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  2. Sustainability
  3. Environment
  4. Biodiversity


Our basic approach and strategy

Many Unicharm products and services are essential to a clean and healthy lifestyle, but because providing them is closely related to the global environment through the use of resources and the generation of waste, we recognize that there is a strong connection to biodiversity. By understanding the effects of business activities on biodiversity, we strive to promote sustainable business development and resource use that leads to a “future society in harmony with nature.” Particularly for pulp and other forest resources which we use in large amounts, we procure materials from managed forests, eliminate the use of illegally logged timber and strive to protect the rights of local residents and workers to contribute to the “mainstreaming of biodiversity.”

Risk and Opportunity in Biodiversity

Our risks are (1) procurement of resources could become unstable and capacity utilization rate could decline or that procurement costs could become unstable due to negative impacts on biodiversity that occurs when procuring resources (particularly paper pulp, palm oil and agricultural products); and (2) the danger that due to the impact on biodiversity that occurs during operations at our sites, costs may be incurred and operations may be suspended for the restoration of sites to their original condition and consumers may be reluctant to buy our products.

On the other hand, in terms of our opportunities, we expect that (1) the proactive utilization of certified sustainable materials will lead to stable supply of materials and reduction of costs; and (2) sales will expand due to the supply of products that take the needs of biodiversity into consideration in collaboration with retailers.

Management structure

Four times a year at the ESG Committee meeting chaired by the Representative Director, plans and progress on environmental activities, quality issues, social issues and other important governance matters are shared. Specific plans are reported using “Eco Plan 2020” as the baseline, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) announced in June 2017.

We identify and review biodiversity problems and materiality through exchanges of opinions with outside experts to formulate issues and set indicators for our activities. In Eco Plan 2020, we are promoting a switch to third-party certified raw materials the sustainability of which has been assured in collaboration between the ESG Department, the Global Research & Development Division, the Procurement Department and procurement at overseas sites. We report progress to the ESG Committee as well as implementing disclosure on our corporate website.

Eco Plan 2020 Sustainable Material Procurement Targets and Results (Excerpt from Eco Plan 2020)

We also verify the management of temporary industrial waste storage facilities and processors and measure emissions and wastewater in order to minimize the impact on manufacturing-based sites.

Biodiversity initiatives

Opinion Exchange Session with Experts

In April 2019, we held a dialogue with WWF on important medium-to-long-term social issues faced by our company. We received extensive opinions on climate change (energy conservation, renewable energy, carbon pricing, etc.), plastics pollution as natural capital (the current situation and future development) and deforestation (the situation for paper/pulp, palm oil, etc. and future development). We have been making preparations to tie in these opinions to our medium-to-long-term goals. With regard to deforestation in particular, we received extensive opinions for preventing deforestation, such as expanding the scope of our policies and guidelines, and on the importance of investigating the origins of certified forest materials and disclosing the results.

Opinion Exchange Sessions with Other Experts

In 2018, Unicharm also held opinion exchange sessions with the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), an NGO; the Global Environmental Forum (GEF); and Amundi Japan, Ltd. and Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd. in the Ministry of the Environment of Japan's Environmental Reporting Platform Development Pilot Project. As a company that uses forest resources, we will continue promoting highly transparent sustainable activities while obtaining information from NGOs and NPOs about local circumstances and forming partnerships to contribute to the achievement of targets.

Initiatives of the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB)

Unicharm supports the philosophy of the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB) (Chair: Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited) and has participated as a member of the network since 2009.

Promoting use of sustainable materials certified by third parties including the FSC®

The percentage of sustainable paper pulp with certification by third parties, including the FSC®, PEFC and SFI, out of the paper pulp used for Unicharm products is as below.

Percentage of Sustainable Materials Certified by Third-Parties including FSC®

FSC®-certified paper initiative

We have also introduced FSC®-certified products for some product cartons and cardboard.

Initiatives to raise awareness of FSC® certification (support for Forest Week)

Unicharm works with Forest Stewardship Council® Japan (FSC® Japan) to raise awareness of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), an international forest certification system. We supported “FSC® Forest Week 2019 ‘Hug Forests!’” held July 20 – September 30, 2019.

“FSC® Forest Week” is an awareness-raising campaign held by FSC® Japan. This campaign works to communicate the wise use of forest bounties and the importance of choosing FSC®-certified products to protect forests. The aim is to increase consumer awareness of FSC® certification and spread awareness that “choosing to select FSC®-certified products” is a method of forest conservation that everyone can do.

Usage of third-party certified sustainable palm oil

In 2019, Unicharm began expanding its use of RSPO-certified palm oil based on the mass-balance system*, under which we used 32.8 tons. Going forward, Unicharm will continue sustainable procurement activities while confirming quality and procurement routes to switch all our palm oil purchases to RSPO-certified oil.

* Mass-balance system: A certification model in which certified oil produced at certified farms is mixed with other uncertified oil during the distribution process. Although the certified oil physically contains uncertified oil, the certified farms and the amount of certified oil purchased are guaranteed.

Waste management

Waste emissions volume is reported in the Preventing Pollution and Utilizing Resources section.

Water system emission monitoring results

There were no violations of laws and regulations or in-house standards.

The measurement results for COD and BOD are reported in detail in the Site Data section.

Atmospheric emission monitoring results

Atmospheric emissions are reported in the Preventing Pollution and Effectively Utilizing Resources section.

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