- Related ESG :
Policy and approach
Toyobo Group Fundamental Policy on the Global Environment calls for the group to actively support and participate in environmental protection and biodiversity conservation activities throughout society and in local regions, as a good corporate citizen. In doing this, we strive to minimize the impact of our business activities on ecosystems and aim to realize a nature positive through conservation and maintenance activities in cooperation with local communities. To strengthen the efforts for biodiversity conservation, we formulated the "Action Guidelines for Biodiversity Conservation" in November 2021 and endorsed the "Initiative based on the Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren" in January 2022. We participated in 30by30 Alliance for biodiversity in November of the same year. We are promoting activities based on the following guidelines with respecting "Declaration of Biodiversity, Guide to Action Policy" issued by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), and "Guidelines for Private Sector Engagement in Biodiversity" formulated by the Ministry of the Environment.
Action Guidelines for Biodiversity Conservation
We recognize that biodiversity is an essential part of a sustainable society. As a group which continues to create the solutions needed by people and the earth, understanding the impact of our business activities on conservation of biodiversity, we will endeavor to conserve the three types of biodiversity (species, genetic, and ecosystem diversity) through various activities.
- We will work to understand how the group's business activities depend on and affect biodiversity, and endeavor to avoid or minimize negative impacts.
- We will strive to give consideration to biodiversity conservation throughout the entire value chain.
- We will contribute to the conservation by promoting development of Biodiversity-conscious products and technology.
- We will support and promote conservation activities through the employee's participation, and cooperation and collaboration with various stakeholders including local communities and NGOs.
- We will comply with domestic and overseas agreements on biodiversity.
Toyobo group's business activities and its involvement in biodiversity
At all domestic and overseas production sites of our group, by using IBAT,*1 we will conduct surveys to determine whether there are any rare species or natural environments such as the World Natural Heritage sites, IUCN*2 Protected Area Management Categories I-VI, and the Ramsar Convention*3 that should be conserved within 1 km around the site, and we have picked up the following sites.
In addition, we will set up initiatives in accordance with each local situation at our sites as Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). We confirm their progress at a company-wide meeting (Global Environment Conservation Conference) starting in fiscal 2024, along with the promotion of biodiversity conservation.
- The abbreviation of "Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool" refers to a database of the world's protected areas in which the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other organizations participate.
- The abbreviation of "International Union for Conservation of Nature" refers to an international nature conservation network consisting of national, governmental and non-governmental agencies.
- Official name is "Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat". It aims to conserve wetlands, which are an important habitat for a variety of organisms and a valuable resource for human life, through international cooperation and promote the wise use.
Sites with a Natural Environment to be Conserved
|Site name||IBAT assessment result||Explanation|
|Toyobo Iwakuni Production Center
TOYO CLOTH CO., LTD Iwakuni Plant
|Protected landscape areas
Resource conservation areas
|Part of a national park or quasi-national park
Areas to be protected for the sustainable use of natural resources
|Toyobo Research Center
|Species and habitat management areas||Natural Habitat Conservation Areas, National Wildlife Protection Areas|
|TOYO CLOTH CO., LTD Tarui Plant (Sennan, Osaka)||Resource conservation areas||Areas to be protected for the sustainable use of natural resources|
|JAPAN EXLAN COMPANY., Ltd.
TOYOBO PHOTO CHEMICALS CO., LTD. (Okayama, Okayama)
|Resource conservation areas||Areas to be protected for the sustainable use of natural resources|
|Toyobo Tsuruga Research and Production Center (Tsuruga, Fukui)||Species and habitat management areas||Natural Habitat Conservation Areas, National Wildlife Protection Areas|
|Toyobo MC Takasago Plant (Takasago, Hyogo)||Resource conservation areas||Areas to be protected for the sustainable use of natural resources|
- Toyobo Tsuruga Research and Production Center, and Toyobo MC Takasago plant: Areas to be protected are located more than 1 km (but less than 2 km) from the site, but are included in the scope of this activity
Relationship between Business Activities and Biodiversity
Made with reference to the "Map of Relationships between Corporations and Biodiversity" published by the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity.
Risk reduction and increasing opportunities (risk control)
To minimize the negative impact on biodiversity, we are proceeding following activities.
