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Toward Increased Biofuel Use

Since the convention on Biological Diversity was adopted at the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit), efforts to conserve biodiversity have been made by signatory countries at the national scale. The need for participation by industry was later debated at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP9) in 2008. At Nissan we define our relationship with biodiversity as below, based on the U.N. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment framework, and are working to identify issues that must be addressed while promoting activities including cooperation with external organizations.

Joint Research with the U.N. University

Ecosystem Services and
the Automotive Sector

Nissan has carried out extensive studies on the relationship between mobility and ecosystem services through workshops with specialists in the field. We have cooperated with the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, which played a central role in the U.N. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, on the impact of mobility on the ecosystem and the benefits to humans derived from ecosystem services. In 2010, we published the results of this research in "Ecosystem Services and the Automotive Sector." This joint study focused on the value of ecosystem services that nature produces in human society when biodiversity is protected. The studyfs aim was to investigate how the automobile business depends on ecosystem services through the entire value chain and what kinds of effects it has on the ecosystem. Using the method of Corporate Ecosystem Services Review,* we have evaluated value chains such as that from extraction of material resources to vehicle production and operation.

Based on the results, we then identified three priority areas for us as an automobile manufacturer: energy sourcing, mineral material sourcing and water usage.

From now on, we will work to position the business risks and opportunities identified through this research, reevaluating and further developing our traditional environmental initiatives as we implement strategic measures primarily in the areas of focus that we have defined.

  • * Developed by the World Resources Institute in cooperation with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Meridian Institute based on the U.N. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

Working Locally to Preserve Biodiversity

A walking trail near our facilities

The Nissan Technical Center and Nissan Advanced Technical Development Center in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, are located in the natural splendor of the Tanzawa-Oyama region. We are working to preserve the greenery that remains on the grounds of these centers, as well as to maintain the natural connections between these grounds and the natural environment that exists in surrounding areas.
At the Nissan Technical Center, for instance, we work to preserve the natural stands of forest growing on the grounds and to maintain the area’s biodiversity by planting trees in areas affected by construction of the facilities. Various birds, wild deer and even troops of monkeys can be spotted on the grounds. The site is also home to a rare natural growth of a perennial orchid called ebine in Japanese, which is on the “Red ListEof threatened species published by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. In recent years overharvesting of these flowers has pushed them to the brink of extinction in the wild. We are carrying out minimally invasive management of these flowers to preserve them in an undisturbed, natural state. The green areas near our facilities are used by local residents for both recreation and environmental education activities. Here we have set up a network of walking trails connecting a number of nearby parks; these trails have proved popular with adults and children alike.

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