Environment : Biodiversity Conservation

eco ideas

Way of Thinking about Biodiversity

Our social lives and business activities are based on various benefit provided by the natural capital (ecosystem services). It has been recognized that conservation of biodiversity is as important as measures for climate change and resource recycling and they are closely linked each other in establishing a society where humans and nature coexist in harmony which is a longterm vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

In the conservation of biodiversity of the Green Plan 2021 we formulated to achieve "a better life" and "a sustainable global environment" at the same time, as described in the Panasonic Environment Vision 2050, we promote activities with the 3 targets for our business activities, focusing on sustainable procurement,, along with activities for social contribution.

Green Plan 2021 (Continuing efforts): Biodiversity conservation

Targets SDGs
Sustainable procurement of raw materials Promote sustainable procurement of wood and paper, etc. 12,13,15,17
Utilization of greenery in business sites (land use) Utilize greenery in business sites, considering conservation of biodiversity 13,15,17
Products and services Offer products and services that contribute to conservation of conservation 11,12,15,17

* The Green Plan that is reviewed and revised every three years is equivalent to the Biodiversity Action Plan under the Convention on Biological Diversity

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 with 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 in 2010. Based on these guidelines, we conduct an annual survey on wood material procurement among our suppliers.

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)

The survey results in fiscal 2021 are as follows.

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

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. 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.

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)*1 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'"

<External certifications and awards>

  • Acquired three stars under the Shiga Biodiversity Action Certification Program (2018)*2
  • Acquired ABINC certification (March 2018) and renewed the certification (February 2021)
  • Received an Award of Excellence in the 2nd ABINC Awards (January 2020)

*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 enterprises in the area of biodiversity conservation with 1 to 3 stars granted by governor.

ABINC Certification
Three-star rating in Shiga Biodiversity Action Certification Program
Panasonic Appliances Company’s Sustainable Forest

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

The Matsumoto Factory of the Automotive Company*3 obtained rank A in the JHEP (Japan Habitat Evaluation and Certification Program)*4 in September 2015. Although the certification is not renewed as of now, thanks to the grassland of Japanese pampas grasses improved at that time, the placement of snags, and the exclusion of non-native species, increase in the number of breeding birds and butterflies has been steady. We are continuing the activities for conservation of biodiversity in the green areas at this business site.

*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.

Initiatives for Products and Services

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.

Contributing to Biodiversity Conservation through Lighting

The Lighting Business Division of Life Solutions Company develops and sells lighting products that care for the environment and biodiversity.

LED Insect Attractor (Product name: Mushi Keeper)

An insect attractor lures insects away from shops, warehouses, and sports fields, where they gather because of the lights, in order to reduce damage and nuisance caused by insects. Conventionally, the device attracted insects with a UV fluorescent lamp and killed them with a high voltage grid. In June 2021, the company launched an LED insect attractor (Mushi keeper). The product's UV and blue LED lights attract and retain insects, enabling reduction of insect damage and without killing them. This helps protect the ecosystem as the insects can return to nature.
Conventional insect killers emitted light in all directions, attracting excessive insects. However, this newly adopted LED can emit light in the desired direction only, contributing to protecting biodiversity by its efficient insect attraction. The LED insect attractor has been confirmed to have a higher performance of insect attraction according to the insect attractiveness index.*3

LED insect attractor (keep attracting with UV + blue lights)
Emits a directional light to attract insects efficiently

*3 The insect attractiveness index is a theoretical index and does not represent the actual number of insects attracted by the light. (Source: AOKI, S. et al. (2005) Evaluation of Insect Attractiveness by New Index. Proceedings of 2005 Annual Conference of The Illuminating Engineering Institute of Japan, 284.)

Developing IDA-certified LED Light

An LED security light and street light designed by the Lighting Business Division to minimize light pollution were approved as Dark Sky Friendly Lighting by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)*4 in February 2020. This was the first such achievement by a Japanese manufacturer*5. One of the approval criteria requires that lighting must have a correlated color temperature of 3,000 kelvin and lower (warm color) not only to reduce light pollution but also to lessen any adverse impact on wildlife.

*4 As IDA-certified lighting made by a Japanese manufacturer (according to IDA Tokyo, as of February 20, 2020).
*5 The International Dark-Sky Association: The leading global organization addressing light pollution.
(Reference) Light Pollution Control Guidelines. (March 2021) Ministry of the Environment. We also contributed to the creation of these guidelines.

IDA "Dark Sky Approved"

Firefly-Friendly Street Lighting

Preceding our IDA-certified LED light, we had already developed an LED light with a spectrum and optical properties that had less impact on fireflies in 2016 and installed the LED lights on streets in different municipalities. According to the study made in Numama, Zushi City, Kanagawa Prefecture, the number of fireflies observed increased from 68 in the previous year to 145*6.

