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Sustainability

Environmental Initiatives

Environment Management

Concept concerning the environment

To create a world where people can live in harmony with the earth, the SoftBank Group has defined the sustainability vision as “Help shape the next 300 years for our future generations and the planet” and characterized its sustainability by one of our activity themes “Leverage breakthrough technologies to resolve environmental issues, including energy problems.” While ensuring communication with all the stakeholders related to SoftBank Group, under the concepts below we are proactively addressing environmental issues and will strive to maintain and preserve a healthy global environment.

  • Strict compliance with various relevant laws and regulations and other requirements concerning environmental preservation in and outside Japan in promoting business activities.

  • Proactively respond to the causes of climate change and the relevant risks and opportunities.

  • Defining environmental targets for energy conservation, resource conservation, waste reduction, promotion of recycling and water usage reduction in order to reduce the environmental load in carrying out business activities, as well as ongoing improvements through highly sophisticated and leading edge technologies and services.

  • Promoting environmentally friendly procurement.

  • Reducing negative impact on biodiversity, using natural resources effectively and promoting initiatives to conserve biodiversity.

Major operational bases of SoftBank Corp. have basically established and operated an environmental management system (EMS) under the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO4001 Standards. The EMS is reviewed from time to time on a timely basis and is continuously improved according to the degree of the effect of business activities on the environment. SoftBank Corp. has strived to comply with environmental laws and regulations. There were no violations of environmental laws and regulations in fiscal 2019.

Enhanced awareness of environment consideration

SoftBank Group established “SoftBank Group Code of Conduct,” which specifies that we are committed to:

· Introduce innovative solutions that provide a positive environmental and social impact.

· Lead globally and act locally to reduce and improve our impact on the environment.

· Conduct our business activities with consideration for the global environment and for the effective utilization of limited natural resources.

The SoftBank Group has thoroughly disseminated “SoftBank Group Code of Conduct” to all the employees of the SoftBank Group. Specifically, we require employees to take environmental consideration in our everyday work, including control and reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases and handling of industrial wastes with careful consideration to environmental protection. SoftBank Group also regularly provides training sessions to promote the understanding of the code of conduct. SoftBank Corp. provides “ECO Training” through an e-learning program to help employees acquire basic knowledge and raise awareness of environmental issues. Employees can learn about environmental sustainability and improvement from four perspectives: global environmental issues, trends in the world, Japan, and society, regulations and corporate initiatives, and explanations of legal regulations. E-learning courses on appropriate processing of industrial waste and the Electronic Manifest System are available to employees working in this area. Employees can also access these e-learning courses on demand from their iPads or iPhones.

Supply chain friendly to the environment

In order to promote business activities that are friendly to the environment, the SoftBank Group communicates to suppliers its concepts concerning the environment and the requirements to comply with and asks them to acknowledge their understanding of their importance. The SoftBank Group will proactively performi relevant procurement activities friendly to the environment through its partnership with these stakeholders.

Environment protection requirements for suppliers
  • Proactively strive to improve efficiency when using limited resources (for example, energy, water, and raw materials).

  • Establish the appropriate management, execution, and technical means of control to minimize the release of harmful waste products to the environment and strive to prevent environmental pollution.

  • Promote initiatives which consider climate change including a reduction in the volume of greenhouse gas emissions (such as carbon dioxide, methane, dinitrogen oxide, chloro-fluorocarbon gas).

  • Conduct business activities with a concern for the impact on biodiversity.

  • Contribute to the creation of a recycling-based society by proactively collecting waste materials and engaging in recycling activities. Moreover, comply with the relevant laws and regulations concerning all waste materials discharged by business activities and take responsibility as a waste emitter.

  • Promote initiatives to develop and provide environmentally friendly products and services to contribute to the solution of environmental issues and reduce the impact on the environment.

Initiatives to Address Climate Change

Concept concerning climate change

The SoftBank Group has endeavored to promote the wider use of renewable energies aimed at achieving the mix of reduction of environmental burden and sustainable development, looking to the next 300 years. We recognize that efforts to address climate change are global and urgent social challenges as global warming, changes in natural environment and natural disasters have become more serious year by year.

In order to realize the society we are proud to hand down to our children and future generations, the SoftBank Group has endeavored to address the preservation of the environment through the reduction of CO2 emission and energy savings in business activities. The SoftBank Group, as a whole, will provide initiatives to the society with new and innovative technologies that contribute to mitigating the climate change effect.

Specific activities

Participation in Japan Climate Initiative (SoftBank Group Corp. and SB Energy Corp.)

Japan Climate Initiative

SoftBank Group Corp. and SB Energy Corp. are initial members in establishing “Japan Climate Initiative,” which was created as a network to strengthen the dissemination of information and the exchange of opinions and views by companies, local authorities and NGOs that proactively tackle climate changes. The objective of Japan Climate Initiative is to “Joining the front line of the global push for decarbonization from Japan” and is an association formed in 2018 by CDP Japan, WWF Japan and Renewable  Energy  Institute as secretariat. The SoftBank Group is committed to promoting the initiatives of decarbonization through its own business activities and proactively addressing climate change in organic collaboration with various actors.

