Conservation of Biodiversity
The Importance of Taking Action for the Conservation of Biodiversity
Triggered by the adoption of the Aichi Targets in 2010 and the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, the world has seen increased recognition of the importance of the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use in recent years. 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.” The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which is the new global target replacing the Aichi Targets, is scheduled to be formulated at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) during the period from the second half of FY2021 to the beginning of the next fiscal year. Biodiversity conservation needs to be addressed comprehensively by economic society as it is closely related to the challenges facing the world today — the COVID-19 crisis and climate change. For companies aiming to create a sustainable society, efforts to conserve biodiversity are becoming an integral part of their challenges.
Toshiba Group aims to create a sustainable society in harmony with nature by promoting the reduction of environmental impacts through our business activities, products, and services, such as responding to climate change and the circular economy and ensuring water and chemical substance management, as well as biodiversity conservation activities that directly act on nature. It takes a long time to recover and improve biodiversity and ecosystems. We will monitor the impact the Group has on biodiversity and the risks and opportunities associated with biodiversity so as to 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. IPBES 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.
Activities under the Toshiba Group's Sixth Environmental Action Plan (FY2017–2020)
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.
Considering biodiversity conservation activities an important element of environmental management, Toshiba Group promoted related activities under the Sixth Environmental Action Plan. We have set a goal for FY2020 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). We carried out biodiversity conservation activities in accordance with the regional characteristics of each of 61 sites worldwide (39 in Japan, 22 overseas).
In FY2020, activities to achieve the 10 Aichi Targets were implemented at an average of 71% of sites. Implementation rates were relatively high for Targets 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 11, and 12 but relatively low for Targets 9, 14, and 19. For targets with a low implementation rate, we are analyzing why.
Toshiba Group's Sixth Environmental Action Plan (FY2017–2020) – 10 Activity Targets –
|Aichi Targets||Toshiba Group's Activity Targets|
|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|
FY2020 Activity Implementation Rate by Target*2 and Analysis Results (61 Sites Worldwide)
*2 The percentage of the number of sites that worked on each target to all 61 sites
|Analysis 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 little progress overall because these activities are subject to many legal restrictions and require 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 activities to achieve this target often involve the government and local communities and become large in scale.|
|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 Biodiversity Conservation Activity Database
We aggregate activities implemented in FY2020 at 61 sites worldwide in a database, and make it available to the public on our website. The database also shows how our activities correspond to the Aichi Targets.
[Case 1] Participation in “How Far Can Dragonfly Fly” Forum (Aichi Target 1 & 19*4)
Keihin Product Operations, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation
Dragonfly marked with a number on its wing
The Keihin Product Operations has participated in the “How Far Can Dragonfly Fly Forum,” which are held in collaboration with companies, administrative offices, citizens, experts, and educational institutions in the Keihin coastal area. The forum investigates the dragonflies living in the area. Specifically, it tracks dragonflies by marking them with numbers on their wing to study what kind of dragonflies live, how it changed over time, how far they can travel, and how the natural environment connect between the coastal and inland areas. This activity is one of the ecological survey models in collaboration among industry, government, and academia in the Keihin area. The Keihin Product Operations contributes to the activity by surveying the many dragonflies that return to the area every year.
[Case 2]Tree Planting in Areas Around a Dam in Collaboration with Local Communities
(Aichi Target 1 & 14)
Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines), Inc.
Angat Watershed has the Angat Dam, which supplies water to meet Metro Manila's needs. The company planted 1,000 endemic trees (Narra, Palosapis, and Guijo) in one hectare of land around the dam. A total of 83 people, including the company's employees, university staff, government staff, and the Philippine Army, participated in the activity.
[Case 3] Reduction of Single-Use Plastics in Operational Sites (Aichi Target 8 & 14)
Toshiba Tec Group
Addressing marine pollution problems, Toshiba Tec Group has been working to reduce the use of single-use plastics in its operational sites. Efforts made by the Japan headquarters and sites in China and other Asian countries include discontinuing the use of plastic checkout bags, charging for them, as well as discontinuing the use of plastic knives, forks, spoons, straws, and muddlers at staff canteens*5. At a site in France, some menu items in the coffee vending machines were upgraded to allow the use of personal mugs. In addition, a site in the United States has provided its employees and their families with education on marine pollution problems. The group will further enhance these activities to reduce the use of single-use plastics at each site.
