The Importance of Taking Action for the Conservation of Biodiversity

In recent years, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and its progress is continuing to accelerate. In 2019, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) announced*1 its global assessment results, stating that 75% of the land surface has been “significantly altered” to date by human actions, 66% of the ocean area is experiencing cumulative impacts, and more than 85% of wetlands have been lost and that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with one million species already threatened with extinction. In the wake of the formulation of the Aichi Targets*2 in 2010, measures to stop the loss of biodiversity were taken in countries around the world, however, it was also reported that there were no fully achieved targets*3. These situations confirm that 'biodiversity mainstreaming' integrating into social activities is still insufficient.

The lifestyles of human beings and their very lives are directly and indirectly supported by various ecosystem services that are based on biodiversity, including the supply of food and raw materials, suppression of natural disasters, and mental satisfaction. It is said that when looking at the economic aspect, the generation of economic value equivalent to 44 trillion dollars, which corresponds to half the world’s total GDP, depends on ecosystem services*4. For humanity to continue to enjoy such blessings in future generations, we must recognize that humans are part of an ecosystem made up of the actions of diverse organisms. At the same time, we must further strengthen initiatives to prevent the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services.

  • The global assessment report on BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES (SUMMARY FOR POLICYMAKERS) issued in 2019
  • International targets to stop the loss of biodiversity, which were adopted at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in Nagoya City in 2010. The Targets set a long-term vision for achieving “Living in harmony with nature” by 2050 and presented 20 specific action goals that should be taken by 2020.
  • Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 issued by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2020 
  • Nature Risk Rising: Why the Crisis Engulfing Nature Matters for Business and the Economy issued by World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2020

Accelerating Trends in the World

In order to respond to these risks related to biodiversity, the formulation of the next international target replacing the Aichi Targets, the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, is in progress*. In this framework, it is expected that putting biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 (`nature positive`) under the 2050 vision of “living in harmony with nature” will be envisioned as the world’s mission. In addition, 21 specific action goals that should be taken to achieve the mission for 2030 will be presented.

Many of these action goals are related to corporate business activities and some of the examples include conservation of land and sea areas, reducing negative impacts on biodiversity in business value chains, reducing plastic waste, contribution to mitigation and adaptation of climate change.

Other movements aimed at `nature positive` that are worth noting include Science-Based Targets for Nature and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures, which consider guidelines for setting long-term goals and disclosure. They intend to encourage companies to set long term goals based on science and disclose information to external parties by grasping impacts and dependencies on the environment in the entire value chains as well as risks and opportunities regarding biodiversity.

For companies aiming to create a sustainable society, efforts to conserve biodiversity are an integral part of their challenges.

  • Planned to be formulated in the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15), which is scheduled to be held during FY2022.

Initiatives in the Seventh Environmental Action Plan

Under the Seventh Environmental Action Plan (activity period: FY2021 to FY2023) formulated based on Environmental Future Vision 2050, Toshiba Group set biodiversity conservation activities as one of the “consideration of ecosystems” items along with chemical substance and water resource management. The Group is promoting the activities mainly in its manufacturing sites around the world under the five themes: building of ecosystem networks, conservation of rare species and promotion of ex situ conservation, response to marine plastics issues, response to climate change (mitigation, adaptation), and conservation of water. Each site recognizes it is part of the respective regional ecosystem and is engaged in initiatives on its premises and surrounding areas according to the regional characteristics and issues. Each site incorporates collaboration, publicity, and education as important elements of the activities, aiming to further expand and deepen the activities. Placing activities participated by employees at the center of the Group`s biodiversity activities, awareness among employees has improved, leading to continued development of the activities within the Group. In FY2021, the activities were promoted at approximately 60 sites in 11 countries around the world. Details of the activities are introduced on Toshiba Group Environment Website intended for external parties.

■ Five activity themes and 3 boosting tools

Activity Theme

Theme 1

Building of ecosystem networks
Creating biotopes, tree planting contributing to building ecosystem networks, etc.

Theme 2

Conservation of rare species, promotion of ex situ conservation
Conserving rare plants and animals on and off the premise, ex-situ conservation

Theme 3

Response to marine plastics issues
Cleanup on and off the premise, at rivers and oceans, reduction of one-way plastics at company cafeterias and company shops, etc.

