Toyota Tsusho engages in sustainable business activities. The preservation of biodiversity is emphasized as a standard of sustainability.
We work to determine impacts of our business on biodiversity including the status of endangered species living in the vicinity of our business sites and specified information in protected areas, and in cases where there are negative impacts on ecosystems, we take measures to offset those impacts.
Toyota Tsusho formulated the Toyota Tsusho Group Biodiversity Guidelines in December 2015 (revised in December 2019).
- Basic approach
We recognize the importance of biodiversity, and will seek to conserve biodiversity from both a global and long-term perspective.
- Contributing through the creation of new businesses
When creating new businesses, we will aim to ensure that biodiversity can be maintained alongside our business activities by implementing risk assessment and clarifying traceability.
- Cooperating with society
We will seek to create collaborative relationships with governments, international organizations, NPOs, suppliers, customers and a wide range of other groups that work to ensure biodiversity.
- Information disclosure
We will disclose our voluntary biodiversity initiatives alongside our corporate activities, and share the results of these initiatives and the monitoring results with society; in this way, we intend to contribute to the development of sustainable societies.
Toyota Tsusho Group companies conduct business in accordance with the Environmental Policy and the Biodiversity Guidelines.
With regard to new investment projects, we conduct research and assessments prior to investment to assess the overall environmental impact of the project including preservation of forests and biodiversity and the effective use of resources, energy and water. We take action to protect the environment and reduce environmental burdens and achieve compatibility between biodiversity and business activities.
See "Use of Thinned Trees for Biomass Power Generation"
In order to mitigate pollution risks pertaining to our existing businesses, we have introduced an environmental risk assessment framework under which we quantitatively assess both pollution risks for each facility and management levels at each work site. We also conduct risk assessments including biodiversity of existing businesses by performing internal audits of environmental management systems, which are a part of our ISO 14001 activities. We conduct environmental compliance evaluations twice yearly and double-check the state of priority environmental compliance status through both internal and external audits.
Use of Thinned Trees for Biomass Power Generation
Case Study 1: Biomass power generation
Ehime Forest Generation, LLC, established by Ene-Vision Co., Ltd., a Group company, constructed and commenced commercial operation of the Matsuyama Biomass Power Plant, a wood biomass power plant, on April 1, 2018. The power plant was constructed on an approximately 30,000 m2 site in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture. It is the first wood biomass power plant in Ehime Prefecture and uses only wood biomass to generate 12.5 MW of electric power for sale using the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) system. The power plant cooperates with local forestry cooperatives to procure raw materials from trees that were thinned to support healthy forest development. The use of energy that is clearly traceable and is generated locally for local consumption achieves stable supplies and contributes to the preservation of biodiversity. In combination with Gotsu Biomass Power Plant, operated by Shimane Forest Generation, LLC in Gotsu City, Shimane Prefecture, total biomass power output is 25.2 MW.
Toyota Tsusho is also promoting business that contributes to global environmental conservation, forestry and regional revitalization through the production of saplings.
Sapling production, which was 1.6 billion saplings each year at its peak, has currently declined sharply to 60 million per year. As a result, Japan's reforestation rate has fallen to about 30%.
In partnership with the Miyakonojo Forest Owners Association, in a district of Kyushu where the shortage of saplings is particularly acute, the company has set up a system for production of local mountain saplings (cedar saplings) in the region in Miyakonojo city, Miyazaki Prefecture. In fiscal 2020, it established a system for producing 250,000 cedar saplings per year.
The company also promotes wood chip biomass fuel supply business. It is contributing to Japan's reforestation rate through sapling production, and making efforts to build a sustainable supply chain in biomass energy.
Participation in Biodiversity-Related Certification Programs
The Toyota Tsusho Group systematically assesses biodiversity risks using ISO 14001 environmental management systems and environmental management rule books and takes action to mitigate identified risks.
We also participate in biodiversity-related certification programs as a part of those efforts.
Case Study 2: Tuna Dream Goto Receives SCSA Certification
In conjunction with recent global economic growth, demand for bluefin tuna has been increasing rapidly, and overfishing resulted in bluefin being considered for inclusion on the Red List.
Toyota Tsusho partnered with Kinki University, which created the world's first successful complete bluefin tuna cultivation, to establish and operate Tuna Dream Goto, the world's first commercial complete bluefin tuna cultivation venture.
The business has acquired certification under the nursery stock certification program of the Seedlings Council for Sustainable Aquaculture (SCSA), a nonprofit organization.
The SCSA conducts on-site confirmations and peer viewings by experienced academics and obtains public comments on assessment reports to prepare a final report and make a determination whether certification can be granted.
With SCSA certification, Tuna Dream Goto can state to consumers that its fish are cultivated using artificial stocks in order to preserve natural fish (a natural resource). In addition, complete histories from parent to egg, fingerling, fry, and adult fish are maintained, making it possible to ensure traceability and safety right up to the products.
Toyota Tsusho has also acquired chain of custody (COC) certification from the SCSA as the distributor of Tuna Dream Goto Bluefin tuna.
Mitigating Loss of Biodiversity
Toyota Tsusho engages in sustainable business activities. The preservation of biodiversity is emphasized as a standard of sustainability.
We work to determine impacts of our business on biodiversity including the status of endangered species living in the vicinity of our business sites and specified information in protected areas, and we undertake business development with risk mitigation in mind. We see the preservation of biodiversity as a positive and the loss of biodiversity as a negative, and we conduct environmental risk assessments to mitigate losses. In cases where there are negative impacts on ecosystems, we take measures to offset those impacts.
