Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity
Saraya Co., Ltd.
Actions for biodiversity in Borneo
Since the company was founded in 1952, Saraya has been engaged in manufacturing products friendly to people and the environment using natural plant ingredients. Saraya has pioneered new and innovative products including Japan’s first antibacterial liquid soap and, in 1971, a plant-based dish detergent.
At the same time, Saraya took note of the various environmental and social issues behind palm oil, a plant ingredient said to be friendly to the environment. These issues included deforestation of tropical rain forests due to the expansion of plantations, and the subsequent endangerment of wildlife. In order to address these problems by starting with whatever can be done, Saraya launched efforts from 2004 to help protect the environment of the island of Borneo in Malaysia (Borneo Environmental Protection Project), which accounts for a significant percentage of the world’s palm oil production.
In 2005, Saraya was the first company based in Japan to become a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). In 2006, Saraya founded the Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) recognized by the Saba state government, supporting the projects it undertakes such as repurchasing lands that were originally tropical rainforests but were lost due to the expansion of plantations, and restoring green corridors for the passage of wildlife. From 2007, Saraya has been supporting BCT activities by donating 1 percent of sales of designated products made from palm oil. In addition, in order to have many people learn about the situation in Borneo, study tours to the island have been held with the participation of not only the mass media but consumers as well. These tours are still held once a year.
And, in 2010, Saraya launched the production and sale of the first detergent in Japan made from segregation grade RSPO-certified palm oil. Segregation grade palm oil is totally produced on a supply chain separate from non-sustainable palm oil. Saraya will continue to make efforts for the popularization of RSPO-certified palm oil and activities to conserve biodiversity in Borneo into the future.