Conserving the Environment
Conserving the Environment
Continuing to Provide Prominent Values Toward the Realization of an Earth with Maintained Biodiversity
Reducing the Impact of Business Activities on Biodiversity
Business activities of SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group are blessed by the fruits of nature derived from biodiversity, while negatively impacting the ecosystem.
In April 2008, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group incorporated biodiversity-related items into its Environmental Management Policy. At the same time, we will promote the efficient use of limited resources and energy, and strive to reduce the environmental impact caused by greenhouse gases and harmful chemical substances and prevent pollution.
Having established a set of guidelines* on biodiversity in 2011, the Group strives to conserve biodiversity, including the natural environment, through both environmentally conscious business activities and actions to preserve the environment undertaken around the world.
- Biodiversity Guidelines
1.Analysis/assessment and reduction of impact
While analyzing/assessing the impact on our business activities, we will work to reduce any negative impact on ecosystems.
2.Contribution from technologies and products
While working diligently to develop and supply technologies and products that contribute to the conservation or recovery of biodiversity, we will learn from lean natural circulation and promote manufacturing that utilizes that wisdom.
3.Raising employees’ awareness and habitat conservation
Through the promotion of social contribution activities, such as nature conservation activities, we will raise employees’ awareness and make efforts to conserve the habitat of living things.
4.Dialogue with stakeholders
We will work diligently to promote biodiversity conservation by interacting and collaborating with various stakeholders, such as local communities, NGOs, and education/research institutes.
5.Information transmittance and learning/diffusion
To remain a company that is trusted by and meets the expectations of society, we will disclose our voluntary efforts in biodiversity conservation and their outcomes. At the same time, we will thereby contribute to the enlightenment and the dissemination of a sustainable society.
Toward the Realization of an Earth with Maintained Biodiversity
To contribute to the realization of an earth with maintained biodiversity, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group engages in activities based on the SEKISUI Environment Sustainability Vision 2050*1.
As stated in the SDGs, natural environment and social environment issues are interconnected, and in order to solve a single issue, we must remain conscious of multiple issues while working to find solutions.
Looking ahead, we intend to strengthen our partnerships with stakeholders and evolve activities conscious of the need to solve not only issues relating to the natural environment and social environments, but also contribute to realizing a return to social capital as well as natural capital*2.
- For more information, see Long-term Environmental Management Vision: SEKISUI Environment Sustainability Vision 2050.
- For more information, see Integrated Index Sekisui Environment Sustainability Index
Initiatives Envisioned to Address Biodiversity
1.Assessment and reduction of the impact of business activities on biodiversity
- Developing assessment methods and conducting assessments, reducing impact
- Greening of business sites (promoting landscaping and biotope development)
- Promoting biodiversity-conscious purchasing
2.Development and promotion of related technologies and products
- Incorporating biodiversity assessments at the product development stage
3.Raising employees’ awareness
- Conducting nature conservation activities at all business sites
- Expanding Sekisui Nature Study Course and nature conservation activities
4.Dialogue and cooperation with external stakeholders
- Supporting innovations inspired by nature, and holding public forums
- Supporting nonprofit and other organizations through Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)
5.Transmittance of information
- Participating in exhibitions
- Educating the next generation (Children’s Nature Study Course, school visits)
- Providing information through Sustainability reports, site reports, and the Company’s website
At the twice-yearly meetings of SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group’s Environmental Subcommittee, which has been established under the Sustainability Committee chaired by the president, biodiversity issues related to the Group’s business activities and assessments of the impact those activities are deliberated.
Furthermore, when a large-scale land is developed, such as when constructing a new factory, or new land is acquired, for example through M&A, we carry out environmental assessments of the impact that our business may have on the atmosphere, water areas, soil, etc. During these environmental impact assessments, we also verify any impact with regard to biodiversity.
Assessment of Impact on Biodiversity
Under its SEKISUI Environment Sustainability Vision 2050, the Company is working to realize an earth with maintained biodiversity. To that end, we are promoting activities that incorporate a net-positive approach toward ecosystems.
As previously mentioned, the Sekisui Environment Sustainability Index is used as an integrated indicator to confirm the degree of progress toward realizing the Group’s environmental vision, and is calculated as the rate of return on natural and social capital.
As a breakdown of this calculation, steps are taken to identify the impact of four aspects on plants (primary growth of plants) and biodiversity (rate of extinction of living species) in addition to climate change issues and social assets, and to monitor as an impact on biodiversity (nature).
Here we show the rate of return for each of these two plant and biodiversity aspects. While neither aspect has yet reached a rate of return of 100% or higher, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group is steadily promoting corporate activities that will help realize a nature positive future by addressing such environmental issues as climate change and resource recycling.
Trends in Biodiversity and Primary Plant Production Rates of Return
SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group recognizes that the emission of raw materials and chemical substances as well as the disposal of products sold place a serious burden on biodiversity.
Furthermore, we understand that a significant burden on the primary growth of plants falls under the category of raw materials, in particular paper derived from biomass, as well as other materials including those derived from petroleum.
