Our daily lives and our economic activities are supported by ecosystem services arising out of biodiversity. The flow of these blessings of nature is supported by stock known as natural capital. Business models that take the sustainability of natural capital into consideration support the sustainability of the entire society, including the private sector. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved only if the four Goals associated with our global environment, that is, those relating to issues such as natural capital and stable climate systems, are realized as fundamental goals. The MS&AD Insurance Group will endeavor to build, preserve, and utilize sustainable links between natural capital and business activities.
Key SDGs and Our Targets
The SDGs are based on the four goals associated with the global environment (Goal 6: Management of water; Goal 13: Mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change; Goal 14: Marine ecosystems; and Goal 15: Terrestrial ecosystems). We will implement various initiatives including international cooperation to balance the preservation of natural capital with the pursuit of business activities.
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
Business of MS&AD
Evaluation of the value of natural environment
Sustainable use of natural resources
Preservation of biodiversity
Evaluation of risks and opportunities associated with natural capital
Evaluation of natural capital risks
If an overseas project or a business based on a global supply chain is likely to inflict significant damage on natural capital, such project or business may itself face serious risks. That is, the impact on natural capital may present a significant risk. We perform a theoretical quantitative evaluation to calculate the impact of a domestic or overseas development project on natural capital.
We support our clients in conducting specific risk evaluations aimed at understanding the value of natural capital surrounding their overseas business bases and development projects to enable them to make business decisions, as well as understanding where and what kind of impacts they have on natural capital through their supply chains. We also provide support for “natural capital accounting,” which demonstrates the ways in which the entire business is connected to natural capital.
Providing Simplified Evaluation of Water Risks
There are a number of regions across the world facing water resource depletion, mainly due to climate change, population growth, and development in developing countries. Some enterprises are also threatened by such situations. In light of these circumstances, social pressure on companies to evaluate and disclose their own water risks is becoming stronger. The trend of major Japanese manufacturers requiring their suppliers to evaluate and disclose water risks and of investors demanding disclosure of water risks has thus become widespread. MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting assists in the evaluation of water risks (depletion of water resources, water-related disasters, etc.) for the domestic and overseas business bases of Japanese enterprises.
Business Taking the Sustainability of Natural Capital into Consideration
The Sustainable use of natural resources and land in various businesses will increase the sustainability of the global environment while enabling the sustainable growth of the enterprises involved. MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting provides various risk consulting services to support eco-efficiency and the sustainable use of natural resources. The MS&AD Insurance Group will contribute to the conservation of natural capital and growth of our clients through supporting sustainable use of natural resources and sustainable land use that takes the local environment into consideration.
Eco-supply Chain Consulting Services
For the manufacturing industry, the establishment of sustainable raw material purchasing networks is more crucially a management issue, in terms of securing the sustainability of business, than a means of fending off criticism about negative impacts on the environment. We will provide support for considering how to handle the related issues and formulating supply chain management by identifying raw materials assumed to have especially significant impacts on the environment, and selecting priority issues.
Biodiversity-based Land Use Consulting Service
In development projects, the utilization of the peripheral environment in consideration of regional biodiversity is a viewpoint more related to increasing the appeal of the relevant property than to performing a social responsibility. We will offer our proposals for enhancing biodiversity in systematic ways.
We provide comprehensive support ranging from research and analysis on the use of green space at office and residential complexes to the formulation of improvement and activity plans based on such research and analysis.
Preservation of Biodiversity
Natural bounty provided by biodiversity (ecosystem services) is the basis of our lives and business activities. A business model in consideration of biodiversity supports the sustainability of the entire society, which includes companies as well. At the MS&AD Insurance Group, the action plans in the MS&AD Basic Environmental Policy explicitly include approaches to preservation of biodiversity and we promote our approaches.
Signing the Natural Capital Declaration
In July 2016, the MS&AD Insurance Group signed to the Natural Capital Declaration.
Research and Educational Activities
We are conducting a study on what we should do to protect biodiversity, and disseminating widely the importance of protecting biodiversity.
Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB)
April 2008 saw the establishment of the Japan Business Initiative for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (JBIB), which serves as a network for joint research by companies concerned about preserving biodiversity and making sustainable use of natural resources. Ever since its establishment, MSI has been supporting the JBIB's activities as the chair company. JBIB, to provide references for environmental efforts to companies in Japan, develops guidelines for land use and raw material procurement caring biodiversity and discloses results of the studies. The activities of JBIB were referred to in “National Biodiversity Strategy of Japan 2012-2020”. JBIB is highly regarded as one of the bodies with which the government should pursue further collaboration and cooperation. JBIB participated in the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP13) held in Mexico in December 2016. It is bolstering its presence in efforts for biodiversity preservation by exchanging information with “the Mexican Alliance for Biodiversity and Business”. In September 2018, its development of tools and guidelines for mainstreaming biodiversity by companies was highly evaluated, and it received the award for excellence from the 5th Biodiversity Award (organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation).
Symposium "The Story of Biology Told by Companies"
Since 2007, MSI has been holding a symposium "The Story of Biology Told by Companies" for corporate staffs as an enlightenment for companies in approaching preservation of biodiversity.
In February 2018, 11th symposium was held with the co-sponsorship of Ministry of Environment, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Chiyoda City, Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation, and the special cooperation of JBIB and MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting. Although the Aichi Biodiversity Targets *1 year of 2020 is approaching, the 11th symposium advanced discussions in relation to the SDGs *2 which have a target year of 2030. This time, there were discussions on the ideal post-Aichi Diversity Targets approach, as well as preparation of subcommittees that discussed three themes related to the SDGs: toward “promotion of sustainable water resources, “ “the SDGs and community development,” and “zero deforestation and ESG investment.” The dialogues were well received by more than 230 participants while some described it as a valuable opportunity to contemplate on what roles companies should play in the biodiversity conservation.
ABINC Certification Business Support
MSI takes a role as Chairman company in JBIB (Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity) who formulated "JBIB Guidelines for Sustainable Business Sites." ABINC founded in 2013 is an organization that evaluates and certifies efforts related to biodiversity based on the guideline. The scope of evaluation covers from quantity and quality of green spaces of companies and factories to management and environmental activities. By FY2017, 67 facilities are certified by the certification system. As the secretariat, MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting contributes to certification business and dissemination activities.
Participation in Research Regarding Ecosystem Disaster Prevention and Reduction and Multifaceted Utilization
MSI participates in “Research and Social Implementation of Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) as Climate Change Adaptation in Shrinking Societies,” full research which was launched in 2018 as a research project of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Inter-University Research Institute Corporation, which conducts comprehensive global environment research. As disasters such as floods, landslides, and water surges increase along with climate change, preparation against such disasters is becoming an urgent issue for the safety and peace of mind of regional communities. However, population decline is progressing in many regional communities. This research focuses on Eco-DRR, a disaster risk reduction technique utilizing diverse functions of ecosystems, seizes opportunities for reviewing land use due to population decline, and conducts research toward realizing regional communities where the blessings of bountiful nature and disaster risk reduction coexist.
Biodiversity Preservation by Sumaho, “Animal Alert Function Service by Smartphone”
In cooperation with MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting, MSI offers a smartphone service that calls users attention by an audio alert when a car approaches areas prone to accidents involving wild animals. The service was developed because traffic deaths, so called roadkill, is one of the reasons for the declining number of endangered species, and finding an effective measure had been an issue for local communities and the Ministry of Environment. A collision with a large mammal can be a significant automobile accident and cause damage, which the service contributes to the safety of automobile drivers. The scope of the service was expanded to medium and large-sized mammals such as deer, and the service is offered for six animals in five regions in addition to Okinawa Prefecture (Okinawa Rail or Iriomote Wildcat), Kagoshima Pref. (Amami Rabbit) and Nagasaki Pref. (Tsushima Wildcat). The scope of the target animals and services will be expanded gradually to cover wider areas of Japan.
