Environment : Biodiversity Conservation

eco ideas

Approaches to Biodiversity

Business management and human life in our society is founded on the ecosystem services - a multitude of blessings from nature provided by our natural capital, including soil, air, water, and animals and plants. In achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and realizing societies where people and nature live harmoniously, which is the long-term goal of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, measures to address climate change, resources recycling, and biodiversity have been recognized as being closely linked each other.

The year 2020 is the final year for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and IPBES*1 has already published a report stating that blessings from nature, i.e. ecosystem services, are deteriorating on a global scale and that the targets relevant to the protection of nature and sustainable use of nature cannot be achieved if no drastic measures are taken. However, transformative changes across the economy, society and other areas reportedly hold potentials of achieving the targets by 2030 or later.

To date, Panasonic have properly understood the impact of our business activities on biodiversity and made efforts to achieve our target of contributing to its conservation. We formulated our "Green Plan 2021" to work towards realizing "a better life" and "a sustainable global environment" compatibly as stated in the "Panasonic Environmental Vision 2050". The conservation of biodiversity in the "Green Plan 2021" is in line with the "Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)" under the Convention on Biological Diversity. We formulated the plan with targets set for 2030 and later, based on the reviewed results of our past activities, and the status of the achievement, considering global trends.

We consider that in conducting our business activities, taking actions by the companies involved in the entire supply chain is important for the conservation of biodiversity. Therefore, focusing on ‘sustainable procurement of raw materials', we have decided to continue 'to use land' considering conservation of biodiversity at all our sites and ‘to provide products and services' that contribute to biodiversity which we have worked so far. We will continue to work on conserving biodiversity through efforts focusing on business activities in the three targets and at the same time through social contributions.

*1 IPBES : Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Initiatives for Sustainable Procurement of Raw Materials

Starting with the "Green Plan 2021", we have decided to aim for the 'sustainable procurement of raw materials' to cover not only procurement of wood materials, but also procurement of raw materials considering conservation of biodiversity. In these procurements, we will also consider social issues such as human right that have been growing concerns, in addition to compliance of laws and regulations. In regard to procurement for wood, we discussed extensively with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Japan over our green procurement; and formulated the "Panasonic Group Green Procurement Guidelines for Wood" aiming for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources. Also we stated consideration for conservation of biodiversity conservation in our "Green Procurement Standards"for all companies involved in our supply chain as a whole, to take actions for conservation of biodiversity.

Exclusion of timbers and wood materials whose regulatory compliance in their logging has not been confirmed (Category 3)

In fiscal 2020, the total procurement of timber and wood materials was approx. 320,000m3. By category, this breaks down to 82.2% in Category 1 'Priority'" procurement standards (Difference from the previous fiscal year + 2.9 points), 17.8% in Category 2 'Acceptable' (Difference from the previous fiscal year – 2.9 points), and 0% in Category 3 'Avoiding' (Difference from the previous fiscal year +/- 0 points). Ever since the formulation of our "Green Procurement Guideline", we have worked on to achieve zero procurement for the Category 3, and have achieved zero procurement for the Category 3 consecutively since fiscal 2015. We will continue our efforts and maintain zero procurement for the Category 3.

Green Procurement Guidelines for Wood Consulted and Formulated with WWF

Green Procurement Guidelines for Wood Consulted and Formulated with WWF. Category 1 “Priority” procurement standards, Category 2 “Acceptable” , and Category 3 “Avoiding”.

Activities for Land Use

Green areas in our business divisions have a lot of potential to contribute to conserving biodiversity in that area. In particular, hardly any natural environments where wild animals can live and breed remain in urban areas. Therefore, even small areas of green in corporate premises can become a precious habitats of a variety of living things if they have indigenous vegetation and a watery environment.

Preservation of Biotopes in Collaboration with Governments and Experts

Once an ecological network that connects greenery in our business divisions, neighboring woodlands and parks is formed, living things such as birds, butterflies, and dragons in each area can move around wider areas for flowers and water through the ecological networks, and their habitats are expanded. In addition, the Ministry of the Environment and municipalities designate rare species of living things in local areas as endangers species for their preserving. Therefore, we have conducted preservation activities, in collaboration with environmental officers and experts. For example,) Biotope of Panasonic Life Solution Company in Kadoma City, through a Biodiversity Partnership (BP) Agreement concluded with Osaka prefectural government, Osaka Prefecture University, and Research Institute of Environment, Agriculture Fisheries (RIEGF) under Osaka prefectural government.

