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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 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.
In this certification system, activities that contribute to biodiversity conservation and restoration are quantitatively evaluated for certification. This certification was earned in view of the facility's high acclaim for activities such as developing broadleaf forests using plants native to the region, and restoring Japanese silver grass fields where native wildflowers bloom.
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
Hitachi High-Technologies received a loan of approximately 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. Hitachi High-Tech began a 60-year program of silviculture activities in the forest in 2005. In FY2017, new employees carried out improvement cutting.
The Hitachi High-Tech Yasato Forest was started in April 2005, when employees and their families planted 5,600 trees such as cypress trees. When the trees were first planted, they were a mere 30cm tall, but they have since grown to over 10m. By developing this forest, we are conserving the environment by contributing to the absorption of carbon dioxide and the prevention of global warming through carbon sequestration, as well as the preservation of biodiversity.
In February of 2016, nine sites in the Hitachi High-Tech Group selected items that they would address from a menu of 116 ecosystem conservation activities established as common indices for the Hitachi Group, and formulated three-year activity plans for 2016-2018.
Three phases were assigned for the items to be newly addressed over the next three years: "research/investigation," "planning," and "execution." The number of items in the "execution" phase was set as a target for the Environmental Action Plan, and the sites are energetically promoting activities aimed at preserving and restoring biodiversity.
In FY2017, the entire Group undertook 15 new items in the execution phase, bringing the total number of activities conducted in FY2017 to 320.
|Classification 1||Classification 2
|Main Content||Number of Activities|
|Places of Business||Manufacture||Limiting the use of non-recyclable resources||4|
|Transport||Using eco-friendly materials for packaging and transport||7|
|Retrieval/Disposal/Recycling||Practicing the 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) and effectively utilizing recycled resources (plastics, metals, etc.)||2|
|Product Planning/Development/Design||Applying concepts like biomimicry (the imitation of systems and mechanisms found in ecosystems) in product design||3|
|Site Management||Creating green areas and water surfaces that contribute to ecosystems||17|
|Water Use||Utilizing rainwater||1|
|Value Chain||Investments/Acquisitions||Assessing impacts on biodiversity and the degree of considerations given when determining whether to invest in/acquire businesses, and implementing measures to minimize such impacts||1|
|New Entries/Expansion||Incorporating biodiversity considerations into standards for determining whether to invest in/carry out a project||1|
|Business Development||Developing products, services, businesses etc. that result in cleaner water, air, and soil, or repair/improve ecosystems||1|
|Procurement||Promoting eco-friendly activities among suppliers||17|
|Transport||Taking measures to prevent invasive species from being spread through transport||2|
|Sales||Obtaining feedback and evaluations from third parties (experts, NGOs, etc.) regarding the eco-friendliness of offered products||9|
|Retrieval/Disposal/Recycling||Implementing disposal/retrieval methods that do not hurt ecosystems||7|
|Value Chain Overall||Promoting the introduction of renewable energy (excluding hydroelectric power generation that will have impacts on ecosystem conservation)||1|
|Community||Communication||Raising employees' awareness and expanding their knowledge (outside activities)||3|
|Social Contributions||Protecting rare species outside our business sites, in partnership with stakeholders||12|
|Water Use Conscious of Watershed Ecosystems||Intake||Managing intake volumes and groundwater levels||14|
|Drainage||Establishing and monitoring ecosystem management indicators that include watersheds||14|