- Safety, Accident Prevention, and Environmental Preservation
- Biodiversity Initiatives
CSR Activity Report (CSR Guideline Activity Reports) - Safety, Accident Prevention, and Environmental Preservation
Next to the issue of climate change, the issue of biodiversity preservation has been a major focus of the international community in recent years. Biodiversity forms the basis of natural capital such as water, air, plants, animals, and minerals that are indispensable to human society. Climate change caused by human activities, depletion of natural resources, ecosystem destruction, and species extinction are causing biodiversity loss to occur at an alarming rate, making it a serious problem facing humankind. This has sparked an international discussion about the importance of taking a nature positive approach to stopping and reversing biodiversity loss.
Toray Group views conservation of biodiversity as a critical global environmental issue that is of equal importance to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Toray is contributing to biodiversity conservation and the nature positive approach through its business activities. This includes water treatment technology to produce reliably safe drinking water, water conservation through the reuse of treated wastewater, and air purification using fiber filter-related materials.
The Group also uses environmental assessment checklists to conduct safety reviews for all products and to carry out environmental risk investigations before making capital investment. The checklists enable the Group to ensure that it is not exceeding legal limits on regulated substances contained in exhaust gas, wastewater, and waste from manufacturing. Through these efforts, Toray strives to assess its impact on biodiversity and help build a sustainable world.
Working Group Considers Initiatives for Biodiversity
In 2010, Toray Group launched a cross-organizational working group to develop biodiversity initiatives, which are prioritized and implemented under the guidance of the Toray Group Biodiversity Basic Policy. In fiscal 2021, the Group continued to review raw materials containing bio-based ingredients.
Biodiversity InitiativesEstablished December 2010
Toray Group appreciates the gifts of nature that biodiversity provides, and strives to realize the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The Group contributes to society through the development and dissemination of products and technologies which advance conservation of biodiversity.
- We take into consideration the impact of our business activities on biodiversity, and strive to realize the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
- We endeavor to develop environmentally friendly technologies and products, and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity by making them available for use.
- We practice fair use of genetic resources on the basis of relevant international agreements.
- We recognize the influence of biodiversity within the supply chain, and pursue coexistence with nature.
- We strive to raise employee awareness on biodiversity, and contribute to the building of a society that nurtures biodiversity through our communication with stakeholders.
Note: Toray Group respects Nippon Keidanren's Declaration of Biodiversity (Guide to Action Policies) and the Japanese Ministry of the Environment's Guidelines for Private Sector Engagement in Biodiversity. The Group is a promotion partner of Nippon Keidanren's Declaration of Biodiversity.
Procuring Raw Materials
Conduct a survey of palm oil contained in raw materials (%)
- ■Reporting scope
- Toray Industries, Inc.
- ■Target in fiscal 2021
- Decision making (Yes/No) of shifting to certified raw materials : 100%
Result in fiscal 2021
As one of its biodiversity conservation initiatives, Toray Group conducts a regular survey of products to determine the usage of bio-based raw materials in product manufacturing. The Group has also developed rules for checking the biodiversity impacts of products, and applies the rules to all products from the development stage.
Among them, palm oil is a key raw material for follow-up action. The Group is conducting investigations into certified raw materials and has been pushing to switch over to them in the three years from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2022.
In fiscal 2020, the Group investigated whether or not raw materials were made with palm oil that uses certified palm nuts. A survey of 93% of suppliers was completed in fiscal 2020, and all target suppliers were surveyed by the end of fiscal 2021.
In fiscal 2021, Toray also surveyed suppliers about the possibility of switching from non-certified palm oil to certified palm oil. Determinations of whether or not this is possible have been received from all target suppliers.
Going forward, Toray Group will continue its investigation concerning non-certified raw materials that are difficult to change, while carefully examining the feasibility of switching to certified raw materials for each item concerned.
