Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd.
Efforts to protect the environment both at home and abroad
A business model that is mindful of biodiversity supports the sustainability of the company and society as a whole. Under the understanding that protection of the environment is a management challenge, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is working to reduce environmental impacts and also advancing efforts to conserve biodiversity.
In its insurance-related business activities, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is taking initiatives to reduce the amount of paper used in order to prevent the destruction of forests. These measures include the introduction of an eco insurance certificate and Web policy clauses, and promotion of electronic contracting procedures. In areas other than its insurance-related business, the company is involved in a wide variety of activities including promotion of the work of the MS&AD Ramsar Supporters who are involved in preserving the biodiversity of waterfront areas with a focus on wetlands included in the Ramsar List; engagement in conserving biodiversity in green spaces at and around the location of the head office building in central Tokyo; and reforestation of Indonesia’s degraded tropical forest. The following is an explanation of two of these initiatives.
Case 1: Biodiversity at the head office and surrounding green spaces
The head office of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, the Surugadai Building, which was completed in March 1984, was built under the principle of “harmony with the surrounding environment.” It has a rooftop garden with an area of about 2,600 square meters, and with some 6,800 square meters of greenery covering about 40 percent of the total site (including the Surugadai new annex building), it has received high appraisals from outside organizations as a pioneer in corporate activities to create greenery. An exclusive elevator to the rooftop was installed during renovation work in 2013 to open the garden to the community. The plants on the site of the Surugadai new annex building completed in 2012 include species of trees preferred by birds and butterflies centering on native varieties. The installation of bird baths have welcomed wild birds, and expectations are held on the formation of a ecological network connecting the Imperial Palace and Ueno Park and the expansion of wild bird habitats in the city.
Case 2: Restoring Indonesia’s forest and supporting the formation of a sustainable community
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is advancing a project to restore a tropical forest in Yogyakarta Special Province on the island of Java in Indonesia. From 2005, in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, some 300,000 trees were planted to restore and regenerate the Paliyan Wildlife Sanctuary, which had declined from illegal logging by the local residents during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. In addition, with the aim of reforestation and creating a sustainable local society, training in agricultural skills with the objective of economic independence of the local residents, and environmental education for elementary school teachers are underway. In fiscal 2014, members of Indonesia’s parliament visited the site on a fact-finding mission and highly lauded these efforts as a role model for restoration of forests in other areas.