Poster for awareness-raising of single-use plastic problems
Coffee vending machine compatible with mugs
[Case 4] Conservation of Rare Plants Including Linaria Japonica (Aichi Target 11 & 12)
Imabari Complex, Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation
Creating a map of the habitat of rare plants and animals at Odagahama beach
The Imabari Complex is promoting activities to protect and nurture critically endangered species (CR)*6, namely Marsilea quadrifolia, Hydrocharis dubia, and Linaria japonica, by creating biotopes within its premises. Linaria japonica is a rare species and naturally grow only in the Odagahama beach in Imabari City, if limited to Shikoku island. In 2015, the company started the conservation activities after two roots of Linaria japonica were provided by the Ehime Prefectural Biodiversity Center, which performs an experiment on growing Linaria japonica. Since 2016, the complex has been creating a map which plots the habitat of endangered species found at Odagahama beach. The map was made in collaboration with the fourth grade children of the local elementary school, Ehime Prefectural Government staff, an NPO, and a neighborhood community association. In FY2020, the complex started two activities with children of two elementary schools. One is creating the map at Setonaikai National Park where Scutellaria strigillosa (CR+EN) naturally grow. The other is observing endangered species such as Suaeda malacosperma (VU) and Trigochin asiatica (VU) at the mouth of the Shinabe river.
- The main items in the Aichi Targets the activity contributes to. The activity may also contribute to targets other than those stated. The same applies below.
- Items subject to reduction in use differ by site.
- Ehime Prefecture Red List. The same applies below.
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).
Casebook on private sector engagement in biodiversity published by the Ministry of the Environment (PDF)(10.9MB) (in Japanese)
(page introducing Toshiba) (Biodiversity Center of Japan)
KNCF NEWS Vol. 85 published by Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation
(page introducing Toshiba)
Launch of Toshiba Group's Seventh Environmental Action Plan
In Toshiba Group's Seventh Environmental Action Plan which starts in FY2021 (and will end in FY2023), we have set the following five activity themes: Building of ecosystem networks, Conservation of rare species, promotion of ex situ conservation, Response to marine plastics issues, Response to climate change (mitigation, adaptation), and Conservation of water, with reference to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (first draft)*7, which is the new global target replacing the Aichi Targets. Under these themes, we will promote employees' participation in the activities. We aim to refine and enhance the activities while keeping in mind education, corporate communications, and collaboration.
- Toshiba Group's activity themes have been set with reference to the first draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. First draft:
https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/abb5/591f/2e46096d3f0330b08ce87a45/wg2020-03-03-en.pdf (PDF)(498KB) (Convention on Biological Diversity)
Participation in the Biodiversity Working Group of the 4 Electrical and Electronic Industry Associations*8
With the aim of raising awareness of and promoting biodiversity conservation activities in the industry, we work with other member companies to roll out measures to make biodiversity conservation mainstream. In FY2020, we published case studies of activities run by member companies online*9, issued the English version of Let's Try Biodiversity!*10, a booklet introducing specific approaches to and good cases of biodiversity conservation activities (the Japanese version had been already issued), and held webinars for member companies by lecturers from external organizations. In addition, the working group collected information and held discussions on new and important trends in biodiversity including the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. From FY2021 onward, Toshiba Group will continue acting as a member of the working group to contribute to facilitating biodiversity conservation activities in the industry.
- 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)
- Biodiversity Conservation Activity Database: https://bio.jema-net.or.jp/Japanese/env/biodiversity_db/ (in Japanese) (Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association)
- https://www.jema-net.or.jp/Japanese/env/ltb_tool/LTB_E-ver.pdf (PDF)(14.2MB) (Convention on Biological Diversity)
Let's Try Biodiversity (English Version)
Toshiba Group Biodiversity Guidelines
Toshiba Group formulated the Biodiversity Guidelines in September 2009. By understanding how Toshiba Group's business activities and products and services relate to biodiversity, we aim to reduce the impact on biodiversity and use it in a sustainable manner.
Toshiba Group Biodiversity Guidelines
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
- We will take appropriate measures to protect ecosystems when building factories or relocating facilities.
- We will collaborate with local public agencies and private organizations.
- We will continue our commitment to corporate citizenship activities as members of a sustainable society.
- We will assess the impact and effects of environmental measures on various aspects of the environment, including biodiversity.
- We will promote initiatives for the conservation of biodiversity in supply chains, including the mining of resources.
- We will assess the impact of substance emissions and the consumption of resources required for our business activities.
- We will study the structures and systems of nature and make technological contributions to society in accordance with the characteristics of our businesses.