A wide variety of organisms live on the earth, and these organisms are intricately intertwined to form ecosystems that have restorative functions that absorb various external changes and restore the ecosystems to their original state. The Idemitsu Group recognizes that in line with the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, passing on these ecosystems to the next generation, and maintaining and restoring an environment where diverse organisms can continue to live, is an important mission for companies to fulfill. In our Sustainability Policy, we explain that we will reduce environmental risks from our business activities and contribute to the conservation of the natural environment and the realization of a circular society. Under the Biodiversity Guideline as below, we are working to protect biodiversity while building alliances with local communities.
We continue our business activities while utilizing the natural environment (natural capital) consisting of land, water, air, and ecosystems including a wide variety of species and genes.
The importance of passing on the natural environment (natural capital), which is the foundation of social activities, to future generations in an appropriate manner is a value that we have cherished until now. Idemitsu Group Sustainability Policy clearly states that we will contribute to the preservation of the natural environment and the realization of a circular society by reducing environmental risks from our business activities.
This guideline is established as a supplement to the Idemitsu Group Sustainability Policy and as a guideline for further conservation activities in the field of biodiversity included in the natural environment (natural capital).
Also, referring to the Protected Planet, a website managed by the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), we have confirmed the proximity of our main business sites to regions requiring particular attention in terms of biodiversity conservation.
As a result of confirming the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categories for conservation areas within a 10-km radius of Idemitsu business sites, we recognize the category statuses on the right. Moreover, there were no areas (Ia, Ib) designated as wilderness areas or strict nature reserves based on these results.
To avoid impacting biodiversity in the course of its business activities, the Group complies with strict emission standards set by national and local governments and works hard to prevent environmental pollution.
|IUCN Categories of Protected Areas||Number of Bases*|
|Ⅰa||Strict Nature Reserve||0|
|Ⅲ||Natural Monument or Feature||1|
|Ⅳ||Habitat / Species Management Area||28|
|Ⅴ||Protected Landscape / Seascape||11|
|Ⅵ||Protected areas with sustainable use of natural resources||16|
The coal mining business entails excavating coal from underground reserves, which in the case of open-pit mining means scraping off the topsoil. At that point, it will have a negative impact in terms of biodiversity. However, by returning the topsoil to areas where mining has been completed and planting the same types of plants as had originally been present, an activity that strives to restore biodiversity (rehabilitation), the impact on the surrounding environment is kept to a minimum.
Furthermore, at our Australian coal mines, we have disclosed information on the acreage that has been mined and rehabilitated in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
|Category||2020 results||2021 results||2022 forecast|
|A. Mining sites||1530.0||1567.5||1599.7|
|B. Unrehabilitated sites||1406.3||1443.8||1460.8|
|C. Completed preparation for rehabilitation||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|D. Sites currently undergoing rehabilitation||292.1||292.1||292.1|
|E. Rehabilitated sites||N/A||N/A||N/A|
We are working to prevent the destruction of ecosystems by invasive species in line with the guidelines from IMO and the Ballast Water Management Convention (an international convention to regulate and manage ships’ ballast water and sediment), which came into effect on September 8, 2017. Ballast water is ocean water used as a weight to stabilize a ship. Because the convention obligates the installation of ballast water treatment equipment by a set deadline, we are steadily installing the equipment on Idemitsu Tanker’s very large crude carriers (VLCCs). As of January 31, 2020, we finished installing electrolysis-based and filter- and chemical-based treatment equipment on APOLLO DREAM and APOLLO ENERGY.
So as to not disrupt the ecosystems of the waters around ports, the treatment equipment is used to eliminate harmful water-borne organisms and pathogens carried in ballast water and replace ocean water taken on as ballast water upon embarkation with open ocean water that has a small impact on ecosystems.
Ever since before the importance of biodiversity conservation was widely recognized in recent years, we have always been conscious of the need to coexist with nature in conducting our business and have given due consideration to this area.
Idemitsu’s refineries and complexes were built in the 1950s, at a time when green belts started to be mandated for factory construction. In establishing these green belts, we have responded by exceeding the area required by law, and have sought to harmonize with the surrounding natural environment.
Initiatives like these are highly evaluated by external organizations. Hokkaido Refinery and Aichi Complex have received the highest grade of 5 (Superlative Stage) in the “Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES)” organized by the Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure.
To achieve the targets of 30by30, we have been a member of the “30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity,” since its inception, which was established in April 2022 by a group of companies, local governments, and organizations with the Ministry of the Environment serving as a secretariat.