Improving energy efficiency at data centers (Yahoo Japan Corp. and IDC Frontier Inc.)

Yahoo Japan Corp. and IDC Frontier Inc. works to raise energy efficiency at following data centers. Its Kitakyushu Data Center (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka) is the first large commercial data center in Japan to adopt air conditioning using outside air. The data center has realized energy conservation through the optimization of high-density server operations and air conditioning efficiency, and as a result, has won a number of awards. In addition, at the Shirakawa Data Center in Shirakawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, IDC Frontier – using the area’s cooler climate and the high-level expertise acquired from its experience in operating the Kitakyushu Data Center – has developed an in-building external air conditioner system that combines architecture capable of drawing external air directly into the building with air conditioner functions in order to process exhaust heat from servers. This system enables the data center to use cool external air for over 90% of its air conditioning needs. Completed in 2018, Shirakawa Data Center’s building no. 5 employs a hybrid air conditioning system that combines external air and water cooling with air cooling functions. It is expected to achieve a high cooling efficiency of approximately PUE* of 1.2. In addition, the data center analyzes and verifies energy conservation effects to continuously promote further energy conservation.

  • Power Usage Effectiveness: An indicator of data center energy efficiency, the PUE is calculated by dividing the overall power consumption of the data center by the power consumption of its IT equipment. In general, data centers in Japan commonly have a PUE value of 2.0 or less.

Reducing energy and paper consumption through White Work Style (SoftBank Corp.)

SoftBank corp. is engaged in reducing environmental impact through the application of information and communications technology (ICT). Through the implementation and proposal of a new way of working called “White Work Style,” work efficiency is improved while the volume of paper and energy consumed in day-to-day business is also reduced.

“White Work Style” is a service that allows employees to access internal work systems and software simply by connecting to the network. Home PCs or personal iPhones and iPads can also be connected to an environment equivalent to the office PC, allowing flexibility in working time and location, such as teleworking from home, when on the move or from outside of the office.

Furthermore, with computer processing carried out on network servers rather than individual computers, computer power consumption can be reduced. By centralizing these servers at a large-scale data center, operational efficiency can be improved and overall power consumption will be reduced.

Environment related data

Enhanced Energy Efficiency

Achieving enhanced energy efficiency

The devastation caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the incident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has stimulated interest in energy demand and power-saving programs in Japan, profoundly impacting people’s lives throughout the entire country. The SoftBank Group recognizes the energy issues as a challenge that concerns all of Japan and believes that the wider use and expansion of clean and safe renewable energy represented by solar energy or wind power generation are one of the solutions from the long-term perspective over 100 or 200 years. We are committed to proactively promoting the wider use of renewable energies to realize a society we are proud to hand down to our children and future generations.

Specific activities

Initiatives to achieve wider use and expansion of renewable energies (SoftBank Group Corp.)

In July 2011, SoftBank Group Corp., together with local governments, established the Renewable Energy Governors’ Alliance at the prefecture level and the Renewable Energy Governors’ Alliance for Designated Cities at the urban level and began serving as secretariat for these two alliances. Through the alliances, together with 34 prefectures throughout Japan and the local governments of 19 cities, the SoftBank Group shares policy recommendations and information to promote the wider use of renewable energies. Softbank Group Corp. is also an active member of Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, an international renewable energy related organization aimed at building a global power grid to utilize renewable energy. It has greatly contributed to the development of renewable energies inside and outside Japan.

Establishment of eco-base stations (SoftBank Corp.)

The network center of SoftBank Corp. located at Toda City, Saitama Prefecture has installed solar panels which enable the power generation of approximately 10,000 kwh annually, as well as radio base stations equipped with solar panels (called “eco-base stations”). During good weather, all energy necessary to operate the base stations can be provided by solar power.

Generation of renewable energies (SB Energy Corp.)

Generation of renewable energies (SB Energy Corp.)Generation of renewable energies (SB Energy Corp.)

With the aim of combining renewable energy and technology to realize a convenient, comfortable society, SB Energy Corp. is building a platform that supplies energy safely and continuously.

The renewable energy power generation business, which SB Energy Corp. has been developing since its establishment in 2011, operates 41 mega solar power generation plants and 2 wind power generation plants in Japan. In addition, in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, SB Energy Corp. operates “Tsetsii Wind Farm,” its first wind power generation project, while operating a solar power generation plant in India.

Also, since 2012, the company has been conducting an experience-based environmental education program. To date, more than 2,500 children have participated in the program, which encourages participants to think independently and creatively about energy.

In addition to its power generation business, the company is conducting a virtual power plant verification project aimed at the effective utilization of power grids and investing in startups whose businesses are highly compatible with renewable energy.

  •  Wind farm "Wind Farm Hamada"

    SB Energy Corp. constructed, wind power generation plant "Wind Farm Hamada," in Kanagi and Yasaka Town, Hamada City, Shimane Prefecture.

  • To date, more than 2,500 children have participated in the program.

    As part of its community service activities, the company has conducted experience-based environmental education programs.

Environment related data