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Biodiversity

Biodiversity Conservation Activities

Policy of activities

To maintain the health of Mother Nature which sustains humankind, it is essential to implement measures against global warming and ensure biodiversity  conservation and sustainability. The Brother Group launched greening activities in 1966, and started to work on biodiversity conservation through activities to plant seedlings, etc. in 2005.

The Nagoya Protocol  and Aichi Biodiversity Targets were adopted at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COP10) held in Nagoya, Aichi in October 2010. In response, the Brother Group added a new commitment: "We will endeavor to reduce our impact on the ecosystem and to conserve biodiversity in all our operations." to the Action Guidelines in the Environmental Policy  in FY2011 (April 1, 2011-March 31, 2012). In FY2012 (April 1, 2012-March 31, 2013), the Brother Group established a biodiversity conservation policy, and the scope has been expanded to cover activities in all business operations.

Brother Group's biodiversity conservation policy

Basic policy

To help build a sustainable society, the Brother Group will endeavor to reduce the impact of its operations on biodiversity and ensure biodiversity conservation through environmental and social contribution activities.

1. Challenges in management
The Brother Group recognizes biodiversity conservation as an important challenge for corporate survival, and works on environmental management.
2. Business operations
The Brother Group identifies the impact of all its operations (including procurement of raw materials) on biodiversity, and constantly endeavors to reduce the impact.
3. R&D activities
The Brother Group gathers information and acquires technologies regarding conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and promotes technological development.
4. Social contribution activities
The Brother Group works on biodiversity conservation activities in collaboration with stakeholders including government organizations, local residents, and NGOs.
5. Activities involving all employees
Actions are led by top management, and measures are taken throughout the company to help all employees increase their knowledge about biodiversity and encourage them to work voluntarily on conservation activities.
6. Communication
Details of activities are actively disclosed in and outside the company to raise awareness of biodiversity conservation activities.

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Brother Group's commitment to Aichi Biodiversity Targets

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets represent the global targets that serve as the core of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 adopted at CBD-COP10. It was agreed at CBD-COP10 to "take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity" by 2020, and actions required of respective countries were compiled as 20 items in the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Based on these items, the Four Electrical and Electronic Associations'* Biodiversity Working Group, of which Brother Industries, Ltd. is a member, identified eight items that are closely linked with the environmental and biodiversity conservation activities which companies in the electrical and electronic industries can work on and make more significant contributions through active promotion. The vision for contributing to respective targets by member companies was compiled and released as the Action Guidelines for Biodiversity Conservation in the Electrical and Electronic Industries in March 2015.

The table below summarizes the main activities undertaken by the Brother Group in line with the guidelines (as of March 31, 2016).

