Policy Proposals Environment and Energy Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren (Revised Edition)
Revision of the Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren
Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)
Human life is fully bound up with nature. Living in modern society, we tend to forget that most of our goods and services, including our food and clothing, and our energy sources are all derived from nature. On the other hand, we are often left awestruck by nature in the face of destruction caused by natural disasters such as the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Keidanren established the Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation and its associated Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF) in 1992, when the Earth Summit (the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) was held. Since then, Keidanren has been developing various biodiversity conservation activities. KNCF has supported NGOs both in Japan and overseas to implement conservation projects, with funds amounting to about JPY 4 billion in total over the last 25 years or so. Prior to the adoption of the "Aichi Biodiversity Targets" at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10), Keidanren published the "Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren" in 2009 and urged member companies to take actions accordingly. This is fully in line with Keidanren's basic principle (the Keidanren Environment Initiative) that "companies will take voluntary and proactive actions towards realizing harmonization between environment and economy".
Keidanren is committed to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a priority issue, and is working on "delivering on the SDGs through the realization of Society 5.0". Ahead of the final year of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in 2020, discussions are getting under way on the "post-2020 global biodiversity framework". In response to this overall domestic and international trend, Keidanren will revise the "Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren" and "Action Policy". The revised declaration aims at "realizing a sustainable society through building a society in harmony with nature".
Building a society in harmony with nature is closely related to measures to deal with climate change and resource circulation. Actions based on this declaration also contribute to achieving the SDGs. "Integration between corporate activities and environmental countermeasures" will be required, making sure that corporate activities include a wide range of environmental activities including those related to low/zero-carbonization, resource circulation, and biodiversity conservation. Based upon this concept, we will promote the "Integrated Environmental Corporate Management".
Biodiversity is a global issue in much the same way as climate change, but at the same time it is a local challenge characterized by diverse local features. Thus, companies are encouraged to promote local actions according to local characteristics to conserve biodiversity, while striving to extend their actions across national borders to include the global supply chain.
We would like to see not only our member companies but also many other companies develop activities based on the spirit of the "Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren / Action Policy", and thereby further advance the "mainstreaming of biodiversity".
Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren (Revised edition)
Introduced March 17, 2009
Revised October 16, 2018
1 Responsibility of management
in harmony with nature towards realizing a sustainable society
We will conduct our corporate management, recognizing that our corporate activities depend upon nature's gifts derived from biodiversity, and that they have the potential to impact on the ecosystem.
Being mindful of both our gratitude for nature's gifts and our awe in the face of its threats, we will build a society in harmony with nature where nature and human beings can coexist, and thereby contribute to realizing a sustainable society.
Top management will recognize the importance of biodiversity and essential functions of nature, and strive to understand the relationship between biodiversity and their corporate activities, based upon which top management will execute proper corporate management.
Top management will recognize the importance of actions for biodiversity, develop a clear vision, provide leadership, and thereby contribute to achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
Top management will conduct timely and proper information disclosure for and engage in dialogue on their biodiversity initiatives, targeting a wide range of stakeholders including consumers, customers, and investors.
2 Global perspective
We strongly recognize that we are influenced by nature beyond national borders, and share a sense of crisis that biodiversity is being diminished. Biodiversity is a global issue in much the same way as climate change. Recognizing the importance of actions on biodiversity by group companies as well as throughout the global supply chain, we are fully aware that actions on biodiversity are essential to sustain corporate activities, including procurement of raw materials.
In addition, we will take actions to conserve biodiversity, taking fully into account various local features. We will further work on fair and equitable use of biological resources including genetic resources, and thereby strive for sustainable use of biodiversity.
In developing and implementing business plans, we will identify the potential impacts that group companies could have on ecosystems and local communities both in international and national contexts, and take concrete actions accordingly for biodiversity conservation. We will also strive to extend the same approach to the global supply chain, by gaining an understanding of the potential relationship with biodiversity and encouraging appropriate actions to be taken.