"MS&AD Ramsar Supporters"
The MS&AD Insurance Group has been conducting “MS&AD Ramsar Supporters: Life–Connect–From the Waterfront” initiative, which is a waterside environmental preservation initiative focused on the Ramsar Convention registered wetlands. The initiative, which started in fiscal 2010, has now expanded to activities at 11 wetlands across the country, with about 1,800 group employees and their families participating. Departments and branches are also active. In fiscal 2015, to practice "wise use" which is advocated by the Convention, we started to grow rice in "Fuyumizutanbo," (winter rice-paddies) at Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture which is good for living creatures. Employees and their families participated in activities to experience the fun of growing rice and the joy of interacting with living creatures.
Supporting the Regeneration the Forests and the Creation of a Sustainable Local Communities (Indonesia)
MSI has promoted the tropical rain forest recovery project in Yogyakarta, on Indonesia's Java Island. Since 2005, in cooperation with the Department of Forestry of Indonesia, we have planted approximately 300,000 trees to restore and rehabilitate wildlife sanctuaries, which deteriorated due to illegal logging by local residents during the economic crisis in the second half of the 1990s. Agricultural technical guidance to help the local residents gain even greater financial independence as well as environmental education for teachers of elementary schools have been implemented, in order to regenerate the forests and build sustainable local communities. These efforts receive high evaluations from the Indonesian government. We started the Phase III project in April 2016, and we are working to revitalize regional economies and conserve protected forests by providing afforestation and forest guidance to local residents. In October 2016, the second phase completion ceremony was held in Yogyakarta with guests from Yogyakarta Special Governor, Indonesia Financial Services Authority and Embassy of Japan in Indonesia. In addition, the tour for employees that began in fiscal 2014 will be the fourth in fiscal 2017, and by visiting the regenerated forests and exchanging with local elementary schools that our overseas entities continuously support, we are deepening our understanding of social contribution efforts.
The Green Resilience of the Surugadai Building that Considers Biodiversity and Disaster Prevention
The green area at the Surugadai Building became the first building in downtown Tokyo in 2017 that was certified as Green Legacy, which is the highest rank in "Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES) " managed by "Fund for Greening in Cities". Surugadai Building and Surugadai New Annex collectively work as green bases to form “an Ecological Network” that connects the Imperial Palace and Ueno Park to expand habit ranges of wild birds.
The biodiversity-friendly afforestation and initiatives were highly evaluated, and received the 5th Green Society Contribution Award (organizer: Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure) in September 2017.
In addition, the green areas that have a hierarchical structure of trees have beneficial effects on retaining rainwater and mitigating urban water flood. In a calculation, the roof garden only is capable of retaining 750 tons of rainwater, which is equivalent to a three-hour shower precipitating at 100 millimeters per hour. The basement of the Surugadai Building contains a rainwater collection tank that can hold 3,500 tons, and in conjunction with the rainwater accumulation effects of the green areas plays a function for disaster reduction. Going forward, MSI will continue to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and manage green areas that lead to resilient community creation.
Visiting Schools to Give Wetland Biodiversity Lessons
In 2014, with the aim of promoting environmental education, representatives of the MS&AD Insurance Group began visiting schools to give lessons under an environmental education program consisting of six videos and Q&A materials. Using supplementary teaching materials including a plastic sheet and a handbook distributed to each pupil as well as full-scale stuffed migratory birds, the program focuses on experiential learning and having fun. In fiscal 2017, the number of elementary and junior high school students who took part in our visiting program totaled 277. We will continue to offer the program, aligning our efforts with the Community Education Public Awareness (CEPA) principles for the conservation of wetland biodiversity as adopted by the Ramsar Convention.
Sharing Information at ECOM Surugadai
“ECOM Surugadai” was opened in May 2012 as a communication space on the environment and nature. Visitors can enjoy the rolling green vista as well as an interior design that features natural hinoki cypress wood from the Yoshino region and wooden furniture. While focusing on the sharing of information on nearby green areas and neighboring zones, we also organize every 1 or 2 months photo exhibitions and other events relating to nature and inhabitants of the natural world. We also cooperate with universities in such activities as supporting academic research conducted at the Surugadai Green Space on urban biodiversity and the mitigation effects of green spaces on the heat island phenomenon.