A global "mother plant" designed to be people- and Earth-friendly
Coexisting with nearby communities and the natural environment

Honda Biodiversity Guidelines

From Community Forests to the Hello Woods program

Honda has a tradition of paying attention to the issue of biodiversity, which may be affected by its corporate activities. We began efforts to protect the environment and coexist with local communities from an early stage in our history, including starting to plant trees at plants and recycle and reuse industrial water in the 1960s and launching the Community Forests program in 1976. Hello Woods, which opened at Twin Ring Motegi in 2000, implements a natural environment with an appropriate level of human care and maintenance based on the theme of recreating a traditional Japanese satoyama, or village forest. We also formulated the Honda Biodiversity Guidelines in 2011 based on our past approach to the conservation of biodiversity and associated activities, and we have begun biodiversity conservation initiatives at five worksites in Japan.

The Yorii Plant biotopes as village forests

Biotopes of a total of about 16,000 square meters have been installed on the east and west sides of the Yorii Plant. These biotopes are the product of planning that took into account the need to avoid dividing valuable wetlands at the nearby Ogawa Plant and interrupting the lives of its wildlife. By conserving the valuable ecosystems that existed in the planned site for the Yorii Plant so that the natural environment that characterized the area in the past could be passed down intact to the next generation, the plant is striving to become a facility in which the local community can take pride.

The biotopes drew on Honda’s Hello Woods initiative. In an effort to ensure that the company can coexist with people, nature, and local residents, and to avoid too much human interference in the biotopes, only the minimum necessary amount of management was practiced during its first three years so as to allow nature to take its course. More active management began after that initial period.

Furthermore, the plant is working to conserve a more diverse natural environment by restoring rundown satoyama village forests through active management. Illustrating the transition from the Community Forests effort undertaken in the past at worksites in Japan to a more evolved biotope program, the environmental initiatives at the Yorii Plant are a first step to realizing Honda’s goal of Triple Zero and coexistence with local communities.

The biotope on the east side of the Yorii Plant

Rare plant and animal species living at the Yorii Plant

Harvest mouse, forest green tree frog, giant purple butterfly, Luciola cruciata, Hynobius tokyoensis, Lefua echigonia, Chinese ground orchid, Lycoris sanguinea, Scirpus fuirenoides Maxim, Cephalanthera longibracteata, calanthe, bur reed, Monotropa uniflora, Penthorum chinense

As a partner in environmental assessment

Osamu Kajitani Senior Executive Director Polytech ADD, Inc.

Coexistence with the environment is considered to be an important aspect of corporate activities in the 21st century, and companies are under pressure to practice environmental management from the standpoint of CSR. For companies, the environmental assessment approach has become increasingly important. Environmental assessment is significant as a way to check environmental protection, exchange information with local communities, engage in planning that takes into account environmental concerns, and communicate information about an organization’s stance on the environment to outside stakeholders. Efforts to address environmental concerns along these lines were made in the environmental assessment carried out at Honda’s Yorii Plant.

Part of the process of checking environmental protection involves making an evaluation from the environmental standpoints of lifestyle and nature. Various aspects of the process pose compliance challenges due to the ambiguity of the evaluation criteria for the natural environment, the difficulty of making quantitative projections and evaluations, and the irreversibility of certain impacts. The Yorii Plant worked to accommodate the views of the governor of Saitama Prefecture in conducting its environmental assessment.

Following its submission of a study plan in 2006, the plant has sought the views of local residents and the prefecture’s governor at every stage in its effort to exchange information with the local community. The plant again sought input with the start of construction in 2007 and the submission of a post-study in 2010, and it plans to do so again following the planned submission of another post-study in 2015.

In its effort to conduct planning that takes into account environmental concerns, the plant has considered impacts on animal and plant life and local ecosystems in keeping with the views of the governor of Saitama Prefecture. Based on a wide-area ecological network, officials worked during the planning phase to avoid cutting in half nearby forestland and ultimately ended up deciding to conserve and create biotopes on the east and west sides of the plant’s site. In this way, it became possible to conserve plant and animal species.

The plant has also worked to communicate information about its stance on the environment to outside stakeholders by publishing study plans, preparatory documents, and post-study documents and by utilizing state-of-the-art technologies in partnership with experts.

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