Protection of Rare Species with the Biotope and Utilization in Environmental Education

In March 2009, we built Hanei no Hiroba (Square of Affluence), an area of about 11,000 m2 of greenery in Life Solutions Company in the Kadoma site, and a corner of the greenery was made into a biotope of 300 m2. To make the best of its location positioned between the Yodogawa River and Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park in Osaka Prefecture, we have been monitoring its living organisms following expert advice and instructions of Osaka Prefecture University from the stage of planning for the biotope. The biotope has been maintained by volunteering employees from its start. Each early spring, spot-billed ducks nest and hatch their eggs in the biotope.
In June 2012, with the proposal and instructions from the Aquatic Life Conservation Research Center (Current Biodiversity Research Center) of the Research Institute of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Osaka Prefecture, we introduced hemigrammocypris rasborella (a fresh water fish belonging to the carp family) and monochoria korsakowii (a marsh plant) in the biotope. The number of hemigrammocypris rasborella that had been 40 at the start grew to roughly 1,500 in September 2013 and 7,400 in September 2014. Monochoria korsakowii are also growing steadily in number. In November 2013, with the conclusion of the Osaka Partnership Agreement among Osaka Prefecture, Osaka Prefecture University, Research Institute of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Panasonic, 100 Japanese Medaka fish (oryzias latipes; Ministry of the Environment & Osaka Prefectural Government endangered species) from Kita-Kawachi were newly introduced to the biotopes.
In October 2015, we invited local elementary school children to a workshop to study ecology and creatures in the biotope. We offered an opportunity for children to think about nature and the environment through learning about our biotope habitants and their lifecycles, as well as facts on endangered species.
In October 2016, the series of ecological activities by Life Solutions Company was presented with the Osaka Environment Award 2015, hosted by the Osaka prefectural government. This award is given to an individual, non-profit organization, or company that has made significant contribution of a model activity in building an enriched environment. The company's joint environmental project with Osaka Prefecture University and the Research Institute of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Osaka Prefecture, also received the Collaboration Prize under the Osaka Environment Award 2015.

Nature observation in the biotope

Acquisition of Eco-Certification Based on Quantitative Evaluation from external accredited body

Kusatsu Factory of the Panasonic Appliances Company in Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, obtained an eco-certificate from the Association for Business Innovation in harmony with Nature and Community (ABINC) in March 2018, as a business site for its contribution to biodiversity. In the course of assessment, we received high ratings for how we are making green corridors to be suited to diversified living creatures by appropriately conserving the natural environment, keeping invasive non-native species under proper management by continuously monitoring to understand their status, and the active use of woodland nearby the factory, in liaison with external eco-related organizations and local people, such as the local public bodies and primary school students.

In the monitoring survey we have conducted since 2011, 840 species of flora and fauna were confirmed. At the same time, the survey result has indicated that the woodland is an important biotope in the area where urbanization is taking place, which contributes to the formation of local ecological networks.
In addition, our continuing implementation of the environmental learning program on acorns for elementary school students was highly evaluated; and won an Award of Excellence in the 2nd ABINC award held in January 2020, as an 'activity contributing to the biodiversity mainstreaming'"

*1 ABINC is a certification system by third-party evaluation on greenery improvement and management at business divisions based on the land use score (biodiversity quantitative assessment tool in environmental assessment) and Guidelines for Sustainable Business Sites developed by the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB).
*2 Shiga Biodiversity Action Certification Program is the first system in Japan for rating wide range of activities conducted by business enterprizes in the area of biodiversity conservation with 1 to 3 stars granted by governor.

ABINC Certification (Excellence Award)
Three-star rating in Shiga Biodiversity Action Certification Program*2

The Matsumoto Factory of the Automotive & Industrial Systems Company*3 obtained rank A in the JHEP Certification*4 in September 2015. The certification is updated annually through assessment and our biodiversity preservation activities for greening are maintained continuously.

*3 The company name: Automotive & Industrial Systems when it received the certification
*4 A quantitative biodiversity assessment method developed by Ecosystem Conservation Society Japan based on the Japan Habitat Evaluation and Certification Program (HEP) used for environmental assessments.

Panasonic Appliances Company’s Sustainable Forest

Initiatives for Products and Services

In collaboration with Bird Life International, an international NGO, we have formulated a third-party evaluation method in order to provide customer with information on our product that contribute to conservation of biodiversity. Using this method, we have evaluated products which are closely linked to biodiversity. In addition, with our Green Product accreditation criteria (see page 33), we define our products that contribute to conservation of biodiversity because biodiversity-friendly materials are used in their main components, and/or they include functions to contribute to conservation of biodiversity.

