Corporate activities receive the benefits of ecosystem services provided by biodiversity and natural capital, so preserving biodiversity is essential from the viewpoint of sustainable corporate management.
Our company supports the achievement of “Nature Positive” pursued by the international community and promotes efforts to reduce the impact on biodiversity and address any deforestation associated with business activities, including the value chain, in order to contribute to its realization.
Furthermore, we endorse the principles of the TNFD (Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures) and actively promote information disclosure based on the disclosure framework.
Recognizing that the stable provision of telecommunication services is the responsibility of a business operator, we have constructed and are operating approximately 300,000 base stations nationwide to provide telecommunication services.
On the other hand, we recognize that Japan has a wide range of habitats and environment with diverse organisms, and that there are important areas for biodiversity conservation that are the basis of ecosystem services. Based on this recognition, we conduct risk assessments regarding the impact of our operations on biodiversity.
Both globally and domestically, we prioritize avoiding land development, such as base station construction, in areas of significant biodiversity. If such development is unavoidable, we take utmost care in considering the impacts on ecosystems and make efforts to minimize and restore significant impacts on important ecosystems.
Furthermore, we set efforts to mitigate the impact on biodiversity from land development as a KPI (target) within our material issues. We implement initiatives towards achieving No Net Loss, which includes offset activities contributing to forest conservation and other relevant efforts.
In order to ensure a sustainable planet with functioning ecosystems for future generations, we promote initiatives based on this policy within our business operations, and ask all of our suppliers (tier-1 and non tier-1) and business partners to cooperate with our biodiversity initiatives as well. We also engage with stakeholders to promote biodiversity conservation initiatives through business activities and social contribution activities.
We consider contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations as an important management issue. We have identified the material issues and set “Contributing to the Global Environment with the Power of Technology” as one of the material issues.
To promote actions related to these material issues, we established the ESG Committee as an advisory body to the Board of Directors in March 2020.
The President and CEO serves as the Chief ESG Officer and bears the ultimate responsibility for the overall sustainability activities under the supervision of the Board of Directors.
The ESG Committee, chaired by the President and CEO who also serves as the Chief ESG Officer, convenes four times a year with members designated by the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Committee, and submits significant matters to the Board of Directors for deliberation.
In fiscal year 2023, the ESG Committee endorsed a policy on biodiversity and set a materiality KPI regarding the mitigation of biodiversity impact associated with land development.
Furthermore, for the internal promotion of risk management and initiatives, we have established an Environment Committee under the supervision of the director in charge of ESG promotion. The Environment Committee, chaired by the head of the CSR Division, consists of environmental representatives from each of our business divisions and major Group companies to promote specific measures aimed at achieving Nature Positive.
We conduct evaluations of our company's and its business units' dependency, impact, and business risks related to the global environment, including biodiversity and climate change, in the adjacent areas of our operations and upstream and downstream in our supply chain.
We select and review those dependencies, impacts and business risks at least once a year under the supervision of the ESG Promotion Officer, the Environment Committee, chaired by the head of the CSR Division and composed of environment committee members from each of our business units and major Group companies, selects and reviews at least once a year.
The identified dependencies, impacts, and business risks are analyzed by the dedicated environmental unit of the CSR Division, taking into account various external factors, etc., and evaluated by the ESG Promotion Officer.
|Physical Risk||Social Risk|
|Water||Large volume use in semiconductor manufacturing for use in radio equipment, etc.||The causes of water scarcity, land subsidence, and water pollution resulting from excessive water extraction||Impact of supply chain water shortages on product sourcing||
|Server Cooling Water||Impact of water shortage on business promotion|
|Supply of rare metals, etc. for use in radio equipment||Deforestation and soil contamination associated with mining development||The impact on product sourcing due to the strengthening of supply chain regulations|
|Disaster prevention function of base stations mainly in mountainous areas||Deforestation, weed control, and other changes to forest ecosystems due to land modification associated with construction||The impact on business promotion due to strengthening of regulations|
|Land for construction of large facilities|
|Supply of paper used for products and sales||Deforestation due to pulp and paper production|
|Others||Soil contamination and other issues caused by improper disposal of waste and e-waste associated with business operations.|
|Marine outflow or leakage due to improper handling of plastics used in products, promotional materials, etc.|
|The introduction of invasive species due to the importation of products, etc.|
Taking into consideration the above results and our company's specific circumstances, we have conducted a risk assessment to evaluate the impact on biodiversity caused by land use related with the installation of base stations.
