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.
BBN is a joint effort by seven companies based in Shiga Prefecture to survey, conserve, and communicate information about the 100 dragonfly species said to exist in the prefecture. Dragonflies which have a deep relationship with water and are used in this program 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.
One unique activity of the Yasu Office is a focus on the conservation of a rare species of dragonfly, Sympetrum kunckeli (Red Dragonfly). The Yasu Office is committed to increasing the number of mature individuals by releasing eggs into containers and conducting ongoing surveys on the status of dragonfly arrivals. The Yasu River forest is one of the habitats of the Sympetrum kunckeli. Here, OMRON employees are participating in social contribution activities as representatives of the Yasu Office, coordinating with the local community to improve the breeding environment of the dragonflies and create new habitats.
The Yasu Office will continue to protect and encourage the proliferation of rare species through biodiversity initiatives, expanding the circle of environmental conservation in cooperation with local communities and other entities.
Yasu Office mascot
"Pond of bitterlings" biotope
Successful breeding of juvenile bitterlings
An endangered red dragonfly
Nature observation tour