Updated on August 29, 2019

Guiding Principles for Biodiversity Conservation Initiatives and Case Examples

Guiding Principles for Conservation Initiatives

Sony has established a Basic Policy on Biodiversity Conservation, pledging its commitment to help achieve the twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets by conserving natural capital and biodiversity through the entire product life cycle.

Sony business sites are intricately connected with the natural environment and ecosystems that surround them. In light of this, Sony is focused on helping to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets by promoting activities to protect biodiversity in these regions and further afield. Sony introduced its Green Star Program in fiscal 2011 as an internal framework for assessing the green performance of business sites and advancing green measures, and categorizes biodiversity considerations and initiatives as outlined below. Sony also communicates with employees about the importance of pursuing initiatives under the Green Star Program as a way to help achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, working to build a shared recognition of the significance of these initiatives that will encourage action.

Biodiversity Considerations/Initiatives and Associated Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Measures Main Associated Aichi Targets
Education and awareness
  • Conduct education, seminars, and lectures concerning biodiversity
  • Conduct nature observation programs
Target 1 Awareness increased: Focus on raising awareness of the value of biodiversity and protective measures
Investigation
  • Monitor living things
  • Give consideration to the ecological services related to site and business
  • Grasp status of land use
  • Give consideration to local biodiversity preservation plans
Target 19 Knowledge improved, shared and applied: Improve related knowledge, science and technology
Improve ecosystems
  • Improvement of environment for living things
  • Give consideration to ecological network and green corridor
  • Give consideration to three-dimensional vegetation
  • Adoption of local species
Target 5 Habitat loss halved or reduced: Cut the loss of natural habitats, including forests, to at least half; significantly reduce degradation and fragmentation

Target 10 Pressures on vulnerable ecosystems reduced: Protect coral reefs and other ecosystems that are particularly susceptible to environmental changes
Measures against negative impact
  • Measures against alien species
  • Give consideration to bad effects on ecosystems caused by emissions
Target 8 Pollution reduced: Control contamination from chemical substances, fertilizers and pesticides to within parameters that are not harmful

Target 9 Invasive alien species prevented and controlled: Control or eradicate invasive alien species

Target 12 Extinction prevented: Prevent the extinction of known threatened species
Protection and
conservation of
ecosystem services
  • Grasp and conserve endangered species
  • Conserve a wildlife sanctuary
  • Groundwater recharge
Target 11 Protected areas increased and improved: Protect at least 17% of terrestrial areas and 10% of marine areas

Target 14 Ecosystems and essential services safeguarded: Restore and safeguard ecosystems that provide natural abundance
Management
  • Ensure the appropriate management and use of chemical substances
  • Ensure the effective use of organic resources
  • Promote procurement that leads to biodiversity
Target 4 Sustainable consumption and production: Implement plans for sustainable production and consumption among all stakeholders
Cooperation with stakeholders
  • Cooperation with stakeholders
  • Support for organizations that engage in biodiversity conservation activities
Associated targets depend on focus of activities

Education and Awareness

Promoting initiatives for biodiversity conservation starts with getting people in diverse positions to better recognize and understand the value of biodiversity. With the understanding that awareness leads to conservation, Sony engages in a broad range of biodiversity education and awareness initiatives including organizing nature walks, biodiversity-themed photo contests, environmental education for students, and art competitions, as well as using social media to raise biodiversity awareness. These initiatives will enable Sony to help achieve Target 1 "Awareness increased" of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Wow! Wow! Biodiversity Project

Sony launched the Wow! Wow! Biodiversity Project in fiscal 2015, as a platform for organizing nature appreciation events for the general public and to spread awareness of biodiversity through social media. Sony China joined the project in fiscal 2016 and has been continuously organizing activities which designed to raise biodiversity awareness, including a nature- and biodiversity-themed photo contest in China. The annual photo contest has drawn roughly 3,700 submissions since the start of the contest in fiscal 2016. The submissions have been shared with approximately 200,000 people via social media, including employees of Sony Group companies in China and their friends. To further spread awareness among the general public, Sony China has held a public exhibition of the winning entries at the Shanghai Pudong Software Park in conjunction with organizing biodiversity lectures and biodiversity-themed photography workshops using Sony cameras. These events have helped to direct attention toward biodiversity and educate the broader public on the importance of biodiversity.

