released 26 golden venus chubs into a pond on the Himeji Operations-Semiconductor premises in June 2013.

[Image] Protection started on the factory premises (June 2013)
Protection started on the factory premises (June 2013)

[Image] The number of organisms increased by approximately 29 times (April 2014).
The number of organisms increased by approximately 29 times (April 2014).

A survey conducted in April 2014 confirmed that the number of golden venus chubs had increased to more than 700. In May 2014, under the guidance of the Himeji City Aquarium, we released 200 chubs into the Ibo River system, their original habitat. Subsequent monitoring surveys have confirmed their presence. We will continue to conduct monitoring surveys to restore species into the wild.

[Image] Released to their original habitat (May 2014)
Released to their original habitat (May 2014)

[Image] Chubs donated to an elementary school in the vicinity (June 2015)
Chubs donated to an elementary school in the vicinity (June 2015)

In June 2015, we donated 60 golden venus chubs to a pond in an elementary school in the vicinity. Toshiba Group's biodiversity conservation activities aim to support children's learning about the environment as well as to distribute extinction risks.

We will continue to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders in order to expand environmental conservation sites as well as to promote local communication activities.

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Northern crested newtSpringfields Fuels Ltd. (UK)

In 2006, Springfields Fuels Ltd. in the United Kingdom obtained a Biodiversity Benchmark, which is awarded to business sites certified by the Wildlife Trusts, an international NGO, for its consideration of biodiversity. In the pond on the company's premises, two newt species have been found, one of which is the northern crested newt (designated as a European Protected Species). The company is developing a pond that is friendly to nature's creatures.

[Image] Northern crested newt
Northern crested newt

[Image] Protected in a pond on the company premises
Protected in a pond on the company premises

[Image] Pipistrelle birdhouse
Pipistrelle birdhouse

In April 2015, company staff members held a nature observation event with children in the community and confirmed the presence of 11 newts, including 9 northern crested newts, along with a variety of other animals. In previous surveys, only one or two newts had been observed. This suggests the possibility that newts are breeding in the pond. We will strive to conserve the pond environment as a habitat for facilitating animal diversity, including that of northern crested newts.

Also, birdhouses have been installed on the company premises to protect pipistrelles, a European protected species, that also inhabit the premises.

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DayliliesToshiba Lighting & Technology Corp.

In May 2012, Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation in Yokosuka City accepted 28 stocks of daylily, a lily-family plant that had been picked excessively in the Miura Peninsula's Koajiro forest.

[Image] Transplanting of daylilies (May 2012)

[Image] Transplanting of daylilies (May 2012)

Transplanting of daylilies (May 2012)

Subsequently, we carefully adjusted the watering frequency and fertilizer composition while continuing to monitor the plants' growth. Finally, in August 2012, two stocks came into bloom for the first time.

[Image] First daylily that bloomed (August 2012)

[Image] First daylily that bloomed (August 2012)

First daylily that bloomed (August 2012)

However, the purpose of transplanting was to increase the number of stocks, not to grow flowers. So, to provide the plants' roots with nutrients for consumption in order to bloom flowers, we nipped the flowers in the bud.
In managing the plants, we placed the highest priority on growing daylilies; thus, we also removed the lawn covering the soil surface.

In the winter of 2013, the plants were in the state shown in the photograph below. We were seriously concerned that they might have withered.

[Image] Daylilies in the winter (February 2013)

[Image] Daylilies in the winter (February 2013)

Daylilies in the winter (February 2013)

In the spring of 2013, however, they sprouted vigorously once again.
In the autumn of 2013, we confirmed that the number of stocks had increased to approximately 60.

[Image] Daylilies blooming in the second year (July 2013)

[Image] Daylilies blooming in the second year (July 2013)

Daylilies blooming in the second year (July 2013)

Finally, in May 2014, exactly two years since the first transplanting, we succeeded in increasing the number of stocks to approximately 100 and performed a return ceremony in Koajiro forest.

