Climate Change

Climate Change Climate Change

SoftBank endorses the TCFD recommendations and strives to disclose information concerning climate change. We have set contributions through technology and business for climate change as one materiality (important issue) for us, promoting greater efficiency in power use via the IoT, and taking specific measures for climate change such as shifting to renewable energy and providing natural energy.

Support for the TCFD recommendations

Support for the TCFD recommendations

In April 2020, SoftBank announced its support for the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures)* recommendations. Based on the TCFD recommendations, we are enhancing governance and striving for active and complete information disclosure.

[Note]
  1. *
    Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures: an international initiative established by the Financial Stability Board in 2015 which recommends that companies disclose information about the financial impact of climate-related risks and opportunities on businesses.

Governance

The SDGs Promotion Committee was established in March 2020 as an advisory body to the Board of Directors. The President and Representative Director serves as the highest ranking person in charge of the SDGs and is responsible for all sustainability activities such as strategy with respect to climate change.

Strategy

Scenario analysis was conducted to consider strategies for adapting to projected future events due to climate change. Risks that are expected to occur by 2050, which have a particularly large financial impact on the business, including upstream and downstream of the value chain, were identified and two scenarios were considered.

The reference scenarios are as follows.

5th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) RCP2.6 / RCP8.5, IEA(International Energy Agency)
Energy Technology Perspectives 2017 B2DS, World Energy
Outlook 2018 SDS

4℃ scenario

We assumed that the physical effects of climate change, such as intensification of extreme weather events, would occur while the risks of transition in technology, markets, reputation and other areas, as well as the strengthening of policies and regulations, such as climate change countermeasures, would not become apparent. For example, in the case of a disaster of the magnitude of the July 2020 torrential rains, we invested approximately 330 million yen in restoration costs. SoftBank operates approximately 230,000 cell phone base stations nationwide. Based on an analysis of the financial impacts such as restoration costs for disaster damageI, we secure a budget for disaster and are prepared to respond quickly.

Scenario Increased frequency and severity of natural disasters Increase in extremely hot days
Identified risks Increase in recovery costs due to greater and more severe facility damage Increase in air conditioning power costs
Examined initiatives

Strengthen initiatives to prevent and reduce disasters

  • Promote redundancy in the core network
  • Securing communications in times of disaster using a moored balloon radio relay system
  • Promote initiatives for practical use of HAPS

Strengthen energy conservation initiatives

  • Conversion to energy-saving equipment
  • Improving the efficiency of electricity use through the use of AI and IoT
Period until the risks occur Long-term Long-term

1.5 to 2℃ scenario

While there will be no acute or chronic physical risk due to climate change at a level that affects business, we estimated that if a carbon tax of about 6,000-14,000 yen per ton of CO2 equivalent were imposed from 2025, assuming that climate change policies and regulations are strengthened, there would be a cumulative impact of 17.5-40.7 billion yen until 2035.

Scenario Strengthen decarbonization regulations Increase in environmental awareness
Identified risks Increase in extremely hot days Increase in power costs due to shift to renewable energy Customer loss due to reputational risk if environmental initiatives are insufficient
Examined initiatives
  • Renewable energy for base station
  • Achieve carbon neutrality (by FY2030)

Strengthen energy conservation initiatives

  • Conversion to energy-saving equipment
  • vices
  • Improving the efficiency of electricity use through the use of AI and IoT

Initiative to reduce CO2 and information dissemination

  • Renewable energy for base station
  • Achieve carbon neutrality
  • Provide natural electricity
  • Contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions in society
Period until the risks occur Medium-term Short-term Short-term

Risk management

Regarding the risks and opportunities involved in climate change, selections are made in the Environment Committee for regular evaluation and analysis by the officer in charge. Furthermore, issues with a high degree of importance are discussed by the Board of Directors after consulting with the SDGs Promotion Committee.

Based on the results of the scenario analysis, we are implementing the following initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The initiatives for climate change mitigation and adaptation are to be implemented across all of our businesses, including new businesses.

