Sustainable Land Use

 

At the Sustainable Land Use working group, we developed a toolkit made up of three practical tools for sustainable land use: 1) the JBIB Guidelines for Sustainable Business Sites, which provides guidelines on how a company can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity within the site of its operations; 2) the JBIB Land Use Score Card, an assessment tool that scores the degree of attention given to biodiversity in land use at the business site; and 3) the JBIB Monitoring Sheet, which allows employees to gain an understanding of the results of sustainable land use and to reflect this in adaptive management. All three tools, developed in collaboration with Tohoku University and Yamagata University, aim to be simple and practical ones that can be used by company employees.

 

The Guidelines have been highly lauded and are now widely used among businesses. The Land Use Score Card lists 18 items for assessment, broadly divided into “environment creation,” “maintenance,” and “communication.” It features items such as the use of local seeds and seedlings, conservation of animal habitats, management of chemicals, and collaboration with the community and experts. Importance is also placed on land use of areas such as waterfronts because such spaces, not just greenery, play a significant role in conserving biodiversity.

 

The Monitoring Sheet was born from the necessity of conducting ongoing surveys of the living things inhabiting a company’s green spaces and reflecting the insights gained in the company’s management of its greenery. Focus has traditionally been placed on the amount of greenery on a company’s grounds, rather than studying whether the green area functions as a habitat for flora and fauna. And those companies that were studying this aspect usually did so through outside experts, which hardly raises employee awareness. This simple tool was thus developed so that even without any special knowledge, employees can conduct surveys just by checking off what they observed from a list of easily distinguishable living things that can serve as indicators of the richness of the environment. It also contains explanation of habitats and the environment.

 

This toolkit was taken up in the National Biodiversity Strategy of Japan 2012 – 2020 as an example of biodiversity conservation efforts by businesses and adopted as a condition to consider in the Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency “CASBEE for Market Promotion,” which rates the environment performance of properties.

 

In 2013, we spun off a new organization, the Association for Business Innovation in harmony with Nature and Community (ABINC), to begin granting ABINC Certification to office buildings and commercial facilities.

 
 

Biodiversity toolkit

Left: Guidelines
Middle: Monitoring Sheet
Right: Land Use Score Card