Case Study 3: Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation
Responses to Biodiversity Risks in the Wind Power Business
Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation, a renewable energy power generation business in the Toyota Tsusho Group, conducts environmental assessments at the pre-project stage and selects sites for the installation of power generating facilities based on the assessment results and projected impact on biodiversity. Environmental protection measures have also been taken, including efforts to avoid bird strikes (birds colliding with windmills) based on expert advice (such as by increasing wind turbine visibility for birds), and transplanting of precious plants. Furthermore, following the start of operations, Eurus Energy Holdings conducts thorough post-operation surveys and environmental monitoring to confirm the validity of the environmental assessment results and verify the effectiveness of the environmental conservation measures.
Case Study 4: Afforestation in Brazil
Amid the great concern over deforestation in Brazil, we have contributed to afforestation on our own land and nearby private land as part of our community activities. We have planted 1,000 trees every year since 2007, reaching 20,000 trees in total.
Case Study 5: Initiatives toward handling of soybeans in the Amazon biome and stopping destruction of Brazil's forests
As international concern about environmental conservation in the Amazon increases, to maintain and expand business, it is essential to avoid dealing in goods that are produced in conjunction with deforestation and other such practices.
The Toyota Tsusho Group conducts business in Brazil through NOVAAGRI INFRA-ESTRUTURA DE ARMAZENAGEM E ESCOAMENTO AGRÍCOLA S.A. (NovaAgri), which has developed grain infrastructure business including grain warehouses, railway shipment facilities, and export terminals in central and northeastern Brazil. The Moratoria da Soja is an initiative launched by industry associations and their member corporations to enable sustainable production of soybeans while preventing destruction of forests in Brazil by stopping trading from areas in which deforestation of the Amazon biome has taken place. In line with the Moratoria da Soja initiative, we check producer lists and the following standards and conduct business based on structures for suspending trade with applicable producers.
- Moratorium lists regularly presented by grain export associations (list of producers with whom trading is prohibited)
- Names of producers that have committed environmental violations, published by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA)
- Whether there are any lawsuits for environmental violations against the producers in local and federal courts
- Whether the area is registered as an environmental protection area or indigenous settlement
Support of the Keidanren Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation
Toyota Tsusho Corporation supports the Keidanren Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation*.
* The Keidanren Initiative for Biodiversity Conservation is a group of companies and organizations that are working on several of the seven items listed in the “Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren and Action Policy (Revised Edition)” or that support the whole idea and purpose of the initiative. Logos and future activity policies/examples of supporting companies and organizations are posted on a special website (Japanese/English) to introduce and promote them domestically and overseas.
Since 2017, we have been responding to the CDP questionnaire on forests (soy and timber), a global information disclosure program regarding corporate timber. Since 2018, we have further expanded the scope of disclosure to include soy, timber, and palm oil, and are actively working to disclose information. We received an "B" evaluation for soy, an "A" evaluation for timber, and a "B" evaluation for palm oil as a result of the responses to the CDP questionnaire conducted in 2023.
Toyota Tsusho Group undertake various measures in cooperation with local governments to reduce the loss of biodiversity.
Case Study 1
Toyota Adria d.o.o. cooperated with Toyota vehicle dealers in Slovenia and Serbia to hold three events in each country last year. Eco-school activities were conducted at elementary schools in the region of each dealer.
In addition, each time a hybrid vehicle is sold, one tree is planted in an area that needs greenery in Slovenia. A total of approximately 500,000 trees were planted through the three events, in which 50 staff members and approximately 200 children participated. (Similar activities were also conducted in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia.)
Also in Slovenia, an H2 student educational program was initiated as a part of the Zero Emission Corridor program conducted in collaboration with the Faculty of Logistics at the University of Maribor. Students in education classes at high schools in Slovenia designed, assembled, and drove hydrogen Lego cars, learning about a circular economy and the importance of future clean technologies (electrified vehicles, CO2 reduction, hydrogen technologies).
Case Study 2
Participation in Cleanup Campaign in Fujimae-Higata, a registered site under the Ramsar Convention
Participation in Cleanup Campaign in Fujimae-Higata, a registered site under the Ramsar Convention Tidal flats spread out in the Fujimae district of Minato-ku in Nagoya City, and Toyota Tsusho participates in a cleanup campaign to preserve the environment of Fujimae-Higata, a registered site under the Ramsar Convention.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, a total of 18 employees and family members from Toyota Tsusho and Group companies participated.
It is located close to the Nagoya head office and has the feel of an urban oasis for wildlife. About 60 different species of waterfowl are observed in Fujimae-Higata each year, with about 10,000 ducks and about 3,000 sandpipers visiting.
However, Fujimae-Higata and the nearby shore are covered by petrochemical waste including plastic bottles and bags and styrene foam carried from upstream. In order to protect this precious environment and ecosystem, Toyota Tsusho works with the Ecostock Action Committee, Tokigawa-Shonaigawa Distribution Network, Fujimae-Higata Protection Association, Riverside Heroes Tajimi Fish Association, and other citizens groups, Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya City, and other companies to conduct preservation activities.
Responses in Mining Business
Toyota Tsusho believes that in the mining industry, in which we conducts business, reducing impacts on local environments and society is crucial. We conduct environmental impact assessments in the business planning phase and during operations in accordance with national and local laws where we conduct business as well as international arrangements, formulate plans for mine closures in the future, perform rehabilitation and take other measures as necessary, and work to minimize the impacts on local environments and society.