Our risk management includes regulatory risk, reputation risk, market risk, technology risk, and physical risk.

Indicators and targets

To manage the risks and opportunities that climate change represents for SoftBank, we monitor data on environmental impacts.
The main target is set as Carbon Neutral 2030, to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions in real terms from the energy used in our business activities and so forth by 2030, aiming to achieve the SDGs. In FY2020 we achieved 30% renewable energy in real terms for base station power, shifted up in stages to 50% in FY2021, and 70% in FY2022. We are also working on reducing greenhouse gases in the power used for all our facilities and equipment other than base stations.

Resource usage / Greenhouse gas emissions

Resource usage

Item
(Unit)
Fiscal year
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Electricity (kWh (000's)) 1,338,019 1,418,791 1,355,703 1,644,234 1,680,530
Included renewable energy
(kWh (000's))
36 44 44 32,516 324,766
City gas (m³ (000's)) 4,835 4,731 4,554 4,508 4,914
Bunker A fuel oil (kl) 65 144 190 160 198

Greenhouse gas emissions

Item
(Unit)
Fiscal year
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Scope 1, 2
(t-CO2)
733,515 722,514 693,953 776,104 620,929
[Notes]
  • *
    The boundaries are as follows.
    Up to FY2018: SoftBank Corp. (non-consolidated)
    FY2019 and beyond: all SoftBank Corp. (non-consolidated) business offices and major affiliated companies (Yahoo Japan Corporation, ASKUL Corporation)
  • *
    The increase in FY2019 is due to the boundary change.
  • *
    Revised calculation method for final disposal volume from FY2020.
  • *
    Third-party verification was obtained for the FY2020 greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1, 2) and energy consumption. (Limited certification level based on ISO14064-3)
  • *
    To ensure we continue to manage appropriately, at SoftBank we do not emit specially controlled industrial waste or hazardous industrial waste.

Major Initiatives

Climate change mitigation

Renewable energy for base station

SoftBank's primary business is in mobile communications, and about 60% of the electricity it consumes is used to power its 230,000 base stations.
FY2020, approximately 30% of base station electricity was renewable energy. We will gradually raise this rate to 50% in FY2021 and 70% in FY2022 while simultaneously striving to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Adaptation to climate change

We will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our business activities to virtually zero by fiscal 2030.

Carbon-neutral 2030

Adaptation to climate change

Responding to Larger Natural Disasters

SoftBank endeavors to fulfill its infrastructural responsibilities as a telecom service operator in response to natural disasters that have grown in scale in recent years. To this end, we have identified the construction of a high-quality network for society as a material issue and are regularly implementing measures focused on maintaining our telecommunications infrastructure during times of disaster.

Implementing BCP measures

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

A range of energy saving measures such as controlled lighting levels and optimized air conditioning timing in accordance with the Act on the Rational Use of Energy (Energy Saving Act) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Environmental Preservation Ordinance are being implemented at the building where SoftBank Corp. headquarters are located.

In addition, at its headquarters and network and data centers, SoftBank has received ISO14001, an international certification for environmental management systems, and is actively working to reduce its electricity consumption. We optimize temperature settings of air conditioners at base stations and network centers to enable normal operation of equipment, proactively use equipment that is best-in-class for energy conservation, and promote optimal energy use through the periodic replacement of old or outdated equipment. At data centers in particular, a reduction in energy consumption is being seen through the implementation of heat analysis visualization and localized air conditioning, among other efforts.

Reduction of CO2 emissions

SoftBank obtains Eco ICT mark

Eco ICT mark

SoftBank supports the aims of the ICT Ecology Guideline Council and have acquired the ICT echo mark, which is awarded to corporations that meet certain criteria set by the ICT Ecology Guideline Council. The mark was acquired following a self-assessment by the companies of initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions at their businesses, such as the formulation of procurement criteria for equipment and services that focus on reducing CO2 emissions.