Toray Group carries out biodiversity conservation through social contribution activities as a good corporate citizen. It is promoting the creation of biotopes at a group plant and the participation of employees in volunteer cleanup activities. The waterside biotope at the Tokai Plant of Toray Industries has been certified as "Excellent Stage 2" in the SEGES MOU (Maintenance, Operation, and Utilization) category of the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES), a green certification program provided by Japan's Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure.
Please see the following page for more information.
Increasing Green Areas
Plants at Toray Industries, Inc. and its group companies in Japan are operating greenery policies and plans, guided by the Toray Group Basic Policy for Increasing Green Areas.1 The plans encompass initiatives to conserve green areas, including natural forests2 that have been protected since the plants began operating. Sustainable greenery conservation initiatives also help to conserve the environment for communities.
Efforts to increase green areas by creating environmental conservation forests around Toray Industries’ plants began in the autumn of 1973, when about 4,000 employees went to temples and shrines (which in Japan are usually surrounded by greenery) and mountains to collect tree seeds that had fallen there. The seeds were grown into seedlings at each workplace, and employees painstakingly planted them one by one.
Nearly 50 years have passed since then, and the trees grown from seeds, including laurel, camphor, and oak, now cover over 10,000 m² around the Mishima Plant at Toray Industries.
It is still working to conserve the environment by increasing green areas. Altogether, Toray Industries has created green areas covering approximately 200,000 m² at 12 plants, including Mishima Plant and the Basic Research Laboratories (now the Basic Research Center) through the shrine forest method.3
- 1 Toray Group Basic Policy on Increasing Green Areas was established in 2012, evolving out of greenery policies that were first established in 1973.
- 2 Natural groves or forestation by species based on potential native vegetation
- 3 Modeled after traditional forestry techniques used by Japanese shrines, this greening method reproduces green spaces in a state close to natural forests by using trees that are native to the area. In order to create forests with local genes, Toray employees collected seeds from shrines and forests near plants, grew them into seedlings, and planted the seedings to create forests at the plants.
Toray Industries, Inc. (Mishima Plant)
- Immediately after planting (1973)
- Current state (photo taken in 2020)
Toray Industries, Inc. (Tokai Plant)
- Tree planting (1976)
- Current state (photo taken in 2020)
Toray Group's Basic Policy for Increasing Green AreasEstablished June 2012
- Toray Group contributes to the preservation of the natural environment by promoting tree planting using planting methods suitable for the biodiversity of local habitats.
- Toray Group aims to surround its production plants with greenery by giving priority to tree planting in areas at the boundaries of factory sites.
- Toray Group sets goals for making each of its production plants greener while considering how to attain harmony with the surrounding environment as well as regulations concerning green space ratios in each respective country or region.
Toray Group's Approach to the Relationship between Corporate Activities and Biodiversity
Since Toray Group’s business activities have a wide range of effects on biodiversity, the Group conducted an analysis of the biodiversity risks and opportunities relating to these activities, namely, raw material procurement, water use, product and service design, operational emissions, and land use for operations.
On the risk side, biodiversity effects include the use of water and energy resources as well as emissions into the atmosphere and water. On the opportunity side, these effects include reductions to CO2 emissions by offering products that reduce the weight of parts for aircraft and other equipment as well as protecting habitats by offering products that maintain green areas and protect water resources.
The two diagrams below conceptualize the relationship between the Group's business activities and biodiversity in terms of the two aspects of risks and opportunities.
Participating in the 30 by 30 Alliance for Biodiversity
Toray Industries has participated in the 30 by 30 Alliance for Biodiversity since its launch by Japan's Ministry of the Environment on April 8, 2022.
With the goal of halting and reversing biodiversity loss (nature positive approach) by 2030, the Alliance was established by the Ministry of the Environment as a voluntary coalition of industry groups, government agencies, and private companies. Its aim is to help achieve the worldwide initiative for conserving 30% or more of Earth's land and ocean area as healthy ecosystems by 2030.
Click here for the main initiatives for CSR Guideline 3, “Safety, Accident Prevention, and Environmental Preservation” in CSR Roadmap 2022.