Understanding that considering its impact on biodiversity on a global scale is a key management issue, the Group engages in efforts to protect biodiversity throughout its business activities while also considering the impact that its supply chains have on biodiversity.
As part of our business activities, based on our Group Environmental Policy, we strive to protect precious natural environments in urban areas and preserve the trees and forests that pass on the memories and history of the land. We also work to create new green spaces in urban areas. Further, recognizing the maturity that comes with age, we are also working to create and restore greenery and biotopes that are in harmony with the surrounding environment and that protect biodiversity.
Moving forward, we will proactively disclose information on initiatives such as these while referring to the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework, a tool for the disclosure of information on nature-related risks and opportunities.
Mitsui Fudosan Group Biodiversity Policy
(Established March 31, 2023)
In the Mitsui Fudosan Group’s urban development business, ecosystems are something that must be protected at all costs. In addition, natural environments that are home to diverse living organisms provide places for enjoyment and relaxation in the city, and as such they also add significant value to urban spaces. However, the Group’s development of real estate and extraction of natural resources for use as building materials in the supply chain can alter ecosystems and in turn negatively impact biodiversity. As such, we have positioned our impact on biodiversity as a key management issue, and as part of the Group Environmental Policy we are committed to a broad and comprehensive range of environmental initiatives, including the protection of biodiversity.
In light of the above, we have established the Mitsui Fudosan Group Biodiversity Policy.
2. Assessment and Monitoring of Risks and Opportunities
In addition to making every effort to avoid any negative impact on biodiversity caused by our businesses or supply chains, we will strive to keep any unavoidable impact to a minimum.
To increase our positive impact on biodiversity, we will engage in initiatives to restore and regenerate biodiversity and nature, and aim to eliminate any new net negative impacts caused by our business activities (no net loss).
When conducting business in locations that are near important biodiversity areas, we will apply the mitigation hierarchy by first working to avoid any negative impact, then minimizing any unavoidable impact, before finally offsetting any remaining impact through restoration and regeneration activities.
We will fully support the "living in harmony with nature" vision of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, a global target to achieve the goals of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as the global Nature Positive goal.
3. Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure
We will assess the impacts and dependencies on nature, including biodiversity, that our businesses and supply chains have, and also assess and appropriately respond to those risks and opportunities.
Further, to accurately manage these risks and opportunities, we will establish indicators and targets as necessary and monitor the results.
4. Education and Training
We will work with our suppliers, experts, NGOs, and other external stakeholders as necessary.
We will proactively disclose information on our initiatives in line with this policy.
To ensure effective implementation of this policy, we will implement appropriate education and training to further understanding of the relationship between our businesses and nature/biodiversity among our executives and employees.
Implementation of Biodiversity Risk Assessments
The Group interacts with ecosystems in various ways due to the wide-ranging nature of its business activities. As such, we believe it is essential to assess our impact on biodiversity alongside the associated risks.
When carrying out new development projects, we check for the presence of trees, forests, and other elements of the natural environment on the development site, and protect, transplant, or conserve them as necessary. For development projects in regions with an abundance of nature, we assess the impact our activities have on plants, animals, and ecosystems based on laws, regulations, and ordinances concerning environmental impact assessments and protection of the natural environment.
In fiscal 2022, we conducted on-site investigations at our Group-owned forests to identify any negative impacts our business activities have on ecosystems and biodiversity. In addition to creating a Biodiversity Conservation Basic Plan for the future, we also used the results of the survey to identify relevant risks and opportunities.
Moving forward, we will continue to assess the risks and opportunities related to biodiversity in our business activities, as well as in resource extraction and other supply chain activities.
Member of the Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation
The Company joined the Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation. The committee administers a fund that supports nature preservation activities in developing countries as well as Japan. It also encourages such activities on the part of enterprises, and engages in a wide range of related activities.
Participation in the 30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity
In April 2022, the Group joined the 30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity, operated by an executive office of the Ministry of the Environment. This alliance aims to conserve and protect at least 30% of Japan's terrestrial and marine areas with the goal of halting and restoring biodiversity loss by 2030 (Nature Positive).
We will also protect healthy forests and practice sustainable use of trees in the forests owned by our group in Hokkaido by creating a "never-ending forest" cycle (planting, cultivating and using).
With a view to obtaining OECM (Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures) certification, in March 2023 we formulated the biodiversity action plan for our Group-owned forests.