Self evaluation checklist for initiatives by telecommunications carriers to reduce CO2 emissions
Required item
Creation of a voluntary environmental action plan, etc.
Evaluation item Implementation status and initiative details
Have you formulated and put into operation a voluntary environmental action plan which describes various initiatives for the purpose of reducing CO2 emissions through energy conservation? In addition to enacting environmental action guidelines to engage in the maintenance and preservation of the environment, we have established environmental targets for the entire company which include the reduction of the amount of energy usage, the promotion of the use of recycled paper, the proper disposal of industrial waste, and the implementation of green procurement and environmental education programs.
Does the voluntary environmental action plan incorporate specific initiatives which describe various numerical targets for the purpose of reducing CO2 emissions through energy conservation? As an environmental target, we have established a numerical target for the reduction of power consumption which is being undertaken by the entire company.
In addition to internally and externally publicizing the voluntary environmental action plan, are you engaging in activities to educate and communicate with employees to strive to improve their environmental awareness? We have published the environmental action guidelines and environmental targets on this web site.
Moreover, we have posted this information on the CSR page of the company intranet for the employees while also striving to improve the awareness of each individual employee by providing regular e-learning and the dissemination of educational information about environmental awareness.
Are you releasing information about the status of implementation and achievement of various initiatives described in the voluntary environmental action plan? We have published such information about our environmental initiatives under the “Environment” section of this web site.
Procurement-related initiatives
Evaluation item Implementation status and initiative details
Have you created any procurement standards for ICT equipment and data centers based on the evaluation criteria stipulated in these guidelines, and are you conducting procurement in accordance with those standards? In order to promote the introduction of products which help encourage a reduction in CO2 emissions, we enacted a set of “Green Procurement Guidelines” for all of our business partners which describe our basic approach to green procurement, and we are carrying out procurement activities in accordance with these guidelines.
Are you conducting green procurement and other forms of procurement which consider energy conservation for business machines used in the office, goods, and distribution? We have adopted recycled paper products which conform with the Eco Mark standard for our copier paper. Moreover, we are promoting the purchasing of low environmental load products for our stationery supplies such as Eco Mark products and products which conform wiGreen Purchasing Act.
Promotion system
Evaluation item Implementation status and initiative details
Have you established a department or person in charge of initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions through energy conservation? We are reducing greenhouse effect gases across the entire company through an secretariat run by the CSR Division.
Are you appropriately assessing the status of implementation and achievement of targets, etc. listed in the voluntary environmental action plan while also maintaining a system to perform internal audits? After receiving ISO14001 certification, we are creating and appropriately reviewing environmental targets, checking the status of implementation and achievement of those targets, and conducting internal audits. We are maintaining a system to ensure that this type of environmental management system PDCA cycle is executed in the appropriate manner.
Optional item
Initiatives for other environmental measures
Evaluation item Implementation status and initiative details
Have you established a department or person in charge of initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions through energy conservation? We are reducing greenhouse effect gases across the entire company through an secretariat run by the CSR Division.
Are you appropriately assessing the status of implementation and achievement of targets, etc. listed in the voluntary environmental action plan while also maintaining a system to perform internal audits? After receiving ISO14001 certification, we are creating and appropriately reviewing environmental targets, checking the status of implementation and achievement of those targets, and conducting internal audits. We are maintaining a system to ensure that this type of environmental management system PDCA cycle is executed in the appropriate manner.

Transforming agriculture with technology

We provide an agricultural IoT solution “e-kakashi” to navigate optimal growth environment, by analyzing environmental data and growth information obtained in farms and rice fields based on plant science, which allows us to identify important growth and inhibitory factors for each growth stage, and determine the present risks and ways to deal with them.

