The Advantest Group's Guidelines of Action for Biodiversity
To show our gratitude for the gift of nature created by biodiversity, and to recognize the significance of biodiversity in supporting the prosperity and the wellness of our society, the Advantest Group will carry out initiatives in conserving biodiversity and in contributing to the sustainable use of biological resources.
- 1.Understanding Environmental Impact
We identify, evaluate and share information on any aspect that may have a significant impact on biodiversity in the entire lifecycle of our business activities.
- 2.Understanding Biodiversity
We increase awareness and understanding of biodiversity among all employees so that they are able to engage in activities that give consideration to biodiversity in their business activities and daily lives.
- 3.Reduction of Environmental Impact
By seeking highly effective measures, and by carrying them out continuously, we reduce the impact of our business activities on biodiversity.
- 4.Cooperation with Stakeholders
We cooperate with a variety of stakeholders such as the government, educational organizations, NPOs, local residents and our business partners to promote activities related to the conservation of biodiversity.
Biotope at the time of establishment
Reflecting our commitment to living in harmony with nature, Advantest established a biotope eco-park in Gunma R&D Center in 2001 with the aim of helping to recreate the original, natural landscape of the Kanto Plain, a landscape that is being lost to development. This biotope is the largest of its kind established by any private company in Japan.
Advantest's biotope provides a venue in which Advantest employees can learn about the importance of protecting the global environment; the biotope is also used as a way to foster communication with local residents. 20 years have passed since the establishment, and the biotope now has an optimal environment for preserving the local ecological system and is playing a great role in protecting and growing threatened species. In addition, Advantest's biotope provides an ideal environment for achieving an SDG target, "Goal 15: LIFE ON LAND".
* Biotope: The word comes from the German "Biotop", which in turn came from the Greek "bios" (life) and "topos" (place).
Place for the protection and cultivation of valuable plants
Since its establishment in 2001, our biotope has been dedicated to research on, protection of, and cultivation of the animals and plants that live there as well as the extermination of alien species under the guidance of Gunma University.
We also utilize our biotope in our efforts to protect and cultivate boneset and floating heart, which are national near-threatened species and Gunma prefectural IA endangered species.
With regard to boneset, there are only five places where it grows naturally in Gunma Prefecture, one of which is Advantest's biotope. Advantest has been continuing these protection and cultivation activities for many years, which have led to the creation of an environment that enables the stable natural cultivation of bonesets.
With regard to floating heart, there is only one place where it grows naturally in Gunma Prefecture, and Advantest's biotope has been used as an evacuation shelter since 2012, where floating hearts grow steadily.
Moreover, from fiscal 2019, Advantest implemented emergency protection measures for native Amsonia ellipticas, which were specified as a threatened species (IA) in Gunma Prefecture, and started protection and cultivation activities for them.
An optimal environment for attracting owls
The owl that flew into our biotope
Our biotope even attracts owls. In FY2020, an approximately 40-cm-tall owl was seen several times in our biotope.
As birds of prey, owls are atop the food chain (biological pyramid) of the forest ecosystem.
The presence of owls indicates that this area serves as a habitat for many organisms in the ecosystem pyramid, proving that our biotope is significantly contributing to biological diversity.
Began calculation of the biotope’s CO2 fixation speed
Nets for catching fallen leaves
in the biotope
Employees working in the biotope
In FY2020, we resumed our initiative to calculate the CO2 accumulation amount and fixation speed in our biotope’s forest.
This initiative is part of the collaborative research with Gunma University and will continue for the next three years.
The research aims to calculate the amount of CO2 accumulated so far and to determine how fast our biotope has fixated CO2 over the past decade.
Amounts of accumulated and released CO2 are estimated based on the weight of fallen leaves and tree volume
CO2 that has been absorbed by trees through photosynthesis is accumulated inside the trees as carbohydrate (carbon fixation).
As the trees grow, the amount of carbohydrate accumulated inside them also increases, thus increasing the volume of the trees.
These trees also produce leaves, which die and fall to the ground after one to three years. Therefore, by measuring the volume of the trees and the weight of the fallen leaves at specific intervals, one can estimate how much CO2 the trees have fixated (the amount of carbon fixation) over a given period of time. Meanwhile, the fallen leaves are decomposed by microorganisms living in the soil, which releases the accumulated carbohydrate into the air as CO2, thus reducing the weight of the leaves. Therefore, by measuring the weight of fallen leaves atop the soil at specific intervals, one can estimate the weight reduction of the fallen leaves (estimate the amount of CO2 released into the air based on the decomposed amount).
Special nets have been installed at several locations in our biotope in order to measure the weight and decomposed amount of fallen leaves. The volume of each tree is calculated based on its diameter and height. Based on this data, the amount of CO2 accumulated in the trees and fallen leaves as well as the amount of CO2 released from the fallen leaves in the biotope are estimated in order to calculate the total amount of CO2 accumulated throughout the forest. The CO2 fixation speed of the biotype’s entire forest is calculated by comparing the current amount of accumulated CO2 with the level from the previous study conducted a decade ago.