Successful breeding increased the original 28 stocks to approximately 100

[Image] Successful breeding increased the original 28 stocks to approximately 100

[Image] Successful breeding increased the original 28 stocks to approximately 100

After tripling the number of stocks, returning them to Koajiro forest

[Image] After tripling the number of stocks, returning them to Koajiro forest

[Image] After tripling the number of stocks, returning them to Koajiro forest

[Image] After tripling the number of stocks, returning them to Koajiro forest

[Image] After tripling the number of stocks, returning them to Koajiro forest

Flora and fauna in Koajiro forest

[Image] Flora and fauna in Koajiro forest

[Image] Flora and fauna in Koajiro forest

[Image] Flora and fauna in Koajiro forest

[Image] Flora and fauna in Koajiro forest

[Image] Flora and fauna in Koajiro forest

[Image] Flora and fauna in Koajiro forest

In July 2014, Daylilies which were returned to Koajiro forest came into bloom. They are successfully returning to the wild.

[Image] daylilies

[Image] daylilies

Koajiro forest was opened to the public in July 2014. Daylilies preserved by Toshiba Group are growing on Enoki Terrace. According to our experience in tending the daylilies, they come into full bloom from late July to mid-August. We hope you are able to visit Koajiro forest around that time.

In the future, we plan to share the breeding know-how obtained at Toshiba Light & Technology Corporation with other Toshiba Group production sites, thereby providing Toshiba-grown daylilies to Koajiro forest from a number of different production sites each year.

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Range of travel of plants and animals in ex-situ conservation

In order to ensure ex-situ conservation, it is necessary to pay attention to the range of travel of plants and animals. For example, it is not desirable to protect Hokkaido's endangered species at a factory in Kyushu, which has a different climate and living environment. How far, then, can endangered species be transferred?

One guideline is to keep them within a river basin. "Basin" refers to the area of land where rivers catch the rain that falls and can be considered to be a single unit of an ecosystem. Therefore, Toshiba Group has a principle of moving plants and animals within the same basin when its business and production sites do so for the purpose of ex-situ conservation.

In Japan, 109 first-class rivers and their valleys occupy about 70% of the country's land, and Toshiba Group has confirmed which valley each of its domestic businesses and production sites are located in. Also at its business and production sites outside Japan, the Group promotes ex-situ conservation as necessary while referring to maps of basins and vegetation distribution charts for each region, marshland characteristics, and other data as well as paying attention to ecosystem units.

Map of basins of first-class rivers
[Image] Map of basins of first-class rivers
Source: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

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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)
http://www.tr-net.gr.jp/

(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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Medium-term plan for the Conservation of Biodiversity

2015 target

Toshiba Group aims to minimize the adverse effects of its business activities on biodiversity and shift its biodiversity policy toward initiatives for improvement to realize an ideal state of environmental management in 2015.

These efforts aim to stop the decreases in the kinds of biodiversity that each site has decided to protect by 2015 and allow for such biodiversity to increase in subsequent years.

■ Minimizing Adverse Effects and Increasing Biodiversity (Conceptual Diagram)
[Image] Minimizing Adverse Effects and Increasing Biodiversity (Conceptual Diagram)

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Medium-term plan for the period up to 2015

To achieve the 2015 target, Toshiba Group aims to develop biotopes at 66 of its business and production sites worldwide.

[Image] Medium-term plan for the period up to 2015

Development of biotopes will be promoted in three steps: biodiversity surveys, selection of metrics and measurement of effects. Biodiversity surveys consist 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 will select living organisms to serve as metrics, take measures to protect and increase them, and make periodic measurements of effects, thereby verifying the appropriateness of the biotope development process. Under the medium- term plan, the Group will take these steps at a minimum of 33 of its sites (50%) each year.

Incorporating these three steps into the medium-term plan enables implementation of PDCA cycles by individual sites as well as by the Group as a whole. In the future, we will make efforts to satisfy ISO 14001:2015.

