With the automotive and aerospace businesses as the pillars of SUBARU’s operations, our fields of business are the earth, the sky and nature. We promote biodiversity preservation through our business activities, aiming to achieve coexistence with nature.
We support the Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) and participate in the Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership. We also ensure ongoing, biodiversity-friendly business activities through the SUBARU Guidelines on Biodiversity, while also committing ourselves to the SUBARU Forest Project for biodiversity conservation and organizing various events in and outside our business locations aimed at raising people’s awareness of biodiversity.
In FYE March 2022, we established the Biodiversity Working Group. SUBARU will continue to drive biodiversity-related initiatives through the working group’s activity.
Guidelines on Biodiversity
The SUBARU Group instituted the SUBARU Guidelines on Biodiversity in April 2019, which serve as the basis for its approach to biodiversity. The guidelines were formulated with reference to the government’s Guidelines for Private Sector Engagement in Biodiversity (Ministry of the Environment) and the Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren: Guide to Action Policy, as well as by taking into account international trends in biodiversity management. They are consistent with the Six Priority Areas for CSR and the SUBARU Environmental Policies and are designed to ensure that their effectiveness and continuity can be guaranteed.
SUBARU Guidelines on Biodiversity
Our society is supported by biodiversity, which is the source of various blessings from nature.
On the other hand, “biodiversity” is rapidly being lost on a global scale.
We promote biodiversity preservation through our business activities and contribute to the environmental protection of our planet while aiming to coexist with the earth, the sky and nature.
- We grasp the impact of business activities on biodiversity and reduce their impact. We also promote initiatives leading to further recovery.
- We strive to raise awareness of biodiversity.
- We respect international rules concerning biodiversity.
- We cooperate with stakeholders and strive for preservation of biodiversity.
- We proactively disclose information on activities regarding biodiversity.
In FYE March 2022, we established the Biodiversity Working Group as a body to drive biodiversity initiatives subordinate to the Production & Environment Subcommittee. Its role is to regularly update on the goals and issues of SUBARU’s biodiversity activities, provide survey findings to support the formulation of plans, and undertake other information-sharing activities. Under the control of the Biodiversity Working Group, we have set up four further site subgroups at the Gunma Plant, Tokyo Office, Utsunomiya Plant, and Head Office. Their role is to inform on initiatives at their respective sites, liaise on biodiversity-related matters with the Purchasing Committee, Social Contribution Committee, and other bodies, and formulate a roadmap for biodiversity initiatives. As with other working groups, the Biodiversity Working Group reports regularly on its initiatives to the Environment Committee, which undertakes overall management of the progress and direction of the initiatives.
SUBARU’s Biodiversity Management Organization
SUBARU Forest Project
Since FYE March 2018, SUBARU has been working on the SUBARU Forest Project, an initiative that is directly linked to biodiversity conservation and embodies the idea of coexistence with nature included in the SUBARU Environmental Policies.
SUBARU Forest Bifuka in Hokkaido
In a forest of approximately 100 hectares located on the premises of SUBARU Test & Development Center Bifuka Proving Ground, SUBARU started forest management and conservation activities in FYE March 2018, including tree-planting, thinning, and nature conservation. We aim to carry out these activities in collaboration with local communities such as Bifuka Town with a long-term plan to create a forest through artificial afforestation in 50 years. Furthermore, we purchased J-Credit in FYE March 2022 as a measure against climate change.
Wood from thinning during forest maintenance projects at SUBARU Forest Bifuka is used as biomass fuel. Meanwhile, wild animals such as Ezo red foxes and brown bears that live in the surrounding area have been spotted on the premises, and we are considering measures aimed at coexistence with these animals in cooperation with local governments.
Sponsorship of a tree-planting ceremony at Bifuka Town
A tree spirit ceremony and a tree-planting ceremony, which had been organized by Bifuka Town annually, were held in May 2022. A total of about 70 administrative staff people from local forestry associations attended. Although the event was scaled back to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the participants planted 240 Mongolian oak fir trees, a variety chosen for its biodiversity-friendliness, on the 0.7-hectare site in the hope of passing on healthy and abundant forests to the next generation. These Mongolian oak trees will be ready for felling in around 750 years’ time.
Donations to fund environmental conservation activities at Matsuyama Marsh
SUBARU, Bifuka Town, and the Hokkaido Government Kamikawa General Subprefectural Bureau signed an agreement to promote conservation of the forest environment in Bifuka Town in 2019. SUBARU has been utilizing the corporate version of a hometown tax donation program—the government’s tax incentive scheme to encourage companies to support regional revitalization—to donate three million yen to the Hokkaido government’s Matsuyama Marsh* Forest Project over three years starting from FYE March 2020. The donations are used, among others, for boardwalk improvements in Matsuyama Marsh. The initial donation was made and used to replace the old signpost and maintain trails so that the trekking route is properly demarcated to preserve valuable vegetation and ensure safety of visitors.
SUBARU Friendship Forest Akagi (Gunma Prefectural Forest Park)
In April 2018, SUBARU obtained the naming rights to a prefectural forest park in Gunma Prefecture, where its automotive plants are located. The park’s name, “SUBARU Friendship Forest Akagi,” will be used for the five years through 2023. Donations in FYE March 2021 and FYE March 2022 are part of the 9.8 million yen we will donate over the five-year period to the prefectural government to support forest park conservation and management.
SUBARU Forest Utsunomiya (Utsunomiya City Forest Park in Tochigi Prefecture)
Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture, is where our aerospace business is located. We support the conservation and management of part of a city-owned forest named “SUBARU Forest Utsunomiya” in collaboration with the city. We support thinning and the use of thinned wood for benches and bike racks.