Reduction of environmentally hazardous substances emitted from production sites and plants
Under TOYOBO Group Fundamental Policy on the Global Environment, we have established voluntary standards and reduction targets for chemical substances discharged into the atmosphere and water that are stricter than those required by law, and we are working to thoroughly manage these substances and reduce their emissions.
For example, we utilize our in-house VOC treatment equipment and other environment conservation technologies to reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals in wastewater and exhaust gas from our plants and plants. To prevent accidental spillage of hazardous chemical substances, we have installed monitoring devices in the manufacturing process and are working to improve the manufacturing process to minimize the use and discharge of these chemical substances.
Please see reduce impact on the environment section for targets and achievements for fiscal 2031.
Environment impact assessment (Eco-Review System) at development
Since 1998, we have been using the Eco-Review System to evaluate the impact of our products on environment from the viewpoint of environment conservation. Under this system, we evaluate our products/technologies from the viewpoints of "preventing climate change," "reducing chemical substances," "resource conservation," "waste reduction," "environment contributing," and "biodiversity" at every stage from raw materials to disposal. Since this system is implemented at each stage from R&D to commercialization, the themes that are deemed necessary to be improved at the R&D stage will be improved by the time of the next Eco-Review. As a result, while developing products and technologies, we are working to reduce the burden on environment and improve products that contribute to biodiversity conservation and other.
Contributing through business processes and products
We are also contributing to reduce impact on the environment of our customers through the markets of waste fluids, drain, and exhaust gas treatment equipment, as well as water treatment membranes.
Forest conservation activities at "Toyobo Future Forest" in Wakayama prefecture
Forest has multifaceted functions such as conservation of biodiversity and the global environment. We have worked on Forest Conservation Activities of "Toyobo Future Forest" in a mountain forest in central Wakayama prefecture. Since its inception in 2006, in cooperation with the local Hidaka town and the forest association of Kichuu (or central Wakayama prefecture), we have been working on tree planting and weeding, etc. In November 2021, we supplementally planted broadleaf trees such as wild cherry, sawtooth oak, and maple.
Wild deers live in this area of the forest and sometimes eat the seedlings of the trees. For the coexistence of deers and trees, the area around the "Future Forest" is enclosed with nets which use our material, IZANAS® to prevent animals from entering.
Through forest conservation activities in Wakayama prefecture, we will contribute to issues such as biodiversity and climate change.
Putting covers preventing feeding damage by deers on saplings (November 2021)
Participation in cleanup activities to preserve the biodiversity of the Seto Inland Sea
The Seto Inland Sea is one of the most important areas for biodiversity conservation. Our business sites and group companies (Iwakuni Production Center, Toyobo MC Takasago Plant, TOYO CLOTH CO., LTD., JAPAN EXLAN COMPANY, LIMITED, TOYOBO PHOTO CHEMICALS CO., LTD.) are located in this surrounding area. These business sites, and companies conduct cleanup activities at least once a year to pick up litter along the coast and in rivers flowing into the Seto Inland Sea.
Cleanup activities at YUHO CO., LTD.
Cleanup activities at JAPAN EXLAN COMPANY, LIMITED
Cleanup activities at TOYOBO PHOTO CHEMICALS CO., LTD.
Engagement with governments, non-profit organizations and local community
At the environmental seminar held every year as part of the group's environmental education, a study session was held in fiscal 2023 under the theme of "biodiversity conservation" with lecturers invited from the Ministry of the Environment (Office for Mainstreaming Biodiversity) and an NPO (The Citizens Environmental Foundation).
A total of over 500 people from company-wide participated in each seminar, including online participants, who deepened their knowledge of biodiversity conservation by asking questions to the lecturers.
In June 2023, as part of biodiversity conservation activities of Toyobo Research Center, (Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture) we invited a professor from Biodiversity Science Research Centre, Ryukoku University (Otsu City) to give a lecture on biodiversity conservation and its significance: environment DNA analysis as an observation technology.
A total of about 200 participants studied cutting-edge science studies on biodiversity conservation, with Toyobo Research Center as their primary venue and company-wide online.
Scenes of Environmental Seminars in FY2024
Collaboration with local community
Cooperative management of groundwater
Tsuruga Research and Production Center of our group participates in the ”Tsuruga City Water Environment Improvement Roundtable”, which consists of local government officials, academics, residents, companies, and NGOs that have come together for the purpose of groundwater management. The report provides information on measures to achieve the reduction targets promised to the local government and citizens, as well as the results of activities and future plans.
