As part of the company' s commitment to corporate social responsibility, OMRON joins worldwide efforts to halt the accelerated loss of global biodiversity that occurred after the mid-20th century. Toward this end, OMRON seeks to preserve biodiversity from the dual perspectives of business operations and community contributions. To ensure the validity and effectiveness of its efforts, OMRON will focus its attention on the following three points: 1) Collaboration with concerned stakeholders; 2) Emphasis on objective assessment of effects and continued improvements; and 3) Reduction of risks and maximization of benefits shared across society.
OMRON will work to help protect biodiversity by emphasizing the course of action mentioned above.
OMRON formulated a biodiversity policy in collaboration with Conservation International* (CI), an international NGO. During the course of policy formulation, OMRON was advised by CI to maintain perspectives of validity, efficacy, and efficiency (degree of contribution) when planning a policy or activities. These points are also essential to consider in addition to the more fundamental discussion of why the OMRON Group needs to address biodiversity issues.
After this process, OMRON reached a conclusion: "A company exists in a human society, which in turn exists in a natural society." Based on its belief that a business should create value for society through its key practices, OMRON considers conserving biodiversity as an important plank in its commitment to sustainability (not just as a part of environmental preservation) as it works to realize a better society.
The Yasu Office is in Shiga Prefecture, where Lake Biwa, also known as the "mother" lake, is located. Until the end of September 2021, the plant manufactured semiconductors and MEMS, with the wastewater discharged into a river after purification for environmental concerns. Using this wastewater effectively, we created a biotope*1 in 2011 to protect and propagate the striped bitterling*2 fish, which is listed as a critically endangered species by the Ministry of the Environment. This project also contributed to environmental education for children through nature observation tours at nearby childcare centers and elementary schools. As a result of these efforts, the company received the highest certification, a three-star rating, under the Shiga Biodiversity Initiative Certification Program. This is a certification system in which Shiga Prefecture evaluates biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.
In October 2021, the semiconductor and MEMS businesses were transferred to another company, as was the biotope site, preventing the use of the biotope to address biodiversity as we have in the past.
Nevertheless, we will continue to pursue activities focused on the Biodiversity Biwako Network (BBN), a program in which we have participated since fiscal 2018.
The BBN is a joint effort by seven companies based in Shiga Prefecture (including OMRON) to survey, conserve, and communicate information on 100 species of dragonflies confirmed so far in the prefecture, using dragonflies and their deep relationship with water as a common indicator organism. In fiscal 2021, we held a dragonfly observation and specimen-preserving workshop for local children. We also co-hosted a month-long exhibition with the Lake Biwa Museum, providing an opportunity to inform many people about our past efforts.
These activities were recognized by outside parties, and won the grand prize in the education and dissemination category of the Nature Conservation Society of Japan Awards 2021.
As an activity unique to the Yasu Office, the office focuses on the conservation and restoration (monitoring, protection and propagation, and habitat improvement)of a rare species of dragonfly, Sympterum kunckeli (Red Dragonfly). In recent years, the numbers and habitats of the red dragonfly have been declining in Shiga Prefecture, but we have confirmed that the dragonflies pass over the Yasu Plant every year, and we continue to conduct surveys of migration. We have also created a container biotope at the Yasu Office to create a breeding site and to protect and propagate the species using collected eggs.
Through past efforts, we have learned that the green spaces of our business locations become part of local nature. We will continue to make use of our green spaces to conserve local animal populations, pursue the conservation of rare and locally native species, and expand the circle of environmental conservation in cooperation with local communities and other entities. And in the future, OMRON will consider policies to avoid or minimize business activities in the vicinity of critical ecosystems and highly important habitats neighboring our facilities and supply chain.
Yasu Office mascot
"Pond of bitterlings" biotope
Successful breeding of juvenile bitterlings
An endangered red dragonfly
Nature observation tour