Action Guidelines for Biodiversity Conservation in the Electrical and Electronic Industries
and the status of the Brother Group's activities
Aichi Biodiversity Targets Action Guidelines for Biodiversity Conservation in the Electrical and Electronic Industries Status of the Brother Group's activities
Target 1:
Awareness increased
People recognize the value of biodiversity and related activities. Member companies will conduct employee education on biodiversity wherever possible so that the importance of biodiversity conservation will be widely recognized. Member companies will also contribute to raising public awareness of information about their conservation activities through by cooperating with other stakeholders.
  • The biodiversity basic policy was established based on the Brother Group Environmental Policy, and all employees were informed of the policy.
  • Employees participated in the GREEN ECHO project under the auspices of the Environmental Partnership Organizing Club. They cultivated traditionally grown vegetables, etc. to become more familiar with plants. The activities helped raise the environmental awareness of employees and member companies. Showing support for the GREEN ECHO project - raising environmental awareness by growing plants
    Showing support for the GREEN ECHO project - raising environmental awareness by growing plants
    Introducing the Chita No. 3 onion (a traditional vegetable of Aichi Prefecture) cultivated from seeds by employees at the Environmental Partnership Organizing Club
    Introducing the Chita No. 3 onion (a traditional vegetable of Aichi Prefecture) cultivated from seeds by employees at the Environmental Partnership Organizing Club
  • The eco point program and Click for the Earth  donation program have been promoted. Employees and their families, as well as customers, have been encouraged to work on eco-conscious actions, and have been solicited to participate in biodiversity-related activities, etc., thereby raising environmental awareness and expanding the scope of the programs.
Target 4:
Sustainable consumption and production
All parties concerned implement their plans for sustainable production and consumption. Member companies will conduct the following activities in their production activities and supply chains at each life-cycle stage wherever possible, in order to achieve sustainable consumption and production.
  • Continuous efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the production process
  • The provision of products and services that contribute to achieving a low-carbon society
  • Reducing the volume of waste to be landfilled
  • The 3R activities (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)
  • The procurement of biodiversity-friendly materials, etc.
  • Resource conservation has been promoted, with reductions in size and weight, collection, and recycling of products in mind, from the development phase.
  • CO2 emissions have been reduced by increasing the energy-saving performance of electronic circuits, implementing energy-saving functions, etc., thereby promoting the prevention of global warming.
  • ISO 14001  was introduced at respective business sites. Environmental conservation activities involving all employees (e.g. energy and resource conservation, chemical substances control, waste management, water saving, prevention of pollution) have been promoted to reduce impacts on ecosystems.
  • Efforts have been made to reduce CO2 emissions and prevent global warming by increasing efficiency in energy use (e.g. electricity and fuel) at business sites and shifting to substances whose global warming coefficient is small, etc., thereby mitigating climate change and impacts on ecosystems.
Target 5:
Habitat loss halved or reduced
The loss of natural habitats including forests is at least halved, and degradation and fragmentation are significantly reduced. Member companies will, wherever possible, take social actions and conduct biodiversity-conscious management of green spaces within their business premises, as well as promote the creation of ecosystem networks around the business premises, in order to protect habitats and reduce the degradation and fragmentation of habitats.
Target 8:
Pollution reduced
Pollution caused by chemical substances, fertilizers, and pesticides is reduced to the extent that is no longer harmful. Member companies will strive for the appropriate management of chemical substances from a global perspective and reduce adverse effects on ecosystems wherever possible, in order to prevent pollution that is detrimental to ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • When procuring raw materials for products, Brother has actively promoted green procurement, avoided chemical substances that affect the environment, and pursued biodiversity-conscious procurement of raw materials.
  • Efforts have been made to reduce environmental impacts due to operations at manufacturing facilities (e.g. eliminating boilers fueled by heavy oil, decomposing pollutants using catalytic combustion systems, introducing advanced wastewater treatment systems), thereby reducing the impacts on ecosystems due to the pollution of air, water, soil, etc.
Target 9:
Invasive alien species prevented and controlled
Invasive alien species are controlled or eradicated. Member companies will actively work on the eradication of invasive alien species, the prevention of the introduction of invasive alien species and awareness-raising activities about the problem, particularly in the transportation of their products, in the management of green spaces within their business premises and in their social actions, in order to prevent the impacts caused by invasive alien species.
  • Taiwan Brother Industries, Ltd. removed Mikania micrantha (a climbing annual plant of Asteraceae) and ran an environmental education program to prevent damage caused by the rapidly-proliferating alien species at Kaohsiung Metropolitan Park.
    Mikania micrantha
    Mikania micrantha
  • In Okazaki, Japan, Brother has removed moso bamboo shoots (a fast-growing alien species) in Chiharazawa designated as a nature conservation area by the Aichi Prefectural Government, to allow sunlight to reach broad-leaved indigenous trees, such as Stewartia monadelpha and Malus tschonoskii, which are rarely found on plains, and protect these species.
    Activities to cut moso bamboo trees
     Activities to cut moso bamboo trees 
Target 11:
Protected areas increased and improved
At least 17% and 10% of the land and marine areas are designated as protected areas, etc. for conservation. Member companies will, wherever possible, conduct biodiversity-conscious green space management which contributes to protected areas within their business premises and on land owned by their companies, as well as conduct conservation activities in protected areas outside their company premises, in order to expand protected areas that are important for biodiversity.
Target 14:
Ecosystems and essential services safeguarded
Ecosystems that offer the blessings of nature are restored and conserved. Member companies will conduct activities for conserving and restoring ecosystems wherever possible, so that ecosystem services can be used sustainably.
Target 19:
Knowledge improved, shared and applied
Relevant knowledge, science and technology are improved. Member companies will work on the development and dissemination of monitoring technologies which use ICT as well as promote the accumulation of data through biodiversity monitoring wherever possible, in order to improve knowledge, the scientific base and technologies relating to biodiversity.
  • In Australia, Brother has supported a survey on the biology and ecology of manta rays (Manta birostris) which are an icon of Australia's oceans and seas and assessed the impact of marine debris on sea turtles (endangered species), in order to understand and conserve the country's unique ocean environment.
    Project Manta - An international project to save marine life -
     Project Manta - An international project to save marine life - 
  • In Gujo, Gifu, Japan, Brother has planted seedlings of indigenous deciduous trees such as Quercus serrata Murray and Quercus crispula Blume as well as Magnolia salicifolia (willow-leafed magnolia), which is designated as the city flower of Gujo, etc. on a former ski ground by utilizing the eco point program. Brother has conducted a survey about the impact of this activity on the ecosystem and started to review the model of afforestation activities to restore the ecosystem.
    Ecosystem Restoration Project in the Brother Forests in Gujo
     Ecosystem Restoration Project in the Brother Forests in Gujo 
  • *:   The Four Electrical and Electronic Associations consist of the Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association, the Communications and Information network Association of Japan, and the Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association.

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Brother Group's biodiversity conservation activities

Click for the Earth donation program

Click for the Earth donation program

Visitors to the Click for the Earth website are requested to support environmental conservation activities that are implemented by the Brother Group in different regions of the world. One click is allowed per day for each visitor, and is counted as one point. Each year, BIL funds environmental conservation activities in the following fiscal year or later depending on the total points (1 yen per point).

