Sustainability / Environmental ReportPreserving Biodiversity
Guided by the Daicel Group Basic Policies for Responsible Care, we operate our business with due consideration for the preservation of biodiversity to pass on to future generations the wonders nature has to offer.
To further clarify our commitment to biodiversity conservation, we incorporated our initiatives on preserving biodiversity into the Daicel Group’s Basic Policies for Responsible Care in FY2012/3.
We implement each initiative appropriately through the Promotion System for Responsible Care, which directly reports to the president and CEO.
Initiatives Aimed at Preserving Biodiversity
Biodiversity provides numerous direct and indirect benefits every day, yet human activities are placing a significant stress on the Earth’s ecosystems. This is causing a rapid increase in endangered species and threatening biodiversity. Given these circumstances, it is our responsibility to protect biodiversity and use biological resources in a sustainable manner for future generations.
To prevent the loss of biodiversity, Daicel is striving to address climate change, reduce and recycle waste, control emissions of chemical substances, and preserve water resources.
Moreover, our R&D divisions have established in-house rules to ensure that their research and development activities are undertaken in conformity with the “Law Concerning the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity through Regulations on the Use of Living Modified Organisms” (Cartagena Protocol).
Initiatives Addressing Marine Plastic Waste
Marine plastic waste does not decompose and affects marine resources. In recent years, this problem has increased in severity, and the adverse effects of this waste on biodiversity are now being recognized as a serious issue. The Daicel Group is working toward solving this problem with specially designed products and unique technologies cultivated over many years.
Products that Help Solve the Problem of Marine Plastic Waste
Cellulose acetate, one of Daicel’s major products, is biodegradable and an environmentally sound material that is made from plant-based cellulose and acetic acid, a naturally occurring chemical. After use, cellulose acetate ends up biodegrading into water and carbon dioxide, not only in the soil or among other waste materials but also in the oceans. Daicel has taken this advantage one step further by modifying the molecular structure of this substance to bring major improvements in biodegradability and create CAFBLO™, a type of cellulose acetate that is highly biodegradable in seawater. CAFBLO™ has obtained “OK biodegradable MARINE” certification from the international certification organization for biodegradability, TÜV Austria, Belgium.
In addition, CELBLEN EC (Japanese text only), a biodegradable biomass plastic made from cellulose acetate with added plasticity, is also a noteworthy for contributing to solving the problem of marine plastics. It features greater transparency and moldability than other biodegradable plastics, and one of its uses is in manufacturing drinking straws and eating utensils, items that have otherwise been a particularly troublesome source of plastic waste that flows into the oceans. Even if these CELBLEN products are not recycled, they biodegrade, becoming one solution to the problem of marine plastic waste. We are developing a wide range of further uses for these materials and encouraging their greater use in our society as part of our efforts to combat the problem of marine plastic waste.
Collaboration with Industrial Organizations and Local Governments
Daicel participates in the Japan BioPlastics Association, which was founded with the objectives of promoting the widespread use of bioplastics and establishing a testing and evaluation system. The company also participates in the Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA), a platform for efforts to solve the problem of marine plastic waste through cooperation across industries.
Furthermore, it cooperates with the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, which aims to reduce additional marine plastic waste to zero by 2050. This is also the goal of Green Sea Setouchi Hiroshima Platform, an organization with which Daicel cooperates. Through participation in these organizations, Daicel moves beyond maintaining alliances solely within the chemical industry and strives to accelerate the process of innovation and to solve the problem of marine plastic waste working together with other industries and the public and private sectors.
Native Forests for Life
Native Forests for Life is an initiative aimed at restoring forests native to a region. It is based on the tree planting methodology (Miyawaki method) advocated by the late Dr. Akira Miyawaki. Daicel has organized a Native Forests for Life Committee, chaired by the president, to engage in a Group-wide effort for creating native forests for life and for preserving biological diversity. Daicel encourages local people to participate in tree planting programs, and these programs become a venue for interaction with the local community.
The Daicel Group also proposed a biomass value chain in our “Accelerate 2025” Mid-Term Management Strategy. We will realize a biomass product tree that effectively uses 100% of a tree to transform timber into a valuable resource to contribute to the forestry industry. By revitalizing forestry and turning neglected forests into forests for life, we can recover their water retention functions, reduce landslides, and enrich farmlands, which in turn will revitalize agriculture. As nutrient-rich groundwater flows into rivers, it will also revive fishery resources. The Daicel Group aims to build a sustainable society with a new model in which value circulates through a co-creative effort between primary industries such as forestry, agriculture and fisheries, and secondary industries including chemical manufacturers such as ourselves.