Theme 4

Response to climate change (mitigation, adaptation)
Tree planting contributing to climate change mitigation and prevention or reduction of natural disaster, creation of green curtains, etc.

Theme 5

Conservation of water
Cleanup at rivers and oceans, water recharge through tree planting, etc.

Boosting Tool

Tool 1

Expanding and deepening activities through collaboration with various stakeholders, such as public administrations, NPOs/NGOs, local citizens, company employees, etc.

Tool 2

Holding education classes at nearby schools or introducing Toshiba Group's biodiversity activities at seminars carried out by local governments or at education classes for employees, etc.

Tool 3

Introducing activities to the public through company websites or reports, applying for outside awards or recognitions, signing up for awareness programs and campaigns carried out by public administrations or organizations, etc.

■ Toshiba Group’s biodiversity conservation activity introduction website

Example of Toshiba Group’s biodiversity conservation activities:

Toshiba Semiconductor (Thailand) Co., Ltd.: Donating used cloth bags and paper bags to local hospitals

Toshiba Plant Systems & Services Corporation Kawasaki Office: Cooperation in the Kanagawa Prefecture Water Source Forestation Program

Toshiba Corporations Kashiwazaki Operations: Satoyama conservation activities at Kashiwazaki Yumenomori Park

Toshiba Corporation Fuchu Complex: Online nature observation with professional naturalist Mr. Hiroshi Sasaki

At Toshiba Group, we are currently conducting activities based on the understanding that the risks and opportunities in biodiversity conservation are as shown in the figure below. Going forward, we will conduct more analysis on risks and opportunities and consider a response policy while paying attention to accelerating global trends.

Participation in Biodiversity Related Initiatives and Industry Organizations

Toshiba Group collects information on global trends and conducts activities aimed at making biodiversity mainstream through participation in various initiatives and industry organizations.

The 30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity

This alliance is a coalition of front-runners and supporters (Secretariat: Ministry of the Environment) established to promote pioneering initiatives within Japan and disseminate its initiatives to achieve the draft goal (“30by30 target”) of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which aims to conserve 30% of land and sea areas by 2030. In Japan, a “30by30 Roadmap” has been formulated for the achievement of the “30by30 target” in Japan. The roadmap sets out the expansion and improvement in the quality of management of protected areas such as national parks, setting and management of areas other than protected areas (OECM*) that contribute to biodiversity conservation, and visualization of the importance of biodiversity and effects of conservation activities. As a member of the 30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity, Toshiba Group aims to contribute to the target through its initiatives including biodiversity conservation activities in domestic sites and provision of support to the management of areas included in the 30by30 target that lie outside of those sites.

  • Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures:
    Areas outside the protected areas that contribute to biodiversity conservation. They are areas conserved by initiatives of the private sector and other areas whose management with a primary purpose other than conservation eventually contributes to protecting the natural environment.

Keidanren Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation

This initiative is participated in by 265 companies and organizations (as of September 1, 2022) who are committed to activities stipulated in the “Keidanren Declaration on Biodiversity and Action Guidelines” (revised version) or who support its overall purpose. It is intended to disseminate the diverse activities of the Japanese business community worldwide and further deepen and expand those activities. As a member company, Toshiba Corporation will continue to contribute to achieving the goal of the initiative.

Biodiversity Working Group of the 4 Electrical and Electronic Industry Associations*

With the aim of raising awareness of and promoting biodiversity conservation activities in the electrical and electronics industry, this working group works to roll out measures to make biodiversity conservation mainstream. Currently, the working group has set “nature-positive,” which implies putting biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030, as the goal of its medium-term activity plan for 2030 and has been continuing to collect and share information on important social trends such as the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and information disclosure as well as continuing to hold discussions on a response policy as the electrical and electronics industry. It is also working to improve the presence of the industry and to accelerate problem solving through collaboration and cooperation with related government agencies and external institutions. Toshiba Corporation has continued to participate in this working group since its establishment in 2011 and will continue to contribute to the achievement of its goal in collaboration with other member companies.

  • The Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association (JEMA); Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA); Communications and Information Network Association of Japan (CIAJ); and Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association (JBMIA)

Toshiba Group Biodiversity Guidelines (formulated in September 2009)

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.