■ Medium-term plan

FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
50% of sites surveyed Percentage of sites where surveys were conducted 100% Percentage of sites for which indicators were selected 50% Percentage of sites for which indicators were selected 100% 50% of sites have measured effects 100% of sites have measured effects

*50%: 33 sites or more

■ Steps in biotope development

[Image] Steps in biotope development

Survey Investigate organisms living on the premises; investigate IUCN and local area Red Lists; onsite inspection by local experts; assessment of biodiversity potential for targeted and neighboring areas.
Metrics selection Select relevant metrics on the basis of investigation data; devise measures to protect and expand the selected metrics.
Measurement Measure the metrics on a periodic basis. Examples of measurement targets: Number of species of animals, number of animals within each species, number of plant roots, size of planting area.
Improvement Improvement or enhancement in metrics achieved as a result of periodic measuring.

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Results for FY2014

In FY2014, metrics were selected at 100% of the 66 sites targeted (100% planned), and 67% (50% planned) have measured effects.

We aim to raise the percentage of sites that have measured effects to 100% during FY2015.

Region Eligible sites % of sites where metrics have been selected No. of sites where effects have been measured % of sites where effects have been measured
Total 66 100% 44 67%
Japan 45 100% 29 64%
China 11 6 55%
Asia 6 5 83%
Americas 2 2 100%
Europe 2 2 100%

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Development of a Biodiversity Conservation Database

[Image] Mark the status to indicate whether sites are in the stage of conducting surveys, selecting metrics, or measuring effects.
Mark the status to indicate whether sites are in the stage of conducting surveys, selecting metrics, or measuring effects.

We have created a biodiversity conservation database containing data from the 66 sites targeted by the Fifth Environmental Action Plan in order to share information among all group companies. We use the same format globally so that we can share information about progress and activities in three stages (survey, metrics selection and measurement) at individual sites.

[Image] Survey
Survey

[Image] Metrics selection
Metrics selection

[Image] Measurement
Measurement

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Development of ecological networks

Establishment of ecosystem networks centered on production sites

Land use is one human activity that has an effect on ecosystems. Residential land and location of factories disrupt wildlife corridors and effect the living environments of plants and animals. Therefore, Toshiba Group aims to establish ecosystem networks that connect production sites with their neighboring areas.

Toshiba calls for employees who cultivate fruits such as yuzu (Citrus junos) and sudachi (Citrus sudachi) in their home gardens to allow some of the larvae of the swallowtail butterflies living on their leaves to grow until they mature into adults rather than eradicating all of them. Toshiba also distributes yuzu seedlings free of charge to employees who want them. We believe that we can contribute to expanding butterflies' habitats by calling them into our employees' home gardens.

Plants (eaten by butterflies) Butterflies expected to be called in (example)
Yuzu and sudachi (citrons) Asian swallowtail, spangle, and great Mormon
Kumquat Asian swallowtail, spangle, and Chinese peacock

[Image] Citrons
Citrons

[Image] Asian swallowtail (caterpillar)
Asian swallowtail (caterpillar)

[Image] Asian swallowtail (imago)
Asian swallowtail (imago)

Additionally, the company plans to develop yuzu orchards in part of the green space at each of its production sites and make it a shelter for butterfly eggs laid in employees' home gardens and larvae that hatch from the eggs.

In the future, Toshiba aims to minimize the number of larvae eradicated at homes and establish an ecosystem network for butterflies that connects employees' homes, local forests, rivers, parks, and so forth with the company's production sites as its core.

Establishing a network for butterflies that connects employees' homes, neighboring parks, forests, rivers, and so forth with production sites as its core
[Image] Establishing a network for butterflies that connects employees' homes, neighboring parks, forests, rivers, and so forth with production sites as its core

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Example 1: Toshiba Carrier Corporation's Fuji Operation

Developing an ecological network and practicing ex-situ conservation of rare flora and fauna in a biotope created using factory effluent

Toshiba Carrier Corporation's Fuji Operation has developed a biotope in an open area on its premises. Using a solar-powered pump, wastewater is drawn from the factory into a pond inhabited by many aquatic species, including killifish, diving beetles and dragonfly larvae. In July 2013, a spot-billed duck and ducklings were seen at the pond.

