Recognizing the potential impact of our business activities on our ecosystem, we have taken steps to maintaining our commitment to protect biodiversity in our areas of operation.
With the establishment of Komatsu's "Declaration of Biodiversity" and "Biodiversity Guideline" in January 2011, Komatsu business units worldwide began activities designed to preserve biodiversity.
Komatsu promotes initiatives to preserve biodiversity on two levels.
First, the Company continues to promote ongoing efforts to reduce the environmental impact of Komatsu's business activities. Komatsu also considers biodiversity when deciding how land is to be used, such as when building factories.
Second, Komatsu is becoming directly involved in the preservation of biodiversity, and at the same time expanding our "one-site, one-theme activities" to raise employee's awareness of the need to preserve local ecosystems.
Declaration of Biodiversity by Komatsu
Komatsu recognizes that its business activities are dependent on and influence benefits from the ecosystem through its biodiversity.
Based on this understanding, Komatsu strives to take actions in accordance with the policies described below, as it shares a sense of responsibility regarding the biodiversity crisis, and strives to conserve diverse resources.
Ⅰ(Recognition by Management)
Komatsu recognizes that conservation and promulgation of biodiversity are important management tasks.
Komatsu shall promote biodiversity through the following two perspectives.
Komatsu shall promote activities by means of a step-by-step approach.
Ⅳ(Cooperation with the community)
In order to protect the biodiversity rooted in regions, Komatsu will undertake activities in coalition with administrative agency, local citizens, NGOs and other entities; by doing so we aim become a corporation communities can be proud of.
Ⅴ(Full participation activities)
Komatsu will promulgate the importance of biodiversity to all employees and undertake activities with their full participation. We will involve corporations related to the lifecycle of Komatsu products and representative agencies as well as customers in these activities and promote our initiatives on a global group-wide scale.
Communication: Komatsu will strive to educate and disclose related information to employees. In addition, Komatsu will actively disclose information on activities being undertaken and work to contribute in heightening the level of societal awareness on the importance of biodiversity.
Komatsu established its Declaration of Biodiversity and Biodiversity Guideline in January 2011. For the nine years since then, we have continued to perform One-site, one-theme activities at each base (plant and office) globally.
2020 is a landmark year as 10 years have passed since the Conference of the Parties (COP10) was held and the Aichi targets were selected. Coinciding with this, we distributed a questionnaire to the Komatsu Group and surveyed their biodiversity conservation activities to identify future subjects and policies to implement in the future.
The results of the survey, showing the status of each base, are below.
In the future, to expand biodiversity conservation activities to the entire life cycle, we will explain these activities to the supply chain and motivate them to proactively participate in activities.
The Oita Test Center, where the quality of construction equipment is checked, is located in a rich natural area. To maintain this environment, the test center is engaged in environment conservation activities daily. To assess how our business activities impact the surrounding environment in our environment conversation activities, we investigated the ecological system in FY2011 and found that a lot of local and rare species were living and growing in the area, and it was established that a good natural environment was being maintained. Eight years later, to check for any changes after the investigation, we performed the assessment again, looking into the current situation of our biodiversity and ecosystem services in FY2019.
This investigation is mainly based on the area analysis performed through on-site investigations and the production of a biodiversity map (vegetation map). We inspected the inhabitation of the area and growth of the animals and plants through the year, collecting basic information through drone photography, vegetation and timber surveys (tree height and diameter measurements) at 18 points of 10 m x 10 m locations which were used in the previous investigation, together with research companies and our employees.
As a result, rare species populations increased over the levels of the previous investigation, and 10 new rare species were identified. In addition, we confirmed that the locations where non-native plants grew preferentially decreased and that the area where indigenous plants grew increased.
One activity typical of the efforts that brought about these good results is the creation and maintenance of habitats in 20 locations on the premises that consider the securing of wetlands where rare amphibians and aquatic plants can live and grow, the continuity between water areas and woodlands, and an open environment where bird species can move about actively.
In addition, the continued efforts of our employees to eliminate non-native plants led to an increase of indigenous plants. It was evaluated as an activity leading to healthy vegetation.
We will continue these activities to maintain and further improve the good, natural environment and work to ensure that these concepts and activities penetrate into the community by introducing them during plant visits, etc.
As a result of the survey in FY2019, we confirmed diverse Fauna and Flora inhabiting the area, including 10 newly discovered rare species. It was a result of initiatives that have been continually implemented, the creation of a field of silver grass, a domestic species, after the removal of invasive plants, the regeneration of a shining village forest, and the creation of a new habitat that aims for the creation of an ecological network. In particular, as an advanced example of what is possible in the construction, mining and utility equipment field, that these initiatives were carried out and the results were reaped within an experimental laboratory whose land was planned to be altered is highly commendable.
Greenfront Research Lab.
The benefits harvested from a biodiversity-based ecosystem (for example, food supply and water purification) are called ecosystem services. We evaluated ecosystem services at Komatsu's Test Center for the first time in 2011. At that time, it was quite an advanced initiative. It is wonderful that, since then, these biodiversity conservation activities have continued for nearly 10 years, and have been steadily producing results. At the Test center, ecosystem conservation activities that suit the local community, such as the removal of invasive species and the establishment of a village forest, are being implemented.
Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., Ltd.