We will fully take into account domestic measures (ABS guidelines) of the "Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing" in utilizing genetic resources and sharing associated profits, and comply with laws enacted by the provider country concerned when acquiring genetic resources.
3 Voluntary actions
We recognize that corporate activities to help build common values among regions and societies tend to lead to the enhancement of medium-to-long term corporate values. Keeping this in mind, we will take voluntary and steady actions towards building a society in harmony with nature.
Our approaches will differ depending on industry sectors, business modes and local features, reflecting diverse relationships with biodiversity.
We will identify, analyze and evaluate potential impacts of our business activities on biodiversity. With that in mind, we will contribute to conservation of biodiversity and its sustainable use, throughout all stages ranging from procurement of raw materials, design / manufacturing / assembly, transportation, product sales / service provision, to waste disposal / recycling.
We will strive to develop, utilize and disseminate technologies that contribute to conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
On-site practical activities are the basis of efforts to conserve biodiversity. In cases where there is no option but to resort to the use of trading or compensation (e.g. offsetting) based upon economic assessment of local biodiversity, we will advocate dialogue with local stakeholders and thoroughly evaluate its effectiveness, taking care not to fall back on easy actions.
In cases where a clear relationship between corporate activities and biodiversity is difficult to identify, we will voluntarily and proactively promote activities leading to the creation of social values as a part of social responsibility activities, which include donations to foundations, support for activities initiated by employees, and thereby contribute to achieving SDGs.
4 Integrated Environmental Corporate Management
Recognizing that measures to deal with climate change and resource circulation are closely linked to building a society in harmony with nature, we will promote the "Integrated Environmental Corporate Management", making sure that corporate activities include a wide range of environmental activities including those related to low / zero-carbonization, resource circulation, and biodiversity conservation.
Towards realizing a low-carbon society, we voluntarily and proactively reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.
Towards building a Recycling-based society, we practice thorough and proper treatment of waste, and voluntarily and proactively engage ourselves in the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle).
5 Revitalization of regions making full use of natural capital
holding nature in awe
Holding nature in awe, we respect traditionally nurtured wisdom and views concerning co-existence with nature. We will leverage the natural capital of a region, and thereby contribute to realizing affluent lifestyles for the region as well as strengthening of resilience of the national land against disasters.
We will deepen our understanding on various measures for disaster risk reduction by taking full advantage of regional ecosystem functions, and thereby contribute to making regions safe and secure.
We will utilize functions of the natural capital inherent to a region, and thereby contribute to the revitalization of the region.
We will strive to recover biodiversity when conducting corporate activities in regions, both in and outside of Japan, where the original natural environment has already suffered significant damage, as typically found in cities and some parts of Satochi-Satoyama (socio-ecological production landscapes).
We will collaborate with stakeholders, both in international and national contexts, to develop a better awareness and recognition of the importance of biodiversity to ensure more effective efforts are taken on biodiversity. Furthermore we will improve, share, and utilize relevant knowledge and know-how through collaboration and coordination.
We will endeavor to expand communications, and to promote project level association and collaboration with, among others, NGOs, education / research institutions, local governments, business entities in and outside Japan.
7 Environmental Education / Human Resource Development
development to create a society that will nurture biodiversity
Based upon in-depth understanding on biodiversity, we will communicate with society, spearheading ongoing initiatives to develop human resources, and thereby raise awareness on biodiversity across society as a whole in an effort to bring the issue into the mainstream.
We will actively implement education on the natural environment for employees in collaboration with local communities and NGOs.
We will implement environmental education for stakeholders such as local residents, cooperate with educational activities conducted by, among others, schools and NGOs, and thereby widely disseminate the awareness of nurturing biodiversity throughout society as a whole.
We recognize that biodiversity is an important foundation for a sustainable society, and we will act to contribute to biodiversity in collaboration and cooperation by sharing roles and responsibilities with all people as a member of the international community. We hereby declare that we aim to "realize a sustainable society through building a society in harmony with nature".
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