In a bid to reduce this impact, we recognize the importance of strengthening procurement that takes into account sustainability also with respect to non-fossil resources as identified in our resource recycling policy. With the aim of strengthening sustainable procurement, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group is initiating a variety of steps, including a review of consideration items pertaining to supplier management, the preparation of a guide, and activities aimed at reducing environmental impact and corporate risks in cooperation with suppliers.
Conversely, products that contribute significantly to biodiversity include, for example, products that contribute to the reduced use of mineral, fossil, and forest resources. These products are used in a wide range of areas and include products that contribute to resource recycling by reducing energy consumption during the use of vehicles and transportation, improving durability, and promoting a shift in raw materials. Examples of the former include KYDEX, LLC products for aircrafts and railroads. Examples of the latter include products related to the SPR method for sewage pipe rehabilitation. Products that contribute significantly to the primary growth of plants include, for example, products that reduce global warming and products that can reduce waste. Once again in the case of the former, an example is Sekisui Heim’s housing equipped with solar power generation system panels. In the case of the later, examples include Kraft tape, which enables the use of a thinner paper core than previously possible.
To expand these contributions, we are developing products and technologies that contribute to decarbonization while working to reduce waste from products sold. We also acknowledge the importance of putting in place services and technologies that promote recycling. With this in mind, we are looking to achieve each of the aforementioned goals by expanding our lineup of Products to Enhance Sustainability.
Moving forward, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group will continue to promote manufacturing while considering its direction from these rates of return in order to engage in these types of nature positive corporate activities.
Innovation Inspired by the Nature Research Support Program and Holding Forums
As an effective approach to manufacturing that is geared toward solving social as well as environmental issues, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group has recognized the importance and necessity of learning from nature’s wisdom since 2002. Based on this understanding, we established the nature-inspired manufacturing research support program to promote the development of biomimicry technology and have organized forums where researchers can share their results. The year 2022 marks the 20th year this initiative will be held.
While basic science requires time for research and support, we believe that learning from nature’s wisdom has the potential to create fundamental innovations that differ from conventional energy-consuming technologies.
For researchers outside the Company, this program has encouraged the development of 280 (cumulative total) technologies. Amid efforts to the promote development based on this understanding, the following types of technologies and products have emerged.
［Contribution to a next-generation telecommunications society］
Transparent flexible reflector film developed from studies of the brilliance of Morpho butterfly wings
Fluoroplastic-compatible adhesive tape developed from the study of mussel secretions
Viru-taker™ and Allerbuster developed from the study of plant-based resins
［Contribution to addressing climate change (heat island effect countermeasure)］
Fractal sunshade material Airyshade developed from the study of the cool shade of trees
SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group will continue to place considerable importance on learning from nature’s wisdom in its manufacturing with the aim of developing nature positive products and businesses in the future.
Use of Sustainable Timber and Ensuring Traceability
To contribute to the eradication of deforestation as well as the sustainable use of timber resources, at SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group every effort is made to ensure that the timber used in products is logged in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements, such as FSC-certified wood. In addition, the Group conducts investigations into commercial distribution with regard to the logging area, tree species and quantity of timber materials to ensure traceability. For recycled materials, we use timber- and wood-based materials that are already used in markets, as well as unused thinnings and branches.
Previously, traceability surveys were limited to timber and wood-based materials used in manufacturing at domestic production sites, but from fiscal 2020, we are conducting surveys at overseas business sites as well. Giving renewed consideration to our impact on ecosystems, from fiscal 2021 we have begun to formulate Guidelines for Procurement of Timber Materials, into which the opinions of experts have also been incorporated.
Initiatives to Improve Green Space Quality at All Domestic Production Sites and Research Institutes
Having prepared habitats for local flora and fauna at 45 business sites (total site area 3,209,000 m2, total green space area 838,000 m2) in Japan, we are moving forward with efforts to improve the quality of green spaces at business sites. Our aim is to build ecosystem networks that connect local communities and business sites while invigorating local partnerships. Under the Environmental Medium-term Plan (2020-2022), we aimed to improve our score on the JBIB Land Use Score Card® by three points compared with fiscal 2019.
Under the guidance of the environmental consulting company Regional Environmental Planning, Inc., we are engaged in a range of activities at each business site. For example, we are formulating and executing green space design and management plans in harmony with the surrounding natural environment, conducting sustainable maintenance and management that utilize natural cycles, eradicating invasive species and conserving rare species, and maintaining communication with stakeholders. As a result, in fiscal 2021 we improved our average score 3.3 points compared with fiscal 2019.
Maintenance Activities in Wetlands Where Japanese Rice Fish Live
At the Shiga-Minakuchi Plant, we conducted a biological survey throughout the factory premises in fiscal 2019 and, based on the results, are developing a variety of biodiversity conservation activities.