Initiatives at Group-owned Forests
The Group owns roughly 5,000 hectares of forest in Hokkaido, and every year cuts down a certain amount of timber to use in building materials for its real estate business. Around 40% of this total is natural forest and generally this remains untouched, and as such we believe that here there is minimal impact on the forests’ ecosystems through our business activities. However, the remaining 60% is artificial forest, and here we recognize that the varying ages and types of trees, as well as other factors, are impacting ecosystems and biodiversity.
In line with the above, in March 2023 we formulated a Biodiversity Conservation Basic Plan for our Group-owned forests and disclosed information on the relationships between our forests and biodiversity as per the LEAP approach of the TNFD framework.
Overview of the Mitsui Fudosan Group-owned Forests
Biodiversity Consideration Basic Plan on Mitsui Fudosan Group' Forests
Purpose of this plan
This basic plan arranges the issues surrounding biodiversity at our Group-owned forests, setting goals and indicating matters to be addressed in our forest management.
To ensure we can benefit from the diverse ecosystem services provided by forest ecosystems, we will engage in sustainable forest management with an emphasis on the following perspectives.
Long-term perspective: We will engage in forest development from a long-term perspective with the knowledge that today’s forest management will create an environmental foundation for the next 50 to 100 years.
Integrated perspective: In addition to producing timber, we will move forward with forest development with the understanding that forest management is essential to ensuring we can benefit from diverse ecosystem services including carbon sequestration and soil protection.
Adaptive management: As nature is a complex system, even if our forest management and biodiversity conservation does not produce the expected results, we will adapt our forest management methods to get as close as possible to our goals.
Science-based approach: As we proceed with adaptive forest management, we will periodically monitor forest conditions, and use the data gained to conduct scientific assessments and reflect the results back into our business activities.
Community-based approach: Activities at our Group-owned forests are closely linked to the surrounding nature and the lives of local citizens. Further, as biodiversity issues are often region-specific, we will engage in business activities while listening to the opinions of regional stakeholders.
To protect and develop the natural environments in our forests and contribute to the Nature Positive goal while using them as sites for timber production.
Initiatives to Achieve Vision
The two central pillars to achieving this vision are: (1) Reducing our negative impact on nature; and (2) Increasing our positive impact on nature. We have therefore put together several matters to be addressed for each pillar.
(1) Reducing our negative impact on nature (avoidance, reduction)
- Avoid cutting down trees in natural forests and forests near mountain streams
- Avoid planting non-native species
- Reduce landscape homogenization (standardization of tree ages)
- Reduce impact from tree-cutting (reduce scale)
- Prevent simplification of forest structure (leave natural trees, withered trees, and tree hollows untouched)
- Reduce ground surface disturbance from forestry operation
- Prevent ruin from lack of management
- Reduce chemical contamination
(2) Increasing our positive impact on nature (regenerate, restore)
- Regenerate natural forests
- Improve habitats for plant and animal life
- Protect endangered species
Even if the types and structures of trees in a small section of artificial forest are limited, broader sections of natural forest contain a variety of tree types (environments), from those that have just been cut down to mature stands. We will therefore aim to carefully protect and maintain natural forests.
We will aim to create forests that have minimal negative impact on biodiversity, such as by reducing clearcutting and leaving withering/dead trees and tree hollows untouched.
The department in charge of sustainability at Mitsui Fudosan will be responsible for administrative supervision.
Specific activities at each Group-owned forest will be outsourced to local forestry cooperatives by the Group company in charge of forest management (Minato Estate Co., Ltd.).
The challenges to tackle at each forest will be prioritized based on the forest’s characteristics, and action plans for biodiversity conservation will be formulated and implemented for each.
Forests where biodiversity conservation requires particular attention will be designated as priority areas.
The status of biodiversity conservation at each forest will be monitored (audited) by experts and experienced academics.
Details on the timing and method of the above audits will be determined separately.
1. Locate: The Importance of the Geographic Location of Group-owned Forests
The locations of our Group-owned forests are incredibly important in terms of biodiversity for the following reasons, and we understand that particular care must be taken to ensure that our forestry operations do not have any negative impact on natural habitats. Of our 70 forests, those where biodiversity conservation requires particular attention due to the following have been designated as priority forests: (1) Ratio of natural forest; (2) Variation in tree age in artificial forests; (3) Position relative to nature reserves and protected forests; and (4) Level of contribution to forestry management.
(1) Position relative to nature reserves
Of our 70 forests, one has a nature reserve on site, while another 14 are within two kilometers of a nature reserve. At these forests, special attention must be paid to our impact on nearby ecosystems.
