Our stance on the environment
To create a world where people can live in harmony with the earth, SoftBank Group defines our vision as to help shape the next 300 years for our future generations and the planet. In practice, from a sustainability standpoint, we aim to leverage breakthrough technologies to resolve environmental issues, including energy problems. Based on the recognition that the maintenance and preservation of the global environment is the foundation of the Group's sustainability and growth, we established the “Environmental Policy” as a group policy in May 2021. We require all SoftBank Group directors, officers and employees to understand the Policy and will ask stakeholders, such as investees and business partners to respond in the same way.
The SoftBank Group's “Environmental Policy” sets out the principles to take the global environment into consideration when conducting corporate activities. This policy requires all directors, officers and employees of the SoftBank Group to be aware of the need to reduce the burden on the global environment in all business activities, to conserve resources and energy, to improve energy efficiency and make effective use of resources in order to achieve harmony between mankind and nature, and to maintain biodiversity and contribute to the continuous improvement of the global environment. We will communicate with SoftBank Group stakeholders to promote business activities in consideration of the global environment.
Approach to environmental issues
SoftBank Group monitors its environmental performance, including data on greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption in the course of its business operations, and discloses the results annually. In cooperation with our stakeholders, we are promoting initiatives contributing to solve environmental issues, such as addressing climate change and enhancing energy efficiency. The details of these initiatives are disclosed on this website and in our Sustainability Report.
Furthermore, major operational bases of SoftBank Corp. have established and operated an environmental management system (EMS) under the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO14001 Standards. The EMS is regularly reviewed on a timely basis and is continuously improved based on 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 2020.
Enhanced environmental awareness
SoftBank Group established the “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 the effective utilization of limited natural resources.
SoftBank Group has thoroughly disseminated the Code of Conduct to all Group employees. Specifically, we require employees to consider the environment in our everyday work, including control and reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases and handling of industrial waste. SoftBank Group also regularly provides training sessions to promote the understanding of the Code of Conduct. In addition, 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 and Japan; 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 relevant employees. Employees can also access these e-learning courses on demand from their iPads or iPhones.
Environmentally-friendly supply chain
In order to promote environmentally-friendly business activities, the SoftBank Group has formulated ethical standards for the environment in its “Supplier Code of Conduct,” and require suppliers to work in accordance with the ethical standards set forth in the Code. The SoftBank Group will proactively undertake relevant environmentally-friendly corporate activities through partnership with our stakeholders.
Efforts to Address Climate Change
Our stance on climate change
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. As global warming, environmental changes and natural disasters worsen year by year, we recognize that efforts to address climate change are global and urgent social challenges.
In order to realize the society we are proud to hand down to our children and future generations, SoftBank Group has endeavored to address the preservation of the environment through the reduction of CO2 emission and energy savings in business activities. SoftBank Group will provide social initiatives with new and innovative technologies that contribute to mitigating the climate change effect.
Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and achievement status
SoftBank Group Corp. has achieved carbon neutrality in fiscal 2020, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its business activities*1 to virtually zero, and will continue to do so in the future. Each Group company has also set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its business activities and is working to achieve it.
Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of major subsidiaries and achievement status
- SoftBank Group Corp.：Achieve carbon neutrality in fiscal 2020 （Achieved）
- SoftBank Corp.：Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030
- Z Holdings Corporation：Reduce CO2 emissions per revenue by 50% from fiscal 2008 levels by fiscal 2028
- Yahoo Japan Corporation：100% conversion to renewable energy for the electricity used by the end of fiscal 2023
- Arm Limited：Achieve Net-Zero Carbon by 2030 and 100% conversion to renewable energy for the electricity used by 2023
The amount of Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions from our operations
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Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy
Improving energy efficiency at data centers (Yahoo Japan Corporation and IDC Frontier Inc.)
Yahoo Japan Corporation and IDC Frontier Inc. work to raise energy efficiency at the Kitakyushu Data Center (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka). It 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, winning a number of awards as a result. 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 power 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 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.
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.
Promoting decarbonization through initiatives
Establishment and operation of Renewable Energy Council and GDC Renewable Energy Council (SoftBank Group Corp.)
In response to the energy crisis caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, SoftBank Group Corp., together with prefectures across Japan, established the “Renewable Energy Council” in July 2011. In addition to the Renewable Energy Council, SoftBank Group Corp., together with government-designated cities across Japan, also established the “GDC Renewable Energy Council” in the same month. Both Councils aim to promote and expand the use of renewable energy which is a reliable, safe, and sustainable new energy source. Since then, SoftBank Group Corp. has been involved in the operation of both Councils from a neutral standpoint as the secretariat.