In Japan, the problem of the lack of successors in the agricultural field is becoming serious, and it is an issue how to pass on proficiency to young people, but we are aiming to increase the efficiency of succession by introducing ICT technology. Through technical support provided by e-kakashi, we will contribute to the realization of sustainable agriculture not only in Japan but also in the world.

e-kakashi

On-site lesson on agricultural IoT at Miyagi Prefectural University of Agriculture
On-site lesson on agricultural IoT at Miyagi Prefectural University of Agriculture
Workshop at Colombia International Tropical Agriculture Center
Workshop at Colombia International Tropical Agriculture Center

Improving energy efficiency at data centers

Improving energy efficiency at data centers

IDC Frontier Inc. works to raise energy efficiency at data centers. Its Kitakyushu Data Center (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka) is the first large commercial data center in Japan to adopt air conditioning using outside air. The data center has realized energy conservation through the optimization of high-density server operations and air conditioning efficiency, and as a result, has won a number of awards.

In addition, at the Shirakawa Data Center in Shirakawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, IDC Frontier – using the area’s cooler climate and the high-level expertise acquired from its experience in operating the Kitakyushu Data Center – has developed an in-building external air conditioner system that combines architecture capable of drawing external air directly into the building with air conditioner functions in order to process exhaust heat from servers. This system enables the data center to use cool external air for over 90% of its air conditioning needs.

Completed in 2018, Shirakawa Data Center’s building no. 5 employs a hybrid air conditioning system that combines external air and water cooling with air cooling functions. It is expected to achieve a high cooling efficiency of approximately PUE*1 of 1.2.

In addition, the data center analyzes and verifies energy conservation effects to continuously promote further energy conservation.

[Note]
  • *
    Power Usage Effectiveness
    An indicator of data center energy efficiency, the PUE is calculated by dividing the overall power consumption of the data center by the power consumption of its IT equipment. In general, data centers in Japan commonly have a PUE value of 2.0 or less.

Aiming to promote renewable energy

The devastation caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the incident at Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has stimulated interest in energy demand and power-saving programs in Japan and has had a profound effect on the lives of people, not only in East Japan, but throughout the entire country. The SoftBank Group recognizes the energy issue as a challenge that concerns the whole of Japan and believes that the promotion and expansion of safe and renewable energy is one of the solutions.

Aiming to promote renewable energy

We established the Renewable Energy Governors' Alliance at the prefecture level and the Renewable Energy Governors' Alliance for Designated Cities at the urban level and began serving as secretariat for these two alliances, with the chairman of the board and also the chairman and president of the parent company, SoftBank group Corp., as the secretary general. Through the alliances, together with 34 prefectures throughout Japan and the local governments of 19 cities, the SoftBank shares policy recommendations and information as an associate member, to promote the spread of renewable energy.

We support public policies related to climate change mitigation and promotion of renewable energy as disaster prevention. In 2019, we made four policy proposals: to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) : “Balancing economic growth and social decarbonization,” “Regional revitalization through coexistence with local communities and promotion of renewable energy,” “Toward mass introduction of renewable energy as a main power source,” and “Deregulation and various issues.”

Providing environmentally friendly electricity services

Providing environmentally friendly electricity services

SoftBank and SB Power Co., Ltd. are offering “Shizen Denki,” a rate menu for households with a virtually 100% renewable energy ratio and zero CO2 emissions*1, in the Hokkaido, Tohoku, Tokyo, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu power areas by using non-fossil certificates*2 designated for renewable energy. In addition, SB Power contributes 50 yen per month per “Shizen Denki” contract to support activities for forest conservation organizations*3, and expects to reduce annual CO2 emissions by approximately 16,000 tons*4 through the provision of “Shizen Denki” in fiscal 2021.
In addition, in order to respond to the accelerating trend toward decarbonization among companies and local governments, SoftBank Denki for Biz High Voltage, an electricity service for corporate customers, began offering a menu of options with low environmental impact in February 2021. In 2021 May, we began offering an RE100-compliant menu to Yahoo Japan's Shirakawa Data Center, supporting the group company's efforts to decarbonize.

SoftBank and SB Power will continue to contribute to the realization of an environmentally-friendly society by providing power services that make practical use of renewable energy.