As our main activity, we designated a place of particularly high conservation value on the site as a wetland biotope. Here we are carrying out the conservation of a rare Japanese rice fish species, the eradication of an invasive species known as parrot feather, and conducting regular monitoring. Of these, parrot feather is a very fertile plant that can reproduce itself even from broken stem fragments. If allowed to grow, this weed will cover the water’s surface and threatens the survival of aquatic organisms, so ongoing eradication is necessary. We continued to carry out eradication work in fiscal 2021 to maintain a biotope environment in which the Japanese rice fish can swim energetically.
In fiscal 2020, we commenced conservation activities for the Japanese lily, which has been selected as the official city flower of Koka City. It is said that it takes about seven or eight years to bloom, and we are working with the goal of growing these naturally on the factory premises.
In recognition of these activities, we have obtained the highest three-star certification in the Shiga biodiversity initiative certification system. In the years to come, we will further enhance environmental education for employees, work to develop human resources who contribute to the environment, and develop activities that also contribute to the surrounding area.
Wetland biotope conservation
Parrot feather, an invasive species
Promoting Biodiversity in the Housing Business
The Sekisui Heim Group is working to create sustainable town schemes by maintaining and improving the property value of the towns in its residential housing business.
In fiscal 2020, the SEKISUI Safe & Sound Project*1 for the complex large-scale Asaka Lead Town was certified as an ABINC ADVANCE certified facility*2, the first time by a single corporate group. Tokyo Sekisui Heim Co., Ltd.’s Smart Heim City Asaka had acquired ABINC certification (fiscal 2018) for town and community development. As an initiative for sustainable town and community development, from the perspective of biodiversity, we have achieved a high ratio of green coverage at Asaka Lead Town by planting an abundance of plants centered on the native species of the region throughout the town. We are also trying to mitigate damage from torrential rain having adopted disaster-resistant infrastructure equipment and utilizing the water retention capacity of the green spaces. In addition, we are planning to hold a variety of events to revitalize the local community through the green spaces. These events include, for example, nature meetings to observe creatures and study plants in which several generations can take part and riverbank clean-up activities. For the purpose of increasing the number of trees and plants that attract wildlife, plans are in place for Group companies to take the lead in implementing a variety of events including tree-planting by local residents and the production and installation of bird nesting boxes that attract native birds that are unique to the region.
Safe: Secure & Safe. Feel a newfound sense of security, anytime and anywhere.
Sound: Environment and Comfort. A vibrant town where residents can participate, enjoy, and build a community.
Safe & Sound: Sustainable. Always watching over and continuously supporting Safe & Sound = free from harm.
*2ABINC ADVANCE is a certification system by which the Association for Business Innovation in harmony with Nature and Community (ABINC) assesses the contributions made by the private sector that aims for the realization of sustainable communities and towns through biodiversity conservation and for the achievement of the SDGs. Planned and managed in accordance with the concept of the guidelines for the promotion of Ikimono Symbiotic Coexistence Enterprise® certifications developed by the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB), those enterprises that meet the reference point or higher in the JBIB Land Use Score Card and are certified under this examination process receive this certification.
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Species of plants scheduled for planting
Artist’s impression of Asaka Lead Town after completion
Cooperation with External Organizations
Business Associations Aiming for and Taking Action in Biodiversity Conservation
Organizer・・・・・・・・・Ministry of the Environment
Significance/objectives・・・Achievement in Japan of internationally agreed 30by30 targets
Activities・・・・・・・・・Summarize and promote deployment of efforts necessary, such as OECM certification, to stop and recover biodiversity loss (become Nature Positive) by 2030
Our Company’s role・・・Expressing support and aiming to accelerate efforts through in-house and corporate collaboration
JBIB(Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity)
Significance/objectives・・・Contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in Japan and overseas
Activities・・・・・・・・・Promoting diverse activities, such as conducting research regarding biodiversity together with various companies.
Our Company’s role・・・Exchanging opinions with companies that promote biodiversity conservation and sharing case studies while accelerating in-house efforts and raising awareness of social efforts
Activities to Conserve Green Spaces
We work together with an environmental consulting firm on environmental conservation activities and development of local environment, such as research on ecosystems at production sites and laboratories, conservation of biodiversity, and eradication of invasive species..
Social Contribution Activities
To develop personnel who are able to contribute to the environment, we engage in natural environment conservation activities in various regions around the world, through cooperating with local governments, academic institutions, schools, NPOs and NGOs.
Results from the JBIB Land Use Score Card®
|JBIB Land Use Score Card®||Increased by 3.3 points|
|Points of JBIB Land Use Score Card®||JBIB Land Use Score Card® is a tool promoted by JBIB, which evaluates the level of effort to preserve biodiversity with respect to the land owned by the Company. It is a calculation sheet to evaluate every business site regarding the size and quality of its greenspace, management system, etc. on a scale from 0 to 100.
We implement assessments of every business site for the fiscal year using the JBIB Land Use Score Card® and calculate the increase from the number of points it had in fiscal 2019. The index is the average increase of the points across all business sites.