In addition, Panasonic has developed Sustainable Smart Towns (SSTs) in Fujisawa City and Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture. We are currently planning to develop another SST in Suita City in Osaka Prefecture. In Fujisawa SST, the guidelines for developing community adopts the idea of biodiversity for greening towns as well as plans for reducing greenhouse gas emission, in order to establish sustainable towns by planting indigenous trees as the base in the towns, and by forming ecological networks that coexist in communities. The guidelines is used to develop a sustainable town.
Furthermore, in terms of conservation of forest resources, Panasonic Life Solutions Company is working on reducing its use of natural resources.

Conservation of Biodiversity through Collaboration with and Support for NGOs and NPOs

Introduction of MSC-ASC certified sustainable seafood at employee canteens

Panasonic has been involved in marine protection activities*5 for some 20 years through collaboration with WWF Japan.
Main activity at present is continual supply of MSC- and ASC-certified*6 sustainable seafood*7 to employees' canteens that started for the first time in Japan at Panasonic headquarters in March 2018. This fiscal year, we formulated a scheme to drastically reduce the cost and workload involved in CoC certification*8 for catering companies, and supported other companies in adopting the scheme and acquiring the CoC certification; as a result, five catering companies (cumulative total reaching 11 companies) obtained the CoC certification, and two other companies (cumulative total of 5 companies) adopted the sustainable seafood to their canteens. As of fiscal 2020, in Panasonic, 30 new sites adopted the sustainable seafood to the canteens, increasing the cumulative total to 42 sites. In fiscal 2021, in addition to adoption of the sustainable seafood at all of our employees' canteens, we plan to challenge starting up a network among user companies of sustainable seafood. Through the supply of sustainable seafood at employees' canteens, we are promoting to transform consumer behavior of our employees to contribute to SDG 14 ‘Conservation of richness of marine life', as well as to make biodiversity mainstream. As these activities were highly evaluated, we won a champion in the Initiative Category of the 1st Japan Sustainable Seafood Award, and certified as a partnership project of the Japan Committee for UNDB (United Nation Decade on Biodiversity) in 2019.

*5 Including supports for the conservation of the tidal flats in Ariake Sea (2001 to 2006) and the Yellow Sea Ecoregion (2007 to 2015).
*6 MSC certification is certified by Marine Stewardship Council for sustainably and properly managed fisheries. ASC certification is certified by Aquaculture Stewardship Council for responsible fish farming to minimize environmental load on the environment and society.
*7 Seafood that has been certified sustainable production with MSC and ASC certification and managed under CoC certification
*8 CoC is the acronym for Chain of Custody. Certification on securing management and traceability in processing, distribution, and marketing.

Champion in the Initiative Category of the 1st Japan Sustainable Seafood Awards
Fried oysters using ASC certified oysters harvested from Tokura in the Minami-Sanriku coastal region (Northeast of Japan)

Promotion of activities for conservation of biodiversity around the world through NGOs and NPOs

Panasonic actively participates in Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation, aiming to promote activities for biodiversity collaborating with industrial sectors, as well as activities for conservation of biodiversity on a global scale through NGOs and NPOs. Through the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund which collects donations from corporation including donations from Panasonic and individual persons, Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation (KCNC) provided support worth approx. ¥4.2 billion for 1,490 NGO projects in Japan and overseas in cumulative total till fiscal 2020.
Panasonic not only supports the projects initiated by KCNC in funding and participation, but also fulfills responsibilities to check progresses of the projects through visiting the local sites of the projects, and the like.

In fiscal 2020, we visited the Galapagos Islands, a World Natural Heritage site, where scalesia shrub and tree (family Asteraceae), which are endangered species listed in the Red List, grow, in order to observe local conservation activities, and plant scalesia trees there. Although KCNC has supported the project for conservation of scalesia for 20 years, only 1% of the scalesia species has been recovered. Local researchers of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands explained that continuously increasing the number of scalesia is necessary because scalesia serves as habit for endemic species in Galapagos.

Scalesia trees planted by KCNC project

Involvement in the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity with Other Companies

Panasonic involves in the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB) and the Biodiversity Conservation Committee of the Japan Association of Industries and Environment (JAIE). We try to properly grasp global trends and risks in biodiversity, referring to the post-Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the like, and policies set by the government in Japan; and give the feedback to our businesses. In addition, JBIB conducted a workshop to raise awareness on marine plastic issues for high school students, collaborating with the member companies including us.