Public exhibition of winning entries for photo contest
Grand prize winners from the photo contest in fiscal 2018

Welcoming Environmental Field Trips from Local Primary Schools

Sony UK Technology Centre manages, within its premises, a nature and wildlife habitat, which was maintained with the help of employee volunteers, to provide Forest School sessions at their facility and it was called Environmental Centre. Sony UK Technology Centre is working with local schools and groups to enable each student attending Forest School sessions to have the opportunity to develop an inquisitive and positive relationship with the natural environment. Throughout 2018, the Environmental Centre organized various activities. For example, it hosted 768 participants of all ages & abilities and welcomed 8 local primary schools for weekly forest school sessions. It also provided monthly Saturday sessions for children and young people with additional learning needs.

The Environmental Centre within the verdant natural grounds of the Sony UK Technology Centre

Investigation

As part of their environmental conservation activities, various Sony sites survey the natural habitats located on their grounds and in the surrounding areas by monitoring and fixed-point observations. They then reflect the results of these studies in conservation plans, allowing them to carry out activities in consideration of the local ecosystem. The disclosure of the survey results will enable Sony to help achieve Target 19 "Knowledge improved, shared and applied" of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Monitoring Ecosystems Surrounding Offices

The Kunisaki Satellite at the Oita Technology Center of Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation in japan monitors red-clawed crab and other marine creatures living along the coast, as well as wildlife living in the forest on the center's premises, which has been the focus of conservation since the site was established. The site has also been monitoring the status of a group of endangered Golden Orchid and Cephalanthera Erecta plants discovered during surveys in 2013. In 2015, the site began monitoring for alien species and has enacted conservation plans to protect the ecosystem on its premises through a variety of measures, including selecting trees to be removed.

An employee monitors growth

Improve Ecosystems

Sony’s business sites endeavor to protect biodiversity through conservation of the environment that provides a habitat where local species can hide and lay their eggs. Business sites carry out various activities intended to preserve the environment in consideration of local ecosystems, from planting local varieties of trees and composting fallen leaves and trimmings to installing birdhouses and constructing ponds and waterways. Sony is also helping to preserve marine habitats that are so important to sea life through conservation efforts for coral reefs and mangrove forests that serve as nesting and feeding grounds. These initiatives are enabling Sony to help achieve Targets 5 "Habitat loss halved or reduced" and 10 "Pressures on vulnerable ecosystems reduced" of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Participating in Local Nature Conservation Activities in the United Kingdom

In Enfield, UK, employees of Sony DADC contributed to nature conservation activities organized by Friends of Firs Farm, a local volunteer group. One of their environmental goals is the consideration of the green space’s impact on its local environment. The employees participated in activities such as tree-planting, clearing of invasive species to enable native species to thrive and restoring of local ponds. New green spaces created by these activities are now used to host activities for young people learning about local biodiversity.

Nature conservation activities

Greening and Biodiversity Conservation in China

Sony Digital Products (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. (SDPW) has been engaged in on-site greening activities from its commencement, so as to conserve the biodiversity of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province where SPDW is located. As a result of these efforts, one-fourth of the site has been maintained as green space and 833 native-specie trees have been planted. The ongoing maintenance includes consideration of biodiversity such as the composting of fallen leaves to leaf mould. These efforts have given rise to a rich ecosystem and habitat for birds and other wildlife to make nests and breed. In addition, the company has also opened the green space to local schoolchildren to learn about biodiversity. In 2018, SDPW received the green factory certification from the Wuxi government for contributing to the local biodiversity conservation.