*6 The light was designed purely to minimize disturbance to the firefly habitat and does not guarantee for improving growth of fireflies or increase of the population.

Street lights in Zushi City are replaced with firefly-friendly LED lights

Floor Board Substrate Made of 100% Recycled Wood from Construction Wastes

The Housing Systems Business Division is working to reduce usage of natural resources to conserve the forest. Fit Board is a new eco-conscious product that uses 100% recycled wooden material (excluding glue) made from construction waste in a wood-based flooring substrate.

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*7 for some 20 years through collaboration with WWF Japan. Main activity at present is continual supply of MSC- and ASC-certified*8 sustainable seafood*9 to employees' canteens that started for the first time in Japan at Panasonic headquarters in March 2018. In this fiscal year, the number of employees work in the office decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to the temporary closure of canteens and a significant reduction of menu items, as well as suspending the sustainable seafood menu in nearly half of the applicable canteens. Despite such a difficult situation, 10 more business sites newly adopted the sustainable seafood menu in their canteens, making a total of 52 sites. We are also providing support for other companies to introduce sustainable seafood into their canteens. Now the total has exceeded 30 such companies, making a grand total of 90, including our own sites.

From November 2020, we also started offering the sustainable seafood menu (avocado shrimp sandwich) to the public in Re-Life ON THE TABLE café in Panasonic Center OSAKA—a showroom that general customers can freely visit. Our efforts to promote sustainable seafood have now been introduced three times on TV.

Our aim is to encourage behavioral reform in our employees and the public in general to make a sustainable choice in their eating habits through offering a sustainable seafood menu in our canteens and commercial cafés and through publicity.
In this way, we are contributing to SDG 14 "Conservation of richness of marine life" and helping to make the topic of biodiversity mainstream.

Cumulative total of sites offering the menu exceeded 50
Re-Life ON THE TABLE café in Panasonic Center OSAKA showroom, a facility for general customers, offers an avocado shrimp sandwich made with shrimp that obtained ASC certification, a leading sustainable seafood certification.

Partners and canteens that have adopted sustainable seafood

FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
No. of sites with sustainable seafood menu 2 12 42 52
No. of certified catering companies
(Partners proposed by Panasonic only)
1 6 11 13
No. of adopting companies (Partners only) 0 2 4 4
No. of adopting sites under the above companies(Partners only) 0 5 27 38

<External awards>

  • Champion in the Initiative Category of the 1st Japan Sustainable Seafood Awards (November 2019)

*7 Including supports for the conservation of the tidal flats in Ariake Sea (2001 to 2006) and the Yellow Sea Ecoregion (2007 to 2015).
*8 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.
*9 Seafood that has been certified sustainable production with MSC and ASC certification and managed under CoC certification*10
*10 CoC is the acronym for Chain of Custody. Certification on securing management and traceability in processing, distribution, and marketing.

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

Continuing protecting satoyama and rivers through citizen networks

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.

Since its foundation in October 2010, PERJ has been working with a variety of stakeholders*12 to conserve local environments through efforts such as Hirakata City Hotani Satoyama Conservation Activity; Tanba Sasayama City Unitopia Sasayama Satoyama Revitalization Activity; Kadoma City Eco Network Activity; and Osaka City Yodo River and Johoku Wand*11 Conservation Activity. During these years, we have received the following awards in recognition of our contribution to nurturing the next generation to act for the environment under collaborations with local companies, universities, and citizen groups. These activities are for the purpose of biodiversity conservation, however, the cleaning activities at the rivers reduce marine plastic wastes which are directly flowing into oceans. For this reason, we will continue to promote these activities in the future.

<External awards>

  • Hirakata City Environment Award (February 2018)
  • Biodiversity Action Grand Prize (December 2018)
  • Kadoma City Environment Award (February 2019)
Wastes at Yodo River Activities at Yodo River

*11 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.
*12 Collaborating with numerous stakeholders, including NPOs, citizen groups, universities, administrative bodies, local governments, research institutes, corporations, and local farmers.

Participation in Biodiversity Initiatives

Panasonic actively participate in biodiversity initiatives and related industry organizations, as shown below. This is to accurately understand biodiversity policies in Japan and global trends concerning biodiversity, such as the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy of the European Green Deal. We feed these domestic and global policies back into our business and assess opportunities and risks. We also make an appeal about activities by Japanese corporations through the Convention on Biological Diversity under the COP.

<Participation>

  • Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation: Announcement of "Biodiversity Initiative" (June 2020). Panasonic is a participant in this initiative.
  • Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB)
  • Biodiversity Conservation Committee of the Japan Association of Industries and Environment
  • Biodiversity Working Group of four Electrical and Electronic Industry Associations*13

Additionally, our business divisions are participating in the Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA) to accelerate innovation in solving marine plastic waste issues.

*13 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).