(2) Presence of endangered species in each municipality
According to the Hokkaido Red List and other related documents, of the 31 municipalities where our Group-owned forests are located, there are 13 endangered bird species, one endangered amphibian/reptile species, and 44 endangered plant species that could be impacted by our forestry operations.
2. Evaluate: Impact and Dependence on Ecosystems and Biodiversity
The impact that our forestry operations have on ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as their dependence on one another, are shown in the diagram below. To counter the impact that forestry operations have on ecosystems, considerations must be made to both reduce negative impact and increase positive impact. Meanwhile, forestry depends on ecosystems and their services to ensure stable timber production and to boost social reputation, for example.
In July 2022, we conducted on-site investigations at the Rumoi Yudoro, Owada 12, and Obira Kifu forests. At these sites we conducted biota surveys (to confirm what biota exists as a result of our forestry operations), stakeholder surveys (interviews with local administrations and forest users), and impact surveys (interviews on what kinds of forestry operations impact biodiversity).
Impact on ecosystems caused by forestry operations
- ・Wild vegetable and mushroom picking by local residents can also be included in the forest ecosystem’s cultural services.
- ・Preventing sediment runoff halts any negative impact on fisheries caused by sediment being discharged into the sea.
- ・The figures for the amount of CO2 absorbed at Group-owned forests have been certified by Forestock.
3. Assess: Risks and Opportunities Related to Biodiversity
In line with the knowledge we have gained from on-site investigations regarding our forests’ impact on ecosystems and their mutual dependence, as well as international movements surrounding biodiversity, we have identified, on a trial basis, our biodiversity-related risks and opportunities.
The risks and opportunities above are examples of those anticipated for Group-owned forests.
We will continue to conduct detailed assessments (such as quantitative analyses) of potential risks and opportunities.
4. Prepare: Implementation of Biodiversity Conservation Measures
In February 2022, we conducted surveys of all 25 of the forestry cooperatives to which we outsource forest management, investigating their implementation of biodiversity conservation measures. When looking at the matters to be addressed as part of our Basic Biodiversity Conservation Plan, a comparatively large number of cooperatives are implementing the measures they can within small sections of their forest.
On the other hand, due to the comparatively low number of cooperatives implementing wide-area measures and measures that require a combination of both efficiency and safety, we will work to make improvements through the Basic Biodiversity Conservation Plan for Group-owned Forests.
Improvement of habitats for plant and animal life
We will partially stack and leave the tree tips and branches from our cutting operations.
Reduction of landscape homogenization
(standardization of tree ages)
We do not cut trees in neighboring areas in consecutive years, and ensure that forests of different ages are positioned in a staggered pattern.
Preserving and Creating Greenery in Urban Settings
At TOKYO MIDTOWN HIBIYA (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), the planted foliage incorporates the same local varieties of trees as the adjacent Hibiya Park located across the road, to ensure harmony with the park's lush greenery. The Parkview Garden (sixth floor), Sky Garden (ninth floor) and other amenities provide approximately 2,000 m2 of green space (greening rate* 40%).
*Greening rate: Green area is calculated based on the method outlined in the greenery program of the Tokyo Nature Conservation Ordinance.
Greening rate (%) = (Rooftop green area + Ground green area) / (Site area - Building area + Usable rooftop area) x 100
Greenery plan for TOKYO MIDTOWN HIBIYA
Otemachi One Garden is a large-scale, 6,000 m2 green space, which controls heat rises on its surface. We estimate the garden will fix around 11 tonnes of CO2 a year. We have considered the biota of the imperial palace and the region’s potential vegetation, while also considering biodiversity to create a space that combines water and greenery such as bamboo-leaved oak and Japanese maples. We also plan to hold environmental education events throughout the year, including eco tours based in the green space in Otemachi, in order to raise awareness of the environment in the Otemachi-Marunouchi-Yurakucho (OMY) district.
Otemachi One Garden has been positioned as an element of the area’s green infrastructure in the Basic Policy for the Promotion of Green Infrastructure in the Otemachi-Marunouchi-Yurakucho District formulated by the Council for Area Development and Management of Otemachi, Marunouchi, and Yurakucho-of which both Mitsui & Co. and Mitsui Fudosan are members.