[Notes]
  1. *1
    By combining the electricity supplied to customers with a non-fossil certificate designated as a renewable energy, it is possible to essentially realize the supply of electricity with a renewable energy ratio of 100% and zero CO2 emissions.
  2. *2
    Calculated by extracting the environmental value of solar power generation and wind power generation, which does not emit CO2 that causes global warming, from electricity.
  3. *3
    Donations to organizations that execute projects certified under the J-Credit Scheme operated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  4. *4
    The CO2 reduction effect is calculated by multiplying the amount of power used by Shizen Denki enrollees by the national average CO2 emission factor, and then adding the J-Credit depreciation received from supporting activities of forest conservation groups.

Co-operating with External Organizations

At the GSMA, a member of the global telecommunications industrial group, we participate in the Climate Action Task force which addresses environmental issues such as climate variability. Participating in the Environment Subcommittee at the TCA (telecommunications Carriers Association), we strive to exchange information between the persons in charge, which has domestic telecommunications carriers as members, to promote climate change countermeasures and resource recycling measures as an industry group.

GSMA is encouraging member companies, including our company, to set SBT (scientifically based goal to control global warming to 1.5℃), and TCA announced telecommunications in Japan in 2017.
Developing a carbon neutral action for the industry to set environmental targets (improving power efficiency per communication volume) by 2020 (Phase 1) and 2030 (Phase 2). We were involved in collaboration with member companies in the formulation of goal settings. We have achieved Phase 1 target of more than five times the power efficiency per communication volume in FY2020(compared to FY2013) by 6.7 times through the introduction of telecommunications equipment with superior energy-saving performance and the promotion of efficient facility construction and operation. In phase 2, we have set a target to improve the power efficiency by 10 times or more inFY2030.

In addition, we have joined the Japan Climate Initiative (JCI), a network of non-governmental actors in Japan who are actively working to achieve the 1.5℃ target, and we will work with companies, local governments, organizations, NGOs, and others who are actively engaged in climate change countermeasures to promote a decarbonized society.

We regularly check the consistency of our climate change measures with those of our member organizations, and if we believe that an industry organization's measures are partially inadequate, we will work with the member companies to strengthen their measures, and if the measures are significantly inadequate, we will consider the possibility of withdrawing from the organization. In fiscal year 2020, the president and CEO of the company who is promoting the highest SDGs, will serve as the Chairman of the TCA, including the board members of the GSMA and we contribute to the promotion of activities.

We will continue to work with these industrial groups to tackle climate variability measures. If we believe that there are shortages in the measures taken by the industrial groups, we will work with the member companies to strengthen the measures.

Activities / Sponsorship

Support for COOL CHOICE

COOL CHOICE

SoftBank supports COOL CHOICE, a national campaign conducted by the Ministry of the Environment to mitigate global warming.

COOL CHOICE encourages people to make environmentally conscious choices, such as choosing energy-efficient, low-carbon products, services and activities to achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gases in fiscal 2030 by 26% compared to fiscal 2013 – the target set by Japan’s Global Warming Prevention Headquarters.

To promote and expand the use of renewable energy and mitigate global warming, SoftBank is pursuing initiatives such as the Shizen Denki plan of SoftBank Denki, a service that utilizes renewable energy generated by SB Energy Corp.

Participating in the “Fun to Share” climate change campaign

Fun to Share

SoftBank is a supporter of “Fun to Share”, a climate change campaign sponsored by Japan's Ministry of the Environment, following its “Team Minus 6%” and “Challenge 25 Campaign”. Fun to Share is a means to share wisdom and technology in order to build a rich and low-carbon society in an enjoyable manner for everyone. Through participation in the campaign, SoftBank is promoting increased awareness and voluntary action among employees to implement continued energy efficiency at work sites and in work processes, encouraging and “cool biz” and “warm biz” (wearing cooler clothing during summer and warmer clothing during winter) on the Intranet to help realize a low-carbon society.