[Image] View of the biotope
View of the biotope

[Image] Structural diagram of the biotope / Wastewater drawn from the factory into the pond
Structural diagram of the biotope
Wastewater drawn from the factory into the pond

Many plants have been planted around the pond, including evergreen witchhazels (endangered IB species in Shizuoka Prefecture's red data book), fringed irises (endangered IB species) and hyacinth orchids (near-threatened species).

The biotope is managed by employees of the Fuji Operation with advice from Prof. Michiko Shimoda of Tokoha University's Faculty of Social and Environmental Studies. Local elementary schoolchildren participate in nature observation events held at the biotope.

Species (examples) observed at Toshiba Carrier Corporation's Fuji Operation Biotope

[Image] Evergreen witchhazel
Evergreen witchhazel

[Image] Killifish
Killifish

[Image] Lesser emperor
Lesser emperor

[Image] Lesser emperor larva
Lesser emperor larva

[Image] Fringed iris
Fringed iris

[Image] Hyacinth orchid
Hyacinth orchid

[Image] Spot-billed duck and ducklings
Spot-billed duck and ducklings

Nature observation event in which elementary schoolchildren participated

[Image] Nature observation event in which elementary schoolchildren participated

[Image] Nature observation event in which elementary schoolchildren participated

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Case Study 2: Toshiba Komukai Complex

Komukai Complex aims to establish an ecosystem network that connects Keio University and Yumemigasaki Park to the west and Tama River to the north. A pond in the courtyard of the complex was transformed into a habitat for dragonflies, and now Jomon (ancient) lotuses* are grown there.

[Image] Example1 Toshiba Komukai Complex

The pond was repaired to have three levels of depth: 0.00, 10, and 65 cm. The complex aims to offer diverse pond habitats by making different levels of depth available: 0.00 cm for Jomon lotuses, 10 cm for dragonfly nymphs, and 65 cm for dragonflies.

[Image] Jomon lotus
Jomon lotus

*
The Jomon lotus sprouted from a more than 2,000-year-old seed of a lotus excavated from relics in Chiba City in 1951. It is considered to be the world's oldest flower. So far, its roots have been divided and distributed to various parts of Japan and the rest of the world, and the Jomon lotus has been designated by Chiba Prefecture as a natural monument.

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Case Study 3: Toshiba Information Equipment (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd.

Toshiba Information Equipment (Hangzhou) conducted a survey of the ecosystem in the local community where it operates. The Hangzhou Bay wetland to the east is one of the world's treasure troves of migratory birds, which travel between Siberia and Australia via East Asia. Many migratory birds can be observed even in the environs of the company's production site as they fly in from the Qiantang River and wetland parks in eastern Hangzhou.

In the future, the company will continue to step up efforts to establish an ecosystem network with its neighboring areas mainly by conserving the willow groves at its production site.

[Image] Example2 Toshiba Information Equipment (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd.

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Toward mainstreaming biodiversity

Current state of initiatives for mainstreaming biodiversity

Since the need to conserve biodiversity is less well known than the needs to address climate change and waste management, efforts are underway to make biodiversity conservation a mainstream part of environmental activities*1 around the world. Internationally, mainstreaming focuses on strategic goal A of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted at COP10 in 2010. At the same time, national mainstreaming strategies are being formulated in countries around the world. In Japan, government organizations and private groups are hosting seminars, educational events and awards programs for companies and the public at large. Despite such efforts, results of various questionnaire surveys suggest that not much progress in mainstreaming has been made*2.