In involving in the Biodiversity Working Group of four Electrical and Electronic Industry Associations*1, we took up marine plastic issues which have had an impact on marine life in fiscal 2020. With the cooperation of Arakawa Clean Aid Forum, NPO, the working group cleaned up the banks of the Arakawa River, and added a case example of the marine plastic issue to "Let's Try Biodiversity," a booklet with collected examples of biodiversity conservation activities. Furthermore, regarding Keidanren's ‘industry-specific plastic-related target', aiming to ‘conduct activities to address marine plastic waste issues that would contribute to conservation of biodiversity' in the field except products and factories,, we will summarize that even an activity such as cleaning up around own workplace contributes to reduce marine plastic wastes, and will promote such activities to raise awareness on marine plastic wastes to the member companies of the four associations.

As a member company supporting the ‘Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren, and the like' for the 2020 Biodiversity COP15, we independently submitted our action policy and case examples of activities, aiming to have more attention to our global activities on conservation of biodiversity. Additionally, we are participating in the Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA) to accelerate innovation in solving marine plastic waste issues.

*1 Four industry associations: 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).

"Let's Try Biodiversity!" for Marine plastic waste issues

Protection of Natural Monuments in Collaboration with Citizens Groups

Panasonic members of companies located in Japan, and their labor unions and retiree association conduct a variety of environmental protection activities as Panasonic Eco Relay Japan (PERJ) in a one team.
PERJ is working on conservation of 'itasenpara bitterling', a designated species as natural monument, engaging in the Yodo River and Johoku Wand Conservation Activity as a partner of the Citizens' Network for Conservation of Itasenpara bitterling in the Yodo River System. Specifically, the activities are to conserve biodiversity including clean-up of wastes at the Yodo River Wand*1, a precious natural habitat remains in Osaka City, eradication and researches of non-native species, and conservation of endangered species such as 'itasenpara bitterling'.
Also, PERJ's following activities are highly evaluated: continued clean-up in Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park and Nakanoshima Park, and contribution to nurturing persons who will play important roles in environmental activities for the next generation, in cooperation with local businesses, universities nearby, and citizens groups. As a result, PERJ won the Osaka City Environmental Award in February 2020.

*1 Wand is terrain just like a small pond surrounded by river structures, although Wand is connected to a main stream of the river. Wand provides stable habitats for fish and other aquatic life, and at the same time, it is breeding grounds for a variety of plants.

PERJ activities
Itasenpara bitterling

Summary of Contributions to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the SDGs (FY2011-2020)

Activities Aichi Biodiversity Targets SDGs
Green procurement for wood
  • Wood procurement based on the "Green Procurement Guidelines for Wood" to eliminate procurement of illegal wood, zero since 2014
1. Promotion and awareness
4. Production and consumption
12. Responsibilities to produce and to use
15. Conservation of richness of life on land
Land use Woodlands and biotopes made considering conservation of biodiversity at our sites where ecological networks are connected with surrounding areas (for use in environmental education & awareness-raising activities)
  • Kusatsu site (ABINC certification)
  • Matsumoto Factory (JHEP certification)
  • Two locations in Osaka Prefecture
1. Promotion and awareness
5. Protection of natural habitats
9. Eradication of nonnative species
11. Nature reserve areas
14. Ecosystem services
15. Conservation of richness of life on land
Products & services
  • Low insect attract lighting equipment 'Tafna-Ray'
  • Ballast water treatment system
  • Guidelines for planting, considering biodiversity in SST (Implementation to eradicate invasive non-native species)
  • Fit Floor flooring (using recycled wood)
5. Protection of natural habitats
9. Eradication of nonnative species
19. Knowledge and technologies
9. Making infrastructures for industry & innovation
11. Making towns where the residents are willing to live a life longer.
12. Responsibilities to produce and consume
14. Conservation of richness of marine life
15. Conservation of richness of life on land
Social contribution activities
  • Adoption of sustainable seafood at employee canteens (MSC/ASC certified seafood)
  • Conservation activities at undeveloped woodland at Unitopia Sasayama
  • Conservation activities of ‘itasenpara bitterlings' at Wando of the Yodo River System
  • Tree planting and conservation activities through 'Nagaki no Mori' project (aiming for long-term forest conservation) , Wakayama Prefecture. There are many other activities conducted by PERJ in Japan as well as overseas such as planting and CSR activities.
  • Support for conservation activities through donation, and participation in supporting programs
1. Promotion and awareness
4. Production and consumption
5. Protection of natural habitats
6. Prevention of overfishing
14. Conservation of richness of marine life
15. Conservation of richness of life on land
17. Achievement of the target through collaboration with partnerships
(Targets for contribution by ripple effects.)
1. Eradication of Poverty
13. Concrete actions for climate change