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The progress of economic development, and various other developments such as urbanization underway in many regions of the world, has worsened the destruction and pollution of the natural environment and promoted excessive use of resources. The earth is now facing a great threat to its biodiversity. The natural environment, which is critical to the sustainability of all life on Earth, is founded on the healthy sustainment of biodiversity.
The Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation is now taking the following steps to promote biodiversity conservation activities across the entire Group.
The Woodland of Hitachi High-Tech Science, which is a natural area that surrounds the R&D facility at the Oyama Works (Sunto-gun, Shizuoka Prefecture) of Hitachi High-Tech Science Corporation, we are carrying out the following four initiatives as a member of the local community, with the aim of coexisting with nature.
We will continue to maintain and regenerate the woodland that takes up 87% of the total area of our premises.
Over the next 50 years, we will extensively convert the existing artificial forest consisting of cedar and cypress into a natural forest with broadleaf trees, using plants native to the region that we are growing on our premises. We are collecting acorns, which are the fruit of the oak tree, on our grounds and growing them into seedlings. After a few years, once they have grown to a height of around 70 cm, we will plant them in a cleared area of the artificial forest. By doing this, we will also improve the habitat for animals such as the Japanese tit (bird) and the Pallas' Sailer (butterfly).
Over the course of approximately five years, we will convert a portion of the lawn into a semi-natural zebra grass field full of native grasses. Every around April since 2016, we have been dividing zebra grass roots for replanting.
We are continuously working to eradicate invasive plant species such as Canadian goldenrod and annual fleabane.
Vision for the Woodland of Hitachi High-Tech Science (changes in distribution of vegetation)
Vision for the Woodland of Hitachi High-Tech Science (ecosystem pyramid)
Source: Ecosystem Conservation Society-Japan
Surrounded by a green belt of land known as the "Woodlands of Hitachi High-Tech Science" (approx. 44,000 m2), Hitachi High-Tech's R&D facility became the first R&D facility in Japan to receive an AA+ (double A plus) rank under the JHEP certification system of the national organization "Ecosystem Conservation Society - Japan" in December of 2015.
The purpose of the Woodlands of Hitachi High-Tech Science is the restoration of a rich natural environment where a diverse range of species coexist. The facility will strive to further sustain and conserve biodiversity in future.
Our sense of critical urgency in response to the imminent and rapid loss of our natural environment has driven us to promote a variety of activities to conserve biodiversity, both inside and outside Japan. The role of companies in achieving a sustainable economy and society is under unprecedented scrutiny in this day and age. The Woodlands of Hitachi High-Tech Science is deserving of high acclaim among R&D facilities for setting forth a policy of large-scale conversion of planted forests to natural forests. The fact that numerous species native to the region are being planted with consideration to their respective genetics also makes this a truly commendable activity. Environments with high-quality natural surroundings stimulate our communication and creativity, and raise the value of the Oyama Works. We also expect these kinds of activities to spread to other offices and business establishments in future.
National organization "Ecosystem Conservation Society - Japan"
Takeshi Seki, Executive Director
The Hitachi High-Tech Group is carrying out the kinds of afforestation activities described below.
We have received the loan of 2.3 hectares of national forest in Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, under the Forestry Agency's Corporate Forest Program. This national forest has been named the Hitachi High-Tech Yasato Forest, and we are undertaking a 60-year program of afforestation activity there starting in 2005.
The Hitachi High-Tech Yasato Forest had its start in April 2005 when employees and their families planted 5,600 seedlings of Japanese cypress and other trees. The seedlings were only about 30 cm tall when planted, but now have grown to more than 10 m in height. Nurturing the forest effectively furthers environmental conservation by absorbing and sequestering carbon dioxide, and so helping to prevent global warming, and by contributing to biodiversity protection.
From the time of planting to the present, work has been required to nurture the forest, such as weeding and brush clearing, branch pruning, thinning, and so on. These jobs are being carried out by new employees of the Hitachi High-Tech Group together with employee volunteers and their families. We will continue nurturing the forest until the trees we planted as seedlings grow to be ready for harvesting, thereby contributing to protection of the global environment and the prevention of global warming into the future.
Hitachi High-Tech Fielding is also promoting afforestation activities under the name of HISCO* Forest by making use of the Forestry Agency's Corporate Forest Program for the loan of land in Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture (started in 2002 with 1.8 hectares), and in Inabe City, Mie Prefecture (started in 2003 with 1.0 hectare). The work of weeding, brush clearing, branch pruning, and so on that is done to cultivate the forest is being carried out with the participation of new company employees together with employee volunteers and their families. We will continue cultivating forest and contributing to protection of the global environment, biodiversity conservation, and prevention of global warming into the future.
Acting in conformity with Hitachi Environmental Innovation 2050, the Hitachi High-Tech Group has formulated a three-year plan for activities from 2019 to 2021. In specific terms, this began with the ecosystem conservation activity headings defined as common indices for the Hitachi Group. From those, we selected headings that the Hitachi High-Tech Group should take measures in.
The three-year activities plan was formulated in accordance with those headings.
The various activities are being promoted voluntarily on the basis of the formulated activities plan. The substance of the activities is also being made open with the aim of heightening awareness in the entire Hitachi Group as well as enhancing the activities. We will also make active efforts to release information about activity cases inside and outside the company.
|Classification||Description of Activity
(Activities contributing to positive impact on natural capital)
|Number of sites|
|Management on company properties||Conduct third-party assessment to evaluate the management, operation, etc., of eco-friendly green areas||1|
|Planting of native species (trees, plants, etc.)||3|
|Survey and protect organisms||Monitor organisms, create and update ecosystem map||3|
|Protect rare native species that live on company properties||1|
|Heighten employee awareness and knowledge (in-house activities)||9|
|Employ integrated reports, websites, lectures, and so on to inform people outside the company about measures friendly to ecosystem protection||1|
|Community||Engage in eco-friendly activities such as planting native species and implement desert afforestation and forest cultivation activities by employees in light of forest ecosystem services||2|
|Raise awareness of and disseminate ecosystem knowledge among local residents||2|
|Raise awareness of biodiversity protection outside the company||1|
|Protection of "satoyama" areas of traditional field (forest management) and water source protection outside company properties||2|
|Social Contributions||Clean-up activities for forests, rivers and coastal areas||14|
In our Kasado Division, we are taking steps to eliminate foreign species that are very fertile and capable of negatively affecting the ecosystem from flower beds on the company campus.
We are also going to work with the Kasado Works of Hitachi, Ltd., to protect the rare organisms growing in reservoirs on the property, and we will engage in activities for ecosystem protection in that region.
Medaka (Oryzias lapides)
Laccophilus lewisius (larva)
<Hitachi High-Tech Solutions Corporation Mito site>
The Mito Division of Hitachi High-Tech Solutions Corporation conducted a bio-survey in the vicinity of reservoirs on their campus. Sighting information, imagery information from fixed cameras, and other information was compiled and organized. As a result, the spawning and emergence of multiple species of dragonfly were identified, and birds that feed on fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects, etc., living in the reservoirs were observed year-round. We will continue acting into the future to protect the habitat of these organisms.