Communicating Environmental Commitment
Brother Group's biodiversity conservation policy
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 Biodiversity ("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.
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.
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).
|Aichi Biodiversity Targets||Action Guidelines for Biodiversity Conservation in the Electrical and Electronic Industries||Status of the Brother Group's activities|
|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.||
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.
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.||
|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.||
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.||
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.||
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.||
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.||
- *: 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.
Brother Group's biodiversity conservation activities
The Brother Group started to support biodiversity conservation as part of its environmental conservation activities. As of March 31, 2016, more than 100 activities in total had been implemented to protect ecosystems in forests and oceans at 43 facilities of the Brother Group.
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).
- Fiscal year 2015 points and donation amounts for each activity have been determined
- Fiscal year 2014 points and donation amounts for each activity have been determined
- Fiscal year 2013 points and donation amounts for each activity have been determined
- Fiscal year 2012 points and donation amounts for each activity have been determined
- Fiscal year 2011 points and donation amounts for each activity have been determined
- You are invited to join in Click for the Earth donations (free of charge) for supporting Brother's activities.
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. As of October 2015, the total number of participants has totaled about 1,500.
Thus far, 4,802 seedlings have been planted. Participants plant seedlings of native species including Quercus serrata Murray, Quercus crispula Blume, Alnus hirsuta (which easily grows on uncultivated land), and Magnolia salicifolia (the symbol flower of Gujo City). In spring, they put back the seedlings that have been affected by the weight of snow in winter. In autumn, they plant new seedlings in areas where the old ones did not grow. Some seedlings had grown to over several meters in height, highlighting considerable results.
Through many years of activities, some areas have been found to be inappropriate for seedlings to take root. From FY2015 (April 1, 2015‒March 31, 2016), a team from the Consulting Firm for Clinical Environmental Studies, Nagoya University was asked to cooperate in reviewing measures to restore forests that are rich in biodiversity. A survey has started to confirm the survival rate of planted seedlings, growth status by species, moisture and gravel content in soil, and species of butterflies and wild birds observed in the forests, among others. BIL, Nagoya University, and Gujo City officials will hold discussions based on the survey results to determine future measures.
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 *2, which customers can join on brotherearth.com, Brother's special website on the environment. To watch a video about the activities in FY2015, visit Environmental Views on brotherearth.com.
Carefully planting seedlings of native species
Surveying the height, thickness, health condition, etc. of the seedlings
Participants of the seedling planting activity
Image from Brother's special website on the environment on which the Ecosystem Restoration Project in the Brother Forests in Gujo is posted.
|Number of seedlings planted||350||350||350||350||250||250||250||250||250||250|
|Brother Real Estate||-||35||38||37||38||37||38||37||38||37|
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.
- *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 2015, 4,802 seedlings (including 1,778 and 365 seedlings planted by Brother Sales and Brother Real Estate, respectively) have been planted in total.
- *2: 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).
- *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) .
- You are invited to join in Click for the Earth donations (free of charge) for supporting Brother's activities.
- Environmental Views on brotherearth.com, Brother's special website on the environment
Brother Industries, Ltd. [Japan]
In 2010, Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) signed an agreement with the Aichi Prefectural Government and other local bodies, and carried out environmental conservation activities in Chiharazawa* (about 14 hectares) in Okazaki City for five years. Chiharazawa has been designated as a nature conservation area by the prefectural government.
These activities intended to stop the spread of moso bamboo trees, a fast-growing exotic species, and allow sunlight to reach broad-leaved indigenous trees, such as Stewartia monadelpha and Malus tschonoskii, which are rarely found on plains. From September 2010 to May 2015, employees of BIL and their families, Aichi Prefectural Government employees, and local citizens joined activities to cut moso bamboo trees in autumn, and remove moso bamboo shoots in spring each year, under the guidance of Professor Emeritus Shunsuke Serizawa of Aichi University of Education who has long worked on biodiversity conservation in this region. Now that sunlight properly reaches precious trees, an official decision has been made to complete these activities.
Before cutting moso bamboo trees (2010)
Activities to cut moso bamboo trees completed (2015)
Highly evaluating the activities, Professor Emeritus Serizawa commented: "These conservation activities have produced significant results as emergency measures to stop the spread of fast-growing moso bamboo trees. Without these activities, the entire area would have quickly turned into a bamboo forest. I believe that this is one of the most successful social contribution activities by a company."
- *: Among the more than 500 nature conservation areas nationwide designated by the national and prefectural governments, this is the first case where a private enterprise has become involved in protecting a nature conservation area as part of its social contribution activities.