Aims to effectively conserve at least 30% of the land and sea areas as healthy ecosystems by 2030 with the goal of stopping and restoring biodiversity loss by 2030 (Nature Positive).
For the achievement of 30by30, the government is taking the lead in implementing a scheme to certify areas where conservation activities are continuously implemented by the private sector, etc., as Natural Symbiosis Sites (tentative name).
Idemitsu’s Hokkaido Refinery is participating in the pilot test business for the full-scale implementation in FY2023. The Refinery is cooperating in the future development of the national system and has obtained provisional certification as a Natural Symbiosis Site (tentative name).
(Official certification as a Natural Symbiosis Site (tentative name) is scheduled for FY2023, when this system is officially in place)
Since December 1996, Hokkaido Refinery has been participating in the Corporate Forest Program started by the Forest Agency, in which companies participate in the upkeep of national forests to contribute to society and the environment. We named our watershed protection forest “Idemitsu Appenai Watershed Forest” and manage it appropriately.
In May 2008, we leased a 4.5-hectare man-made forest in Tomakomai City. In June, the following month, we invited 102 of the city’s elementary school students to a hands-on forestation class. The children planted 6,500 Sakhalin spruces, Japanese white birches, and double-cherry trees. The forest was dubbed the Idemitsu Green- Filled Nature Forest by the students who participated in the class. We will continue to manage the forest for the next 80 years.
Aichi Complex is a key active member of the "Inochi wo Tsunagu Project*” which aims to improve biodiversity and promote the formation of ecosystem networks. In FY2022, they participated in the project's "LOVE GREEN DAY 2022" event.
To protect hooded cranes, categorized as Vulnerable (VU) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, that migrate to the Yashiro area of Shunan City around the end of October, the Tokuyama Complex participates and cooperates every year in volunteer activities for “crane roost making” promoted by the Shunan City government.
The water used at Solar Frontier Kunitomi Office is groundwater from Aya Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, which is known for Japan's largest laurel forest zone. Kunitomi Office, together with the local public and private sectors, has been participating in the protection and restoration activities of this forest since 2013 as a form of appreciation for being able to use the groundwater. On November 23, 2019, 21 Kunitomi Office employees and their family members volunteered in a project to set up deer net to protect the vegetation in the forest. It was not an easy job to set up a 140m long deer net along the unfamiliar mountain path while paying careful attention to avoid unnecessary incident. Breathing clear mountain air and felt its energy flow through the body, our volunteers realized the value of protecting the nature.
As a company located on the shore of Tokyo Bay, Idemitsu participates in the Public-Private Cooperation Forum for Tokyo-Bay Restoration. We have created indicators to assess the revitalization of Tokyo Bay and are working to restore the biodiversity of the bay in part by conducting surveys related to water quality and other factors.
On July 21, 2019, Aichi Refinery (currently Aichi Complex) hosted the Green Belt Experience, an event where children and their parents in Chita City can observe nature and collect insects inside the green belt. The green belt was designed to make it a friendly business site without harming the neighborhood and protect the surrounding ecosystem in the area. With the support of members of the Student Executive Committee for “Inochi wo Tsunagu Project”, who work for environmental protection, the children were overexcited in collecting grasshoppers and dragonflies on the grass.
On May 11, 2019, Chita City Nature Investigation Team, in cooperation with Aichi Refinery (currently Aichi Complex), organized “Green Space Visit” event there. Together with team, some 110 local residents gathered, and under the warm sunshine, they visited the locally famous our Green Belt, collected insects.
We conduct environment-related educational and awareness-raising activities throughout the entire Company in June each year in conjunction with Japan’s Environment Month. In FY2022, we held lectures and other events with outside experts on the theme of “Biodiversity.”
Every time we install new equipment at our refineries and complexes, we conduct an environmental assessment to shelter any endangered plants species that have been identified through ecosystem surveys. Currently, at the Aichi Complex we are working to conserve Salvia plebeia, a plant species designated quasi-endangered by the Ministry of the Environment. As this species was discovered on the grounds when new facility construction was undertaken, we have set aside conservation areas within the refinery’s premises.
The Hokkaido Refinery works with local communities by participating in the Haskap Bank. The purpose of the Haskap Bank is to protect Tomakomai's native haskap resources and to acquire and study techniques for their preservation and cultivation.
Example of Idemitsu’s environmental assessment of the Tokuyama Complex Biomass Power Plant Construction Plan (commercial operations slated to start in fiscal 2022)
Meeting record: FY2021 2nd Shunan City Environmental Council (Japanese only)