The Renewable Energy Council and the GDC Renewable Energy Council, led by municipalities from 34 prefectures and all 20 government-designated cities, respectively, are working actively with companies and organizations which endorse each Council’s principle towards the promotion and expansion of renewable energy.
Since their establishment in 2011, both Councils have made several policy proposals to the government that contribute to the promotion and expansion of renewable energy. These include setting renewable energy targets as well as developing and revising energy related systems and regulations that take into account regional characteristics.
For instance, the phrase “Renewable Energy as Major Power Source” has been included in both Council’s policy proposals for several years. The phrase’s intention to ensure the sustainability of renewable energy as a long-term stable, major power source has been referred to in the Japanese government’s 5th Strategic Energy Plan in 2018. In fact, while the 5th Strategic Energy Plan announced the renewable energy target of Japan’s FY2030 energy mix to be 22-24%, the percentage of renewable energy has already reached nearly 22%* in 2020. Renewable energy is growing to become one of the major power sources in Japan.
Both Councils plan to continue offering policy proposals to the government several times a year in order to further address climate change through the promotion and expansion of renewable energy.
Furthermore, the two Councils hold seminars, study sessions, and workshops to which government policy makers and experts in the field of renewable energy are invited to share good practices and issues among municipalities. At such occasions, the Councils aim to incorporate diverse perspectives, covering not only policy analysis, but also case studies of renewable energy projects in which municipalities and private companies collaborate, as well as knowledge sharing with the academia. Through these activities, both Councils offer meaningful opportunities for municipalities to further share and exchange information, contributing to the municipalities’ local renewable energy policies and to the private sector’s efforts towards decarbonization.
As the secretariat, SoftBank Group Corp. will continue being involved in the operation of the two Councils from a neutral standpoint, contributing to the promotion and expansion of renewable energy.
Participation in Japan Climate Initiative (SoftBank Group Corp. and SB Energy Corp.)
SoftBank Group Corp. and SB Energy Corp. are inaugural members of the Japan Climate Initiative, a network created in 2018 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 Japan Climate Initiative (JCI) is a network of non-state actors with the mission of "joining the front line of the global push for decarbonization from Japan." The organization was formed in 2018 with CDP Japan, WWF Japan and the Renewable Energy Institute, which Softbank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son founded in 2011, serving as the secretariat.
JCI’s mission aligns with the SoftBank Group’s proactive response to the impacts of climate change and associated risks and opportunities. We recognize climate change as a key management issue and are taking bold steps to tackle it. JCI is a committed advocate of climate action.
The organization has hosted the Japan Climate Action Summit every year since its founding. It has also published the Japan Climate Action Summit Declaration as a message from Japanese non-state stakeholders, a public comment urging the Japanese government to show global leadership by drafting a long-term decarbonization strategy, and an editorial ad pushing the Japanese government to raise its 2030 renewable energy target. By endorsing these policies alongside other JCI members, the SoftBank Group has stressed the urgency of climate action. Our participation in JCI seminars and other events and conversations with JCI members are also helping to accelerate the decarbonization of our own investment and business portfolios.
Our activities with JCI are outlined below.
・July 6, 2018: SBG*1 joins JCI as inaugural member
・October 12, 2018: SBG and SBE*2 endorse Japan Climate Action Summit Declaration from Japan's non-state actors pushing for climate action
・October 12, 2018: SBG attends Japan Climate Action Summit 2019 (JCAS2019) seminar
・May 16, 2019: JCI issues message “Japan needs an ambitious long-term strategy to show Japan’s decarbonization leadership to the world” to Japanese government as public comment. SBG and SBE endorse the comment
・October 31, 2019: SBG attends Japan Climate Action Summit 2019 (JCAS2019) seminar
・October 13, 2020: SBG attends Japan Climate Action Summit 2020 (JCAS2020) seminar
・January 18, 2021: JCI publishes editorial advertisement in Nihon Keizai Shimbun urging Japanese government to raise 2030 renewable energy target, SBG and SBE endorse the ad
Going forward, JCI plans to use its leadership and business network to scale up climate action in Japan and drive climate action on the global level.
*1 SoftBank Group Corp., *2 SB Energy Corp.
Generation of Renewable Energies
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 46 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.
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.
SB Energy Corp. constructed, wind power generation plant "Wind Farm Hamada," in Kanagi and Yasaka Town, Hamada City, Shimane Prefecture.
As part of its community service activities, the company has conducted experience-based environmental education programs.