Over the millions of years since the earth first came into being, an enormous variety of living creatures have evolved on the planet, including human beings, and have formed links and connections with one another. This biodiversity and the manifold benefits that it has brought support our lives and lifestyles. If we are to continue to enjoy the blessings of biodiversity in the future, all of us-every member of society-will need to work together to protect biodiversity. Business enterprises have an important role to play here too in their capacity as corporate citizens.
TOTO Group has placed the common global challenge of environmental problems distinctly as an issue to be resolved through business and have established Global Environmental Policy to contribute in creating a sustainable society. Through conducting business activities in line with the policy, we take care to preserve biodiversity, and a sustainable use of them, and at the same time not to engage in activities that may lead to the extinction of endangered species.
[ Global Environmental Policy ] 4.We promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The destruction of nature resulting from business activities is avoided and biodiversity is preserved. We procure raw materials in each country in such a way that we do not harm the local environment and biodiversity. Collaborating and cooperating with stakeholders, we contribute to building society that cultivates biodiversity.
In 2010, we adopted Sustainable Raw Materials Procurement Standards and designated key earth and stone raw materials and materials for wood-based products as important items that need consideration and promote preservation of biodiversity in the Group and our suppliers.
We practice CSR procurement for key earth and stone raw materials and materials for wood-based products, respecting human rights, labor and compliance regulations and taking steps to minimize impact on the producing areas' environment, ecosystems and local communities and balance sustainable use of resources with stable procurement.
Raw Materials Procurement Guidelines
Prioritize the procurement of items the meet the standards below:
(1) Procure raw materials produced that follow the local laws and regulations (2) Procure raw materials that are produce under secure safety and healthy labor environment (3) Procure raw materials that consider impact towards the local environment and ecosystem during harvest of raw materials, etc. (4) Procure raw materials that consider impact towards the local community during harvest of law materials, etc.
Earth and Stone Raw Materials
For earth and stone raw materials used for plants in Japan, we confirm the legality and sustainability at all mines through questionnaires or the results of informational interviews via trading companies, including whether TOTO-designated standards concerning reforestation or restoration of areas where mining has ended and measures to prevent pollution of rivers and lakes from mining or tailings are being met. We visit mines or resource production sites as needed to confirm conditions. We have confirmed that all mines has met our standards.
Initiatives for keeping rivers clean (Standard item)
As an initiative for keeping rivers clean, TOTO also monitors sedimentation reservoirs to ensure that the clear water above the sediment is discharged into the river.
Reforestation after mining activity has ceased
We conduct tree-planting activities in completed mine areas to regenerate forests.
Illegal logging and excessive logging of forests is a major cause of loss of forests, leading to loss of biodiversity. The TOTO Group has set a target for the percentage of legal and recycled materials used against wood-based materials used in plants in Japan and verifies its results.
Environmental Impact Assessment of Plant Wastewater
As an example of us "avoiding the destruction of the natural environment caused by our business activities, and endeavoring to preserve biodiversity," we conducted an environmental impact assessment on the wastewater used in production at the Kokura No. 2 Plant, where the main focus of production is fittings. This involved conducting an impact assessment on aquatic organisms, namely Green algae (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata), Daphnia (Ceriodaphnia dubia) and Zebra fish (Danio rerio), by means of an effluent test method using biological responses (proposal for consideration)*1 in collaboration with the Mitsubishi Chemical Medience Corporation (currently LSI Medience Corporation). Rather than the traditional method of evaluating individual chemical substances, this technique enables a holistic assessment of the combined effects of a variety of chemical substances. The results of the assessment confirmed that the potential for any chronic effect on aquatic organisms appears to be extremely minimal.
* Testing method for effluent using bioresponse (proposal): A trial test method for identifying the overall extent of the impact of effluent from business premises on aquatic organisms. Put together in March 2013 by the Bioassay and Technical Review Subcommittee for the Management of Effluent (Environmental Water), which had been established by the National Institute for Environmental Studies as a contract service provider for the Ministry of the Environment.
Wildlife and Plants Survey in Our Plants
We conducted a wildlife and plants survey* in the Kokura No.1 Plant (land area of 148,716 m2, excluding welfare facilities) for the purpose of preserving biodiversity through maintaining harmony between the greenery in the Plant and the surrounding area. The survey was conducted in the greenery in the Plant and the surrounding river and forests. Through the survey, we found that birds and butterflies found in the surrounding area could also be found in the greenery in the Plant. The greenery in the Plant and the surrounding forests are part of the same environmental network and crown of tall trees are potential living and resting place for travelling birds and also a bleeding area of insects. In addition, we did not confirm any invasive foreign species in the Plant. We strive to continue activities to preserve biodiversity of local communities.
*Survey to understand the biodiversity of local plants and animals in the site premises.
Corporate Citizenship Initiatives
TOTO aims to be a company that contributes to the development of society by creating an enriched and more comfortable lifestyle and culture built on its plumbing products. Conservation of the natural environmental, including the water environment, is essential for both the sustainable development of society and the business continuity of a company. For this reason, we promote environmental contribution activities involving communities and society from a biodiversity standpoint. For example, we implement water resource recycling and conservation, as well as activities for the preservation of forests, which are the sources of water.
Since fiscal 2005, the TOTO Water Environment Fund has been providing support for citizen's initiatives under the theme of "Creating a New Culture for Life and Water" with the aim of working together with society to create a better society. Besides providing financial support in the form of sponsorship, the TOTO Water Environment Fund also uses the participation of TOTO Group employees as volunteers in related events, and the exchange of ideas and information, to achieve a steady, continuing expansion in the scope of its activities.
The TOTO Acorn Reforestation Project was launched in fiscal 2006. Employees from all TOTO Group companies participated by collecting acorns and then cultivating saplings at their workplace or at home. The saplings were then transplanted, in collaboration with members of the local communities, and weeding etc. was carried out to help ensure their continued growth. Through this activity, we make a contribution toward preserving biodiversity, and help to combat global warming by reducing CO2 emissions.