■Basic Policy for the Promotion of Green Infrastructure in the Otemachi-Marunouchi-Yurakucho District
(Japanese version only)
Preserving and Creating Wildlife Habitats
The neighborhood of Tokyo Midtown (Minato-ku, Tokyo) is a redevelopment of a former Japan Defense Agency (JDA) site in Roppongi. Approximately 140 trees remaining on the former JDA site were preserved and transplanted, and in combination with the adjacent Hinokicho Park (Minato-ku) approximately 40% of the development area (roughly 4 hectares) forms a richly green open space, for a green area about 2.7 times that during the JDA era. In Tokyo Midtown, birds of 6 orders, 18 families and 25 species, which are listed on the Red List of Important Wildlife Species for Protection by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, have been confirmed. Moreover, within the premises, a handbook introducing the wild birds discovered in the survey is available for visitors to look at.
Wild Bird Handbook for Tokyo Midtown
Green space in Tokyo Midtown (Midtown Garden)
Japanese Pied Wagtail (lawn)
Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker (tree)
Barn Swallow (sky)
Eastern Spot-Billed Duck (water)
Wild birds living in Tokyo Midtown
Restoring Wildlife Habitats
Among the regions where the Group is engaged in business activities, the resort hotel HAIMURUBUSHI (Yaeyama District, Okinawa) is in an ordinary zone of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park, Toba Hotel International (Toba City, Mie) in an ordinary zone of Ise-Shima National Park, and NEMU RESORT and AMANEMU (both in Shima City, Mie) in an ordinary zone and a special zone respectively in Ise-Shima National Park. In these regions, we are working to create and restore wildlife habitats lost due to development, and to minimize the impact of business activities on wildlife habitats. Using these rich natural surroundings, we also strive to provide platforms and opportunities for people to interact with nature.
NEMU RESORT (Shima City, Mie) is in Ise-Shima National Park, which overlooks Ago Bay. Large parts of the tidal wetlands and seaweed beds in Ago Bay have been lost, and efforts to restore them and in turn revitalize the ocean environment are moving forward through a joint project by industry, government, academia, and the local community. At NEMU RESORT, a project has been underway since fiscal 2012 to convert a roughly two-hectare coastal plot of open land in the park (abandoned agricultural land) as a tidal wetland, and after restoration we are checking habitation by wildlife such as flathead grey mullet, Japanese black seabream, and Japanese intertidal crab.
At AMANEMU (Shima City, Mie), an on-site vegetation survey was carried out prior to the facility’s development based on the REFOREST development concept (reclaiming nature on land damaged in the past by repeated development and deforestation). Based on the results, we selected the principal trees of existing forests on the site, and carried out priority planting starting from locations artificially developed with no trees, such as lawns. In this way, we worked to restore the forest in harmony with the natural environment of the region.
The resort hotel, Halekulani Okinawa (Kunigami District, Okinawa), meanwhile, has cooperated and teamed up with Onna Village-which has announced its Village of Coral Declaration and been selected as an SDGs Future City-the Onna Village Fisheries Cooperative, and the Tropical Biosphere Research Center at the University of the Ryukyus to launch the Coral Nurturing Program. Recently, climate change, pest damage, and other factors have caused coral in waters around the hotel to die, and so the program’s goal is to restore the area by planting new coral in these areas. It is an activity that guests at the hotel can participate in.
Provision of Venues and Opportunities for Activities in Touch with Nature
At the resort hotel NEMU RESORT (Shima City, Mie), we offer programs to experience nature such as Bird Watching Strolls and Satoyama Nature Tours, led by dedicated nature specialists and guides. We also offer programs to experience nature at HAIMURUBUSHI (Yaeyama District, Okinawa) such as Nighttime Park Tours, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
River and Waterside Regeneration
In Nihonbashi, which the Mitsui Fudosan Group has positioned as an important redevelopment area, we are planning five redevelopment projects with a total area of 6.7 hectares (approx. 20,000 tsubo) and total floor space of approx. 370,000 tsubo along the Nihonbashi River. River and waterside regeneration is one of the priority initiatives of this plan. We will create a water area and pedestrian network as well as contribute to viable biodiversity.
Certification System for Biodiversity
Harumi 5-chome West District Type 1 Urban Redevelopment Project (HARUMI FLAG, one of the largest comprehensive development projects in Tokyo) has acquired four environmental certifications including ABINC, a certification related to biodiversity.
(Japanese version only)
About the ABINC certification
The ABINC certification system aims to promote coexistence between nature and people in corporate activities. Based on guidelines created by Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity, ABINC (Association for Business Innovation in harmony with Nature and Community) evaluates and certifies corporate initiatives to preserve biodiversity, such as the creation, management, and use of green spaces.
⇒ https://www3.abinc.or.jp/ (Japanese version only)