Brother Industries, Ltd., Brother Sales, Ltd., Brother Real Estate, Ltd. [Japan]

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2008, the Brother Group concluded an agreement with Gujo City in Gifu Prefecture to build healthy forests. The Brother Group supports activities to plant seedlings and thin forests at Brother Forests in Gujo*1.

Employees and their families of Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL), Brother Sales, Ltd. (Brother Sales), and customers of Brother Real Estate, Ltd. (Brother Real Estate) among others work on the activities to plant seedlings, with the help of local people. Since FY2008 (April 1, 2008‒March 31, 2009), seedlings have been planted in spring and autumn each year. Brother Sales earns Brother eco points depending on the number of used consumables for printing equipment collected, while Brother Real Estate earns the points depending on the number of houses built. They plant the number of seedlings equivalent to the total points earned, respectively.

As of October 2016, the total number of participants has totaled about 1,800. During the past nine years, 5,402 seedlings have been planted. Participants plant seedlings of native species including Quercus serrata Murray, Quercus crispula Blume, Alnus hirsute (which easily grows on uncultivated land), and Magnolia salicifolia (the symbol flower of Gujo City). Some seedlings had grown to over several meters in height, highlighting considerable results.

A workshop to experience wood burning using forest thinning materials
A workshop to experience wood burning using forest thinning materials
Luehdorfia japonica
Luehdorfia japonica
Ecosystem Restoration Project in the Brother Forests in Gujo
 Ecosystem Restoration Project in the Brother Forests in Gujo 

In line with the activities to plant seedlings, field observation programs and other events have been organized regularly for participants under the guidance of local forestry staff. The field observation programs provide opportunities to learn about indigenous plants and the biology and ecology of precious organisms. In 2016, various workshops were held concurrently with a local festival so that employees could work with local elementary school students on planting seedlings, making handicrafts using forest thinning materials, chopping wood, etc. Thus, the Brother Forests in Gujo serve as a recreational space for local people.

Along with the activities to plant seedlings, from FY2015 (April 1, 2015‒March 31, 2016) to FY2016 (April 1, 2016‒March 31, 2017), a team from the Consulting Firm for Clinical Environmental Studies, Nagoya University was asked to assist in a survey to estimate the survival rate of planted seedlings, growth status by species, moisture and gravel content in soil, and species of butterflies, wild birds, and plants which inhabit the forests, among others. The survey found that the soil of some areas was inappropriate for planting seedlings, and that these areas were inhabited by Luehdorfia japonica and Argyronome laodice (butterfly species designated as VU)*2. Based on consultations with the university, it was decided to regularly weed these areas, utilize the grassland as a habitat for endangered species, and intensively plant new seedlings in areas appropriate for planting seedlings. We continue to protect the environment inhabited by various species of organisms and to create biodiverse woods.

To watch a video about the seedling planting activities and surveys at the Brother Forests in Gujo, visit  brotherearth.com, Brother's special website  on the environment.

Number of seedlings that have been planted (April 2012‒October 2016)*3
Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Month April October April October April October April October May October
Number of seedlings planted 350 350 250 250 250 250 250 250 350*4 250
  Brother Sales 176 172 201 106 100 100 100 100 100 100
  Brother Real Estate 38 37 38 37 38 37 38 37 38 37

These activities are covered by the Brother eco point program , which has been promoted by BIL with group companies, and by the Click for the Earth donation program*5, which customers can join on  brotherearth.com, Brother's special website  on the environment.

  • *1: "Brother Forests in Gujo" refers to three sites in Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture. In February 2008, a three-party agreement was signed among Gifu Prefecture, Gujo City, and BIL to restore the three forests, as part of "the program to build forests in collaboration with companies" promoted by Gifu Prefecture. In ten years since signing the agreement, we will plant seedlings of indigenous species on a former ski ground (8 hectares) and thin two forests (20 hectares in total) to encourage the growth of healthy forests. About 6,000 seedlings (reviewed in FY2013 [April 1, 2013-March 31, 2014]) will be planted during this ten-year period. By the end of October 2016, 5,402 seedlings (including 1,978 and 440 seedlings planted by Brother Sales and Brother Real Estate, respectively) have been planted in total.
  • *2: VU represents a high risk of endangerment in the wild.
  • *3: The number of seedlings planted from FY2008 to FY2010 (April 1, 2010-March 31, 2011) is indicated on p. 81 of the 2014 Brother Group Corporate Social Responsibility Report (Environmental Activities). 
  • *4: Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture paid the expenses for 100 out of 350 seedlings.
  • *5: Visitors to the Click for the Earth website are requested to support environmental conservation activities that are implemented by the Brother Group in different regions of the world. One click is allowed per day for each visitor, and is counted as one point. Each year, BIL funds environmental conservation activities in the following fiscal year or later depending on the total points earned (1 yen per point).