Humans have thrived as a species because of the beneficence of biodiversity, but the scale of our success has placed a heavy burden on the natural world. To continue enjoying the benefits of biodiversity in the future, it will be necessary for each country, municipality, business operator, private organization and citizen, in alliance, to take actions to achieve a "Naturally symbiotic society" in which biodiversity is maintained.
Based on this understanding, Mizuho, as an entity managing one of the roots of economic activity, is working to reduce impacts on, protect, and restore biodiversity. We see this as the social responsibility of a financial institution.
Mizuho is promoting the following initiatives from the viewpoint of the conservation of biodiversity.
Participated in the Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership
In March 2009, Keidanren announced the "Declaration on Biodiversity by Keidanren," which summarizes a declaration on the conservation of biodiversity and related action guidelines. Agreeing with the declaration, group companies signed on as "Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership" and, participating as private–sector partners of the Keidanren Biodiversity Partnership*,are pursuing initiatives promoting biodiversity in their operations.
* Participating companies (8 group companies): Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking, Mizuho Securities, Mizuho Research Institute, Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Asset Management One and Mizuho Private Wealth Management.
Participated in the Cross Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI)
In February 2013, Mizuho Bank, as a member of the Equator Principles Association (EPA), assisted to establish the Cross Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI), a partnership among EPA, IPIECA, and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) that considers measures and strategies to reduce the impact of large–scale development projects on biodiversity. Mizuho has joined various meetings for CSBI since.
In countries around the world, the movement over the last several years to develop and strengthen legal systems for the conservation of biodiversity has been steadily gathering momentum, and companies in these countries are also being asked to participate. As an example, the European Commission in December 2011 announced the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, which aims to propose by 2015 an initiative to ensure there is no net loss of ecosystems and their services. In addition, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has issued guidelines entitled "IFC Performance Standards," and these have been adopted by the Equator Principles Association. The biodiversity preservation provisions of these standards were strengthened in January 2012.
In response to these developments, Mizuho continues to invest its efforts to CSBI, to support this initiative that collaborates beyond industrial borders.
Case Studies on Other Measures
Measures taken through Mizuho's core businesses
Harnessing its financial system, Mizuho is promoting the following measures.
|MHBK||Support for financing funds for the purchase of energy–saving equipment|
|Adopted the Equator Principles|
|Participate in CSBI|
|MHSC||Sell SRI and Environmental–Related Financial Products|
|MHIR||Provide government agencies with a wide range of support for environmental and energy policies|
|Asset Management One||Offer such products as the natural environment protection fund (Oze Kiko)|
Measures at the offices
We are promoting initiatives to achieve a recycling–oriented society. Our efforts include a reduction in the use of paper, one of the resources financial businesses like Mizuho consume the most.
|The group||Promote green purchasing|
|Promote a paper reduction campaign|
|Promote paper recycling|
|Mizuho Financial Group
|Replace plastic straws and take–out coffee cups in the employee cafeteria and coffee shop with paper and biodegradable items|
|MHBK||Choose FSC–certified paper for paper bags for customers|
Measures taken for society
Volunteering and sponsorship
Mizuho is promoting forest volunteer activities and biodiversity–related educational activities.
|The group||Reforest coastal land in the disaster–stricken areas|
|Conduct employee volunteer activities for forest preservation|
|Sponsor nationwide painting contests for elementary and middle school students with a theme of the environment|
|MHBK||Send flowers for planting to the disaster–stricken areas|
Accreditation and recognition
Urban green spaces provide a number of benefits, including reducing the heat island effect, preserving biodiversity, reducing damage from urban flooding, and providing space for people to relax.
Otemachi Tower, the location of our Otemachi Head Office, is situated on a property where around a third of the area (approx. 3,600 m2) is dedicated green space known as "Otemachi Forest". With the concept of recreating a real forest, indigenous trees and shrubs were gathered from woodlands in the local Kanto region to form a diverse forested area. As a result, as an office building with dedicated green space aimed at preserving biodiversity, Otemachi Tower has been recognized by the Association for Business Innovation in harmony with Nature and Community (ABINC) under their certification program for businesses operating in harmony with nature.
Otemachi Forest (part of Otemachi Tower)