Approaches to Conservation of Biodiversity
Policy Toward Biodiversity Conservation
The Aichi Targets for 2020 were determined at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity that was held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in 2010. With this serving as an impetus, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and other international agreements deeply important to biodiversity were also reached after that.
The ITOCHU Group, which operates business globally, perceives global environmental problems as one of the most important matters in our management policy. We will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by promoting conservation of the global environment (e.g., protection of biodiversity and ecosystems) as indicated in the ITOCHU Group's Basic Policy on Promotion of Sustainability to fulfill our corporate philosophy of being committed to the global good. In order to achieve the realization of a sustainable society, we have established the Biodiversity Declaration.
Target: To realize a sustainable society by building a society in harmony with nature
We will promote actions for biodiversity conservation more than ever before and will aim to further deepen them with our Biodiversity Declaration to make an international contribution.
- We will strive to prevent environmental pollution with consideration for the conservation of natural ecosystems and biodiversity when promoting our business activities from a global perspective.
- We will emphasize harmony between the workings of nature and our business activities. We will achieve this by promoting management integrated with the environment that incorporates extensive environmental activities (e.g., carbon reduction, resource recycling and biodiversity conservation) into our business activities.
- We will voluntarily and steadily take actions conducive to biodiversity and then disclose information and engage in dialogue.
- We will work on business activities that take into consideration local ecosystems while utilizing the natural capital of each region. We will endeavor to further promote efforts on nature conservation and biodiversity while linking up and cooperating with related organizations in Japan and overseas.
- We will foster a culture toward creating a society that cultivates biodiversity and improve awareness of this both inside and outside our company.
|CSR Issues/Societal Issues||FYE 2019 action plans||FYE 2019 results||FYE 2020 action plans||SDGs|
|Implementation and follow-up on social contribution programs aimed at environmental conservation
[Basic Activity Guidelines 2 Environmental Conservation]
|Discover and promote new projects targeting environmental protection in Japan and overseas.||
Started a project for protecting green turtles, an endangered species
||Continue to support activities for protecting green turtles, an endangered species, through ELNA||13.
Structures and Systems
We have established items to assess what impact investment projects will have on the natural environment in the ESG Checklist for Investment — a checklist that must be submitted when entering into new business investment projects. We check whether or not there will be an impact on ecosystems attributable to the applicable project and whether or not there will be an impact on the natural environment (e.g., depletion of resources). If an impact is recognized, we perform risk management in advance of executing the project. For example, upon risk analysis, we make requests to external specialist organizations for additional due diligence if necessary.
Consideration for Biodiversity in the Pulp Manufacturing Business
Guidelines for Mine Closure
In our mineral resource development business, we have prepared a guideline for mine closure based on international standards*. In addition to land reclamation, mine closure plans should be designed so that there is as little negative impact and maximum profit as possible on the local society and economy. To achieve that, such proper measures should be taken as to prepare funds for closure, ensure the safety of waterways constructed at the time of the mine's operation, and to prevent contaminations with chemicals being used. Towards future mining closure, we have cooperated with partners, assessed the environmental impact and formulate mine closure plans as stipulated by the countries where projects are, and put the system in order to check the implemented process of the plan.
- EHS Guidelines (Mining) of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Support for a Biodiversity Conservation Program in the Amazon
ITOCHU has supported the Field Museum Concept since FYE 2017. This is a biodiversity conservation program in the tropical rainforest of the Amazon being advanced by the Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University together with the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Brazil for environmental conservation and biodiversity.
The Amazon is an area equivalent to more than half of the tropical rainforests on the earth — it is also known as a treasure trove of ecosystems. However, rapid economic development and local residents cutting down the forest due to their lack of environmental education has led to the gradual loss of this precious ecosystem over the last few years. The Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University is working together with the National Institute of Amazonian Research to conduct research and dissemination activities to maintain the precious ecosystem of the Amazon. Japan and Brazil have been working together to conduct research and develop facilities for conservation using the advanced technologies that are the specialty of Japan.
We supported the construction of the Field Station. This is a base for the natural observation and research of the diverse creatures and ecosystem of the Amazon in the Cuieiras region at a branch of the Amazon River. This facility was developed through industry, government and academia collaboration. In addition to a multipurpose building with a facility where visitors gather for seminars and research presentations (visitor center), there is also an accommodation building. The opening ceremony for this facility was held in May 2018. The station has made the long-term monitoring of animals and plants possible in an excellent region where a submerged forest and terra firme (solid ground) both exist. This has seen it attract attention both in Brazil and elsewhere around the world. In the future, advanced research will be conducted on the Amazon's tropical rainforest in the medium-to-long term. At the same time, environmental educational activities will be further simulated. It is hoped that this will lead to the conservation of the biodiversity in the Amazon. In addition to research on the Amazon's aquatic life (river dolphins and manatees) and upper reaches of the tropical rainforest that were difficult to study until now, many plans are being considered for the future.
In addition, for the purpose of saving the vulnerable species of the Amazon manatee, ITOCHU supports a program to reintroduce the Amazon manatee into the wild. The number of manatees being protected due to injuries associated with poaching is increasing. On the other hand, autonomous reintroduction into the wild is difficult. Accordingly, there was a pressing need to establish a project to reintroduce manatees into the wild. This project was aiming to reintroduce into the wild nine or more manatees and to semi-reintroduce into the wild 20 or more manatees during the period of the project over three years from FYE 2017. In reality, it has reintroduced into the wild 27 manatees and semi-reintroduced 28 manatees.
