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 objective of the Japan Climate Initiative, which was formed by CDP Japan, WWF Japan and the Renewable Energy Institute, is to joining the front line of the global push for decarbonization from Japan. SoftBank Group is committed to promoting the initiatives of decarbonization through its own business activities while proactively addressing climate change in collaboration with various actors.
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. We will communicate with SoftBank Group stakeholders about the actions we are taking to proactively address environmental issues and maintain and preserve a healthy global environment under the stances below:
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 impacts, relevant risks and opportunities of the climate change.
Defining environmental targets for energy conservation, resource conservation, waste reduction, promotion of recycling, water usage reduction and environmentally friendly procurement 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.
Preventing and reducing negative impact on biodiversity, using natural resources effectively and promoting initiatives to conserve biodiversity.
Promoting disclosure of environmental information and proactive communication with internal and external stakeholders, including business partners and suppliers.
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 2019.
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.
Environment-friendly supply chain
In order to promote environment-friendly business activities, SoftBank Group communicates our stance to suppliers and asks that suppliers acknowledge their importance. SoftBank Group will proactively undertake relevant environment-friendly procurement activities through partnership with our supplier stakeholders.
Environmental protection requirements for suppliers
Proactively strive to improve efficiency when using limited resources such as energy, water, and raw materials.
Strive to establish appropriate management to prevent environmental pollution, by minimizing the release of harmful waste products to the environment.
Promote initiatives that address climate change, including a reduction in the volume of greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane, dinitrogen oxide, and 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
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.
Participation in Japan Climate Initiative (SoftBank Group Corp. and SB Energy Corp.)
Improving energy efficiency at data centers (Yahoo Japan Corp. and IDC Frontier Inc.)
Yahoo Japan Corp. 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 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 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.
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 stimulated interest in energy demand and power-saving programs in Japan, profoundly impacting people’s lives throughout the entire country. SoftBank Group recognizes 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.
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, 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.)
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.
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.