The DIC Group works to grasp the impact of its operating activities on biodiversity and to use land and natural capital in a sustainable manner.
Protecting Satoyama* Areas
The DIC Group recognizes the preservation of biodiversity as a critical challenge. As part of DIC Management School, the Group’s training module for
senior management in Japan, in January 2011 a lecture was given by an outside expert on the relationship between corporate activities and biodiversity. The
lecture was attended by executives from corporate headquarters, as well as from plants and Group companies across the country, and prompted the launch
of a wide range of related initiatives. For example, the same year brought the launch of an initiative designed to ensure an effective grasp of the relationship
between the Group’s operating activities and biodiversity at all stages of its products’ life cycle, from R&D and the procurement of raw materials through to
end-of-life disposal or recycling. In April 2011, experts from the Chiba Biodiversity Center,
a prefectural government organization, observed the natural forest and gardens on the
30-hectare site in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture, occupied by the Central Research Laboratories
and the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, giving DIC’s biodiversity management
efforts high marks and offering advice for future initiatives.
From the beginning, DIC has used a closed system for circulating and reusing groundwater for the Central Research Laboratories and hired a waste processing firm to ensure no wastewater escaped from the site. The site’s satoyama landscape makes it an ideal home for numerous tree and flower varieties, as well as for an abundance of other wildlife, including birds and insects. Loved by the local community, the site has welcomed approximately 200,000 visitors annually since the opening of the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in 1990.
- Satoyama is a Japanese term applied to the area between mountain foothills and arable flat land.
Biodiversity Initiatives at the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art
At the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, located adjacent to the Central Research Laboratories on the same expansive site, 300 broadleaf tree seedlings
were recently planted in a corner originally occupied by a cedar forest. This effort was undertaken as part of a three-year plan (continuing until 2023) to create a
thicket of trees, with attention given to ensuring an ecosystem that would support coexistence with wild birds and small animals.
In this originally satoyama area, grafting was historically used to grow cedars for processing into lumber. While grafting leads to swift growth, the resulting trees can be prone to disease. After this part of the site became the property of the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, these grafted cedars were not harvested for lumber and simply left to grow for much longer than they would otherwise have been, as a consequence of which the trunks of many weakened from within. For the past several years, the museum has been thus forced to cut the trees down to prevent them falling, leaving an area of unsightly stumps. In fiscal year 2020, the museum planted 100 seedlings, including sawtooth oak, beech, Chonowski’s hornbeam, kobus magnolia and yamazakura, a variety of wild cherry.