The Toyobo group will continue to work with local communities to properly manage groundwater use in order to conserve biodiversity.
Lake Biwa day event: 100 sites eDNA survey
The Toyobo group has supported "Lake Biwa Challenge: 100 sites eDNA survey," a project to research living organisms in Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake in Shiga Prefecture. The survey, conducted by Ryukoku University's Center for Biodiversity Science, is a sub-project of “Ryukoku Lecture with Shiga Prefecture related to Lake Biwa Day,” an open lecture of Ryukoku University.
"Lake Biwa Challenge: 100 sites eDNA survey," started in 2021, involves collecting water samples annually at 100 locations along the entire lake by local citizens, organizations, and companies. The samples will be analyzed for environmental DNA* at the university's center, to obtain data essential for conserving biodiversity, such as the habitat distribution, and proliferation of invasive species.
The Research Center, a Toyobo research hub also located in Shiga Prefecture, has participated in local environmental activities and launched its own campaigns to clean up the lake with the aim of conserving the lake's biodiversity. As part of its support for the latest project, Toyobo will regularly take its own water samples at a company site on the lakeside to obtain data over time in addition to participating in the annual lake water sampling. Toyobo will also consider conducting joint projects with the university center that use technology to analyze environmental DNA.
- DNA expelled by living organisms, such as those originating in their body fluids and feces.
- Toyobo supports "Lake Biwa Challenge: 100 sites eDNA survey" to accelerate efforts for biodiversity conservation
Realizing nature positive
30by30 has attracted attention as a global target for biodiversity, including an agreement reached in COP27 of 2022, with the goal of protecting at least 30% of its land and sea areas by 2030.
We have purchased forests since the 1950s to ensure domestic self-sufficiency of chemical fiber raw materials. Since then, we have been able to sell forests because of a change in the composition of chemical fiber business and other factors, and we are now holding only some forests for the purpose of producing lumber.
In recent years, we have been reviewing our company-owned forests in response to rising concerns about environment issue. We believe that properly managing forests contributes to the relaxation of climate change and the conservation of biodiversity.
As a control objective of our company-owned forests, we will promote forestry activities while maintaining its function as a water source conservation forest. We will also promote sustainable forest management with the aim of coexistence between people and nature by placing emphasis on continuity with the abundant forests surrounding us. We will strive for activities that take into consideration limited resources and biodiversity.
The amount of CO2 absorbed in the Company-owned forests currently owned is estimated to be approximately 6000 tons/year of 1,500ha's forest area absorbed in one year.
In November 2022, TOYOBO and Toyobo Real Estate Co., Ltd. joined 30by30 alliance for biodiversity to promote activities aimed at halting and restoring biodiversity losses. (nature positive).
In this alliance, the Ministry of the Environment has begun to certify areas where biodiversity conservation is being promoted through private sector initiatives, etc., as an initiative to establish areas that contribute to the conservation other than protected areas (OECM: Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures). Our company-owned forest in Aya town, Miyazaki Prefecture has been certified as a site for coexistence with nature.
Conducting biological surveys
In fiscal 2023, we began a monitoring survey of company-owned forests located in Aya Town, Miyazaki Prefecture.
Through surveys, it was confirmed that rare organisms (e.g., domestic rare wild fauna and flora species, Ministry of the Environment Red List 2020: endangered IB species, and Miyazaki Prefectural Red List 2022: endangered I species) exist, and that deer and other food hazards are caused by deer.
Regarding animal pollution, we have already implemented measures such as installing a deer fence in the afforestation area, but this is the first time we have conducted a survey of the entire forest.
In the future, we will continue monitoring surveys and consider new activities in collaboration with local communities and recovery from animal damage (nature positive).
Collaboration with local community
In June 2023, we concluded a comprehensive collaboration agreement with Aya town, Miyazaki Prefecture, where one of our group-owned forests is located.
Aya town has one of the largest laurel forests in Japan, and has been registered as a UNESCO Eco Park by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization) in 2012, receiving high praise worldwide for its efforts to create a community that coexists with nature.
In the future, we will work together to revitalize the Aya town area using our company-owned forests and to coexist with our sustainable manufacturing and conservation of the natural environment.