Our core service is the domestic telecommunications business, and we operate approximately 300,000 base stations nationwide. Telecommunication networks are essential lifelines for society and we believe that it is the responsibility of telecommunication carriers to construct the latest and highest quality networks and provide stable and highly reliable telecommunication services.
The risk of sediment disasters occurring as a result of forest depletion and degradation caused by the loss of biodiversity has been increasing year by year. The stable operation of our base stations located in mountainous areas relies on biodiversity. However, we also recognize the risk of land development associated with the construction of new base stations, which can impact ecologically significant areas.
National parks and similar areas restrict development activities to preserve outstanding natural landscapes. However, they also undertake the establishment of facilities to promote visitor use. In order to fulfill our responsibility of providing stable communication services as a social infrastructure, there are cases where it is unavoidable to install network facilities in nature conservation areas.
As an example, we have installed base stations in natural conservation areas designated by national and international treaties, such as Yakushima and the Ogasawara Islands. However, we have analyzed all the base stations we install to assess any potential risks that may pose. As a result of conducting proximity surveys between the installation locations and areas of significant biodiversity, we have confirmed that there is no urgent need for measures in terms of the significance and integrity of biodiversity for the relevant stations.
We will continue to prioritize avoiding infrastructure construction in areas of significant biodiversity and carry out further risk assessments, in addition to fulfilling the necessary procedures during construction.
The risk assessment of biodiversity is conducted by utilizing the LEAP approach, as demonstrated in the beta version of the TNFD framework. After assessing the extent of our business activities' dependencies on and impacts on biodiversity using the online tool “ENCORE,” developed jointly by the Natural Capital Finance Alliance and UNEP-WCMC, we focus on activities where the dependencies and impacts are considered high (particularly base station construction in the telecommunications sector) where the dependence and impacts are considered high and we assess the risks based on the proximity to areas of significant biodiversity and also examine comprehensive water risks for each site.
The risk assessment for each site, we utilize data on nature conservation areas such as national parks from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Ministry of the Environment. We also use geospatial data on Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) and the Aqueduct tool developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for water risk assessment.
Regarding opportunities, we will strive to enhance corporate value by promoting initiatives related to the conservation of biodiversity and natural capital using cutting-edge technologies such as AI, IoT, and Big Data, which are our strengths, as well as by disclosing information based on the TNFD framework and actively disseminating information on activities that lead to the realization of nature positive.
Risk and Impact Management
In order to identify and prevent the materialization of company-wide risks, we have established a management structure to analyze them from various perspectives within the company.
Each department conducts considerations, including risk assessments, when formulating various measures at the operational level. Additionally, the Risk Management Office periodically identifies comprehensive company-wide risks and assesses the status of countermeasures and reports to the Risk Management Committee (consisting of the President, Vice President, CFO, etc. as members, with participation by corporate auditors and the heads of related departments).
The Risk Management Committee determines the significance of risks and the person responsible for dealing with them (risk owner), gives instructions on countermeasures and reports the status to the Board of Directors.
The Internal Audit Office confirms these overall risk management structures and conditions from an independent standpoint.
Global environmental risks, such as biodiversity and climate change, managed by the Environment Committee, are integrated with company-wide risk management processes, and through regular risk management processes, we are working to reduce and prevent risks.
Indicators and Goals
In order to fulfill our responsibility of providing stable communication services as a social infrastructure, there are cases where it is unavoidable to install network facilities in nature conservation areas designated by national and international treaties.
The total area of telecommunication facilities and other equipment installed in nature conservation areas defined by national or international treaties in FY2022 is 492 ㎡.
We have been contributing to forest conservation to date, and in FY2023, our goal is to make a greater contribution to forest conservation compared to the area developed in the previous fiscal year (FY2022), including nature conservation areas, and we plan to continue these efforts consistently in the future.