Project for Protecting Green Turtles, an Endangered Species
For the purpose of conserving biodiversity, ITOCHU Corporation support activities for protecting green turtles, designated as an endangered species.
Green turtles lay their eggs in Japan on the sandy beaches of Ogasawara Islands. People's lives are deeply connected to the natural environment surrounding green turtles. For instance, coastal development has reduced the availability of sandy beaches used as spawning grounds, the green turtles are caught as bycatch and eat refuse on the coast, mistaking it for food. The probability that a green turtle will reach maturity over a period of around 40 years is between 0.2% and 0.3% (the survival rate of young naturally hatched turtles). In order to cultivate an awareness of the environment on the part of employees, from August 25 to 30, 2018, ITOCHU conducted a Green Turtle Protection Tour on Chichijima in the Ogasawara archipelago, the largest green turtle breeding ground in Japan. Ten ITOCHU employees and family members took part in the tour.
Through ongoing support of activities to protect green turtles in the future, ITOCHU will contribute to the protection of marine and coastal ecosystems and halting of biodiversity loss, which make up part of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations.
Tropical Forest Regeneration and Ecosystem Conservation Activities on Borneo
Borneo is a tropical forest region spanning three countries — Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Its area is approximately double that of Japan. This makes it the third largest island in the world. Borneo, which is called a treasure trove of biodiversity, is developing. This has led to damage to the tropical forest to the extent that conservation of the ecosystem is not possible with natural regeneration alone. The WWF, a worldwide nature protection organization, is collaborating with the Forest Department in the local Sabah State to conduct an activity to regenerate a forest of approximately 2,400 hectares. This is taking place in North Ulu Segama, Sabah State in Malaysia in the northeastern part of Borneo — a forest regeneration area that has continued to be protected by the ITOCHU Group since 2009. The ITOCHU Group has supported the regeneration of 967 hectares of this land. The afforestation work was completed in 2014 and all on-site work, including maintenance and management work, was finished in January 2016. This is the largest area in which afforestation activities are supported by a regular company. This land is also home to the endangered species of the orangutan. The regeneration of this forest will also lead to the protection of many creatures living here in addition to this orangutan.
Hunting World's Borneo Support Activity
Hunting World, a luxury brand deployed by ITOCHU, has been using a logo with the motif of a young elephant without its tusks since the foundation of the brand in 1965. While serving as a symbol of freedom and revival, it also represents the challenge of looking toward the future in terms of the protection of endangered species. It contains the founder's love and respect for nature. Hunting World Japan, which sells Hunting World goods in Japan, has been supporting a biodiversity conservation activity being promoted by an NPO called the Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) since 2008 to support the realization of coexistence with nature as called for by the founder. The company plans and sells charity goods and then provides 1% of those proceeds to the BCT. This helps with the funds to purchase land for a green corridor and the costs to rescue Borneo elephants that have gone astray in plantations. The company also independently acquired four acres of land in the green corridor project zone with its assistance funds up to that point in the fall of 2011 to create the Hunting World Kyosei no Mori (Symbiotic Forest of Hunting World). These donations have also helped with the funds to establish the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary. This is the first facility in the Wildlife Rescue Center that has been promoted by BCT Japan, which supports the BCT, since September 2013.
- Green corridor: This is an activity to conserve biodiversity. The land between forest protection zones and forest reserves are purchased back. Divided forests are then connected to create a movement route for animals.
Cooperation with Stakeholders
Initiative Participation (Activities Through Business and Industry Groups)
We participate in the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren). We support nature conservation projects in developing areas mainly in the Asia-Pacific region and in Japan through the Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation that was established in 1992 when the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit) was held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation has been working to build an environment in which the business community strives to conserve nature. This has included exchanges with NGOs, the holding of seminars and symposia, and the announcement of the Declaration of Nature Conservation by Keidanren, the Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren and the action guidelines for them (revised in October 2018). In addition, in recent years, the committee has also undertaken a tree-planting activity in the Tsunami Memorial Park Nakanohama (Miyako, Iwate Prefecture) that was affected by a tsunami as reconstruction support for Tohoku through the restoration of nature.
Cooperation with External Organizations toward Sustainable Palm Oil
ITOCHU joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2006. We have set a target of handling only RSPO certified palm oil or palm oil equivalent to that by 2025. We are working on the procurement and supply of sustainable palm oil through cooperation and collaboration with other member companies.
We are also participating in the Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT). This is a project by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) that assesses major palm oil related companies in terms of more than 50 indicators based on data released to the public. We disclose information to stakeholders relating to the palm oil industry through two-way communication.
Participation in the CDP
We participate in the CDP. This is an NGO with the largest database in the world related to environmental information (e.g., climate change measures of companies). We do this as part of our work to proactively disseminate information about our efforts on ESG for various stakeholders around the world. We have been answering the written inquiries of CDP Forests to assess forest management in the supply chain of companies since FYE 2014.
Aside from our business activities, the ITOCHU Group also conducts activities to conserve biodiversity through activities to contribute to society.
Performance Data on Biodiversity
|Theme||Activities||Three-year (FYE 2017-2019) performance indicators||FYE 2017
|FYE 2017 Results||FYE 2018
|FYE 2018 Results||FYE 2019
|FYE 2019 Results|
|Return to semi-captive environment||Release of manatees into a semi-captive lake (Manacapuru) or a preserve established in a river (Rio Cuieiras).||
|Return to the wild||
|Providing environmental training for local residents and raising their environmental awareness||Raising awareness of biodiversity conservation among local residents through a project for returning manatees to the wild.||