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). 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.
SUBARU will continue to drive biodiversity-related initiatives through the Biodiversity Working Group’s activities.
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.
SUBARU has 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.
In FYE March 2023, via the Biodiversity Working Group, we issued the Planting Guidelines, which outline our approach to selecting plants for planting at our business sites. Our aim is to plant in a way that does not adversely affect local biodiversity by prioritizing the indigenous and native species around our business sites.
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 began purchasing J-Credits 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.
In addition, as of FYE March 2020, Bifuka Town has acquired the SGEC-FM certification, an international forest certification scheme, for town- and SUBARU-owned forests, in order to achieve effective use of forest resources.
Sponsorship of a tree-planting ceremony at Bifuka Town
In 2018, Bifuka Town and SUBARU signed an agreement on implementation of forest conservation activities in order to carry out tree planting, forest thinning, nature conservation, and other activities in a forest of about 115 hectares on the SUBARU Test & Development Center Bifuka Proving Ground site as part of SUBARU Forest Project activities, as well as to conduct activities in partnership with local communities. As part of these activities, SUBARU sponsors an annual tree-planting ceremony. At the tree spirit ceremony and tree-planting ceremony held in May 2023, a total of about 70 administrative staff people from local forestry associations attended. With the hope of passing on healthy and abundant forests to the next generation, participants planted 240 Mongolian oak trees, a variety chosen for its compatibility with the biodiversity of Bifuka Town. These Mongolian oak trees will be ready for felling in around 70 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 four years starting from FYE March 2020. The donations are used, among others, for boardwalk improvements in Matsuyama Marsh. Four donations have been made so far, and the 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 the 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. In March 2022, we also donated 10 bike racks made from thinned wood to the forest park. Donations in FYE March 2021, FYE March 2022, and FYE March 2023 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 Company is located. Through FYE March 2023, we supported the conservation and management of part of the city-owned SUBARU Forest Utsunomiya in collaboration with the city. In this initiative, we supported 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.
Gunma Kitamoto Plant
The Kitamoto Plant 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 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 new coronavirus infection.
Planting at the new administration building
When planting trees during the construction of the new administration building, native Japanese species were selected based on the Planting Guidelines.
Protecting the Nikko Cedar Avenue
SUBARU supports the protection of the famous line of cedar trees in the Nikko area, which is both a national special historic site and special natural monument in Tochigi Prefecture, and since 1996, SUBARU has been the owner of two such cedar trees.
Procurement with Consideration for Biodiversity
SUBARU surveys the use of animal and plant-derived materials, including cowhide and natural rubber, to ensure no negative impact on the ecosystem or human rights during procurement of biological resources.
SUBARU also uses copy paper made from 100% recycled paper pulp that is not from new plant resources.
We are taking actions to go paperless with the aim of providing payment guides for our business partners solely online by the end of FYE March 2024. In January 2023, we succeeded in going completely paperless for the standard forms used in office procedures related to maintenance parts and vehicle accessories.
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 for wolves, foxes, and bison. SIA also sponsors a nature conservation organization called NICHES Land Trust. It not only protects the local environment itself but also partners with other organizations that do so. In addition, every year SIA joins with the NPO Tree Lafayette to mark Earth Day. In 2022, it supported a project to plant 15 trees at Miller Elementary School.
Participation in the Philadelphia Flower Show (SOA)
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, SOA participated in the Philadelphia Flower Show in 2022. Participants were given the opportunity to learn how to plant flowers in a pot they were given to take home with them.
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 2022, 400 trees were planted through the program.