*1
“Mainstreaming” means that the importance of biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity is widely recognized by national and local governments, business operators, NPOs and the public at large and is reflected in their activities (2013 Annual Report on Biodiversity).
*2
According to the FY2012 Survey on Initiatives Implemented by Business Operators for Biodiversity Conservation conducted by the Ministry of the Environment, only 12% of companies surveyed (approximately 2,600 companies having 500 or more employees) knew of and were using the Guidelines for Private Sector Engagement in Biodiversity, while 25% of them knew of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The percentage of such recognition among all companies in Japan is likely to be even lower.
Mainstreaming under the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Aichi Biodiversity Targets Strategic Goal A
Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
Target 1
Target 2
Target 3
Target 4
Strategic Goal B
Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Target 5
Target 6
Target 7
Target 8
Target 9
Target 10
Strategic Goal C
To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
Target 11
Target 12
Target 13
Strategic Goal D
Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
Target 14
Target 15
Target 16
Strategic Goal E
Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building
Target 17
Target 18
Target 19
Target 20

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Review of factors that prevent mainstreaming: Starting with the classification of ecosystem services

Biodiversity conservation aims to allow human beings to sustainably use the ecosystem services provided by nature. Ecosystem services are classified into provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services, and so on.

Ecosystem services
Ecosystem services (1) Provisioning services Physical supply of food, water, wood, fuel, etc.
(2) Regulating services Decomposition of waste, purification of water and regulation of climate
(3) Cultural services Recreation as well as mental, cultural and intellectual benefits

Maintenance and improvement of provisioning and regulating services require protecting Mother Nature. Therefore, events for citizens often focus on large-scale nature conservation activities, such as tree planting and community forest conservation.

Nevertheless, so far there has been little progress in mainstreaming biodiversity. One reason for this is that current biodiversity conservation activities mainly target provisioning and regulating services. Tree planting and community forest conservation require participants to visit remote natural environments on holidays. The repeat rate for such activities is extremely low. Also, corporate citizenship activities such as these cost time and money, imposing considerable burdens on companies. Furthermore, worsening financial conditions sometimes make it difficult to continue CSR and corporate citizenship activities.

In other words, in order to promote mainstreaming of biodiversity at the corporate and citizen levels, it is more important to develop activities that allow participants to come into daily contact with the natural environments familiar to them. To this end, improvement in cultural services in urban areas is likely to be more effective. For example, activities developed on factory premises to contribute to cultural services can be continued as long as the factory is in operation.

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Toshiba Group's contributions to mainstreaming

Toshiba Group's biodiversity conservation activities aim to contribute to cultural services; the activities focus on simple daily activities that can be carried out by employees and their families in collaboration with residents of the local community.

By improving cultural services in areas around factories, we aim to promote changes in local residents' awareness, including that of employees, as well as to contribute to mainstreaming biodiversity. Participants in our activities have made various comments, such as that they started to record the behavior of swallowtail butterflies and that they had not known a particular species of fish was endangered. Such comments indicate that our activities are gradually achieving their objectives.

In addition, the activities promoted by Toshiba Group for the Development of Ecosystem Networks around Factories and for Ex-situ Conservation of Rare Flora and Fauna are designed to promote activities that contribute to improving biodiversity using simple but effective methods. Since such methods do not require time or money, these activities can be undertaken by various companies, including small- and medium-size enterprises. In the future, we plan to develop wide-area activities involving collaboration among companies.

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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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【TOPICS】Winning the Committee's Award at the 2014 Biodiversity Action Awards Japan

Toshiba Group's biodiversity conservation activities were awarded the Committee's Award at the 2014 Biodiversity Action Awards Japan.

The Biodiversity Action Awards Japan are sponsored by the Japan Committee for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB-J), with CEPA Japan serving as secretariat. The award was established in 2013 for the purpose of commending groups and individuals that are working to conserve biodiversity as well as to mainstream biodiversity in Japan and achieving the Aichi targets.

A total of 15 groups, including NPOs and schools, received Biodiversity Action Awards in 2014. Toshiba Group was the only company to earn an award.

[Image] Awards ceremony
Awards ceremony

[Image] Certificate
Certificate

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