The ceremony for tree planting

Other initiatives

Measures Against Negative Impact

The Sony Group has been taking measures to remove non-native species that negatively affect local ecosystems. Furthermore, Sony Group's sites limit the harmful effects on local ecosystems by using only appropriate amount of pesticides and chemical fertilizers at their green spaces in order to prevent soil pollution and the buildup of excessive nutrients in the soil. In addition, Sony is also addressing the ocean pollution issue that caused by plastic wastes, by having the initiatives which focus on reducing plastics, such as “reducing virgin plastic in products and product packaging and internally reducing single-use plastics (plastic shopping bags, straws, etc.) that used by employees” and “addressing pollution by cleaning up rivers, beaches and communities near Sony business sites”. These initiatives are enabling Sony to achieve Targets 8, "Pollution reduced," 9, "Invasive alien species prevented and controlled," and 12, "Extinction prevented," of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Cleaning Up a Nesting Area for Migratory Birds

In 2018, Sony Philippines, Inc., together with Hands-on Manila (HOM), cleaned the coast of Freedom Island in Manila Bay, which is part of the Las Piñas City. The area is part of the East Asian-Australian Migratory Flyway, and migratory birds from China, Japan and Siberia come to nest in the mangrove forest and swamps surrounding the area. The coast of Freedom Island had become inundated with trash, which threatens the environment and nesting areas for migratory birds. Employees of Sony Philippines and HOM volunteers collected 38 garbage bags full of trash including plastics, fabric waste, and disposable containers.

Employees of Sony Philippines cleaning the coast

Other initiatives

Protection and Conservation of Ecosystem Services

Sony is working to conserve ecosystem services through activities such as groundwater recharging, identifying and protecting threatened species, and protecting wildlife and flora. These initiatives are enabling Sony to help achieve Targets 11, "Protected areas increased and improved," and 14, "Ecosystems and essential services safeguarded," of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Activities to Protect the Harpy Eagle

Based in Panama, Sony Inter-American, S.A. (SIA) has been carrying out activities to protect the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), which, while recognized as the national bird of Panama, is also designated as an endangered species. Since 1998, SIA has been sponsoring the Harpy Eagle Center, a facility that promotes protection activities. In 2008, SIA sponsored the center with several Sony BRAVIA™ LCD televisions, which have been combined into a large wall-mounted screen. In 2016, the wall-mounted screen was replaced by a 4K 84" Sony BRAVIA™ LCD television and Sony Home Theater System to show high-definition videos in an effort to raise awareness among visitors of the importance of efforts to protect the harpy eagle. SIA through the patronage of “Amigos del Águila Harpía,” provides maintenance to the bird enclosures and appoints a biologist who watches over the health of the harpy eagles and gives talks to native communities in areas near the eagle’s habitat.

Harpy eagle

"The Home of Firefly" Regeneration Project

Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations Corporation's Kosai Site in Japan has been implementing a project to revitalize the firefly habitat in cooperation with the local government. Fireflies were previously abundant in the woodland area neighboring the Kosai Site, but their numbers have been dwindling in recent years. In response, the company has begun maintaining the woodlands and raising the native species of firefly larvae to restock the population.

An emerged firefly

Other initiatives

Management

Sony works to ensure that chemical substances are properly managed; organic resources are effectively utilized, including composting fallen leaves; and the items it procures have been produced with biodiversity in mind. These initiatives will enable Sony to help achieve Target 4 "Sustainable consumption and production" of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Environmentally Preferable Paper Purchasing

Recognizing that paper resources are finite, Sony strives to use paper in an environmentally responsible manner, and it has established a related purchasing policy for paper and printed materials. Accordingly, Sony makes a point of purchasing environmentally preferable paper, such as recycled paper and forest-certified paper.

Cooperation with Stakeholders

With a view to make its initiatives to protect biodiversity even more effective, the Sony Group seeks the opinions of related experts, NGOs, and other stakeholders while carrying out environmental conservation activities. For example, Sony works with research organizations when conducting studies and nature conservation groups when becoming involved in conservation activities. It also cooperates with governments and NGOs when maintaining the natural environment. In addition, Sony provides support and assistance to organizations involved in protecting biodiversity.

Initiatives

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