Greenery Conservation and Creation
Since the SUBARU Group’s business locations are closely linked to the neighboring natural environments and ecosystems, we make a variety of contributions to the conservation of biodiversity in each area.
Saitama Logistics Center
The Saitama Logistics Center in Kitamoto City has been nurturing and taking care of cherry trees growing on the site since they were received from the city in 2003. The trees are descendants of the Ishito Kabazakura cherry tree, estimated to be 800 years old, at Tokoji Temple in the city. Ishito Kabazakura was designated as a natural monument of Japan in 1922 and is classified as one of Japan’s five great cherry trees.
Located in Musashino City, the Tokyo Office has been planting bamboo-leaf oak, East Asian beautyberry, and other species native to the area within the office’s premises to enhance the landscape and biodiversity. We also participate in activities to protect the natural features of the region and share opinions with industry, government, academia, and the private sector.
Biodiversity Initiatives Based on Community Exchange
With the aim of conducting biodiversity initiatives at each business site, we emphasize communication between SUBARU employees and the local communities and local governments, as they are our closest stakeholders. By participating in and organizing locally based events and by joining with members of the local community and local government in biodiversity initiatives, we want to work together to contribute to global environmental protection and achieve coexistence with nature.
We distribute flower seedlings to member companies of the SUBARU Community Exchange Association on request basis three times a year. We chose varieties that contribute to biodiversity in 2015. With these seedlings, each company promotes greenery conservation.
Elementary school flowerbed contest
This contest provides children in the community with an opportunity to realize the importance of life through the experience of planting flower seedlings donated by SUBARU and creating flowerbeds. We have been holding this flowerbed contest for elementary schools in Ota City and Oizumi Town since 2015. The event was canceled in FYE March 2021, but resumed in FYE March 2022 with due measures taken to prevent infection.
Participation in Ota City Environmental Creation Council
SUBARU is a sponsor of the Ota City Environmental Creation Council and takes part in a wide range of environmental activities through interaction with the local community. In FYE March 2022, events were held on a reduced scale due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in FYE March 2023 we are considering resumption of activities and participation in line with the extent to which the pandemic is resolved going forward.
|Firefly watching||June 2022||Held an event in Nishi-Nagaoka to watch fireflies in their natural habitat with explanation of the kind of environment that they need in order to thrive in terms of biodiversity and other environmental considerations.|
|Investigation and removal of invasive species and plants||August 2022||Investigate the habits of the red-necked longhorn beetle (Aromia bungii), an invasive species that has become a pest in urban areas, and execute a removal program.|
|Next-generation automobile test drive event||September 2022||Participate in exhibition booths at test drive events to make the public aware of the Cool Choice campaign. Raise awareness and introduce activities with signage and build interest in the environment among residents.|
|Ishida River Rediscovery Project||October 2022||Survey the water quality of the Ishida River, which flows through the Ota City area, from its headwaters to its mouth, explain what is necessary to maintain good water quality, and be environmentally proactive.|
|Exhibition at the Ota City Environmental Fair||November 2022||Set up a panel display at the Ota City Environmental Fair to inform people about the activities of the Ota City Environmental Creation Council and to attract new members.|
Procurement with Consideration for Biodiversity
SUBARU surveys the use of biological resources, including cowhide and plant-derived materials, to ensure no negative impact on the ecosystem during procurement of raw materials.
SUBARU also uses copy paper made with 100% recycled paper pulp not derived from new plant resources and has switched to envelopes made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper for mailing payment guides to customers. As additional initiatives in the drive toward paperless operation, we switched to online payment guides for business partners and, for the standard forms used in office procedures related to maintenance parts and vehicle accessories, we began phasing out paper printouts from January 2022. We are now developing an electronic system for some functions with the target of going completely paperless from January 2023.
U.S. dealerships likewise introduced paperless systems in November 2021, which is expected to save more than 7,000 sheets of paper annually.
Initiatives Aiming at Coexistence with Nature
(Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.)
Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA) worked to protect the ecosystem of its plant site and provide a friendly habitat for local wildlife by improving water retention and enhancing the surrounding greenspace. As a result, the National Wildlife Foundation designated the site as a supportive wildlife habitat in 2003, the first such designation of an automotive production plant in the U.S. The plant is surrounded by a rich natural environment home to many wild deer, where wild Canadian geese and herons also feed and rest.
Support for Wildlife and Nature Conservation
(Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.)
SIA has been supporting Wolf Park since 2020. This organization is engaged in wildlife education, conservation, and research into protecting wolves and foxes. SIA also sponsors the cleanup program of a nature conservation organization called NICHES Land Trust. It thus not only protects the local environment itself but also provides support to other organizations that do so. In addition, every year SIA joins with the NPO Tree Lafayette to mark Earth Day. In 2021, it supported a project to plant 15 trees in the local downtown area.
Afforestation in Wildfire-burned Areas
(Subaru of America, Inc.)
In collaboration with the National Forest Foundation, Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) has been involved in reforestation in areas severely damaged by record forest fires since 2019. So far, a total of 500,000 trees have been planted in national parks in California, with the planting of a further 500,000 planned in the states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
Participation in the Philadelphia Flower Show (SOA)
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, SOA participated in the Philadelphia Flower Show in 2021. As well as donating 15 pairs of binoculars for birdwatching and posters, SOA held a “potting party” where more than 2,000 participants created a decoratively planted pot to take home.
PrintReleaf’s Tree-Planting Program (SOA)
Through partnership with Allied Printing, SOA takes part in the PrintReleaf program, whereby its consumption of paper is measured and a corresponding number of trees automatically planted at a reforestation site of its choice, thus achieving a zero-paper footprint for the company. In 2021, 1,000 trees were planted through the program.