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.
Participation in the 30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity
Since April 2022, Advantest has joined the 30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity, a coalition of volunteer companies incorporated in the 30by30 Roadmap formulated by the Ministry of the Environment.
Front side of biotope
Biotope seen from the sky
Reflecting our commitment to living in harmony with nature, Advantest established a biotope 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, with a total area of 17,000 m2, is one of 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. 21 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: This word combines the Greek words "Bio", which means life, and "Tope", which means a place.
Biotope videos released
In fiscal 2022, Advantest produced four videos showcasing our biotope and releases them on our website. The videos introduce the biotope that is rich in nature, with beautiful aerial images taken by a drone of the indigenous flora and fauna that live there. These images help communicate the biodiversity of our biotope, that leads to securing a nature-positive world, to our stakeholders in an easy-to-understand manner.
Please click on the Biotope Quarterly link below to watch the biotope videos.
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 Eupatorium japonicum and floating heart, which are national near-threatened species and Gunma prefectural IA endangered species.
With regard to Eupatorium japonicum, 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 the native plant.
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.
The carbon fixation rate of the biotope forest is in almost similar range of the natural forests
Forest of the Biotope
For three years since fiscal 2020, Advantest has re-evaluated amount of carbon stock and carbon fixation rate of the biotope forest in Gunma R&D Center as one of the joint research projects with Gunma University.
We conducted again the tree census as to them by measuring height and diameter at breast height of about 600 mature trees, such as Quercus serrata, Q. acutissima, and Q. myrsinaefolia, etc.. We also measured the amount of annual leaf production by collecting the fallen leaves using leaf litter traps (netting for catching fallen leaves). Based on the results of these field census, we evaluated the amount of standing tree biomass of the biotope forest (carbon stocks), which was approximately double that of the previous survey conducted about 10 years ago. Given the good growth of the trees, it is estimated that the average carbon fixation rate of the biotope forest over the 10-year period is in almost similar range of the natural forests, and the forest, as a whole, is fixing about 2.9 ton carbon (about 10.3 ton of CO2 equivalent) each year.
Ongoing floral monitoring also revealed that more than 100 native plant species is growing sustainably there, and the percentage of non-native species is continuously controlled better to be less than 30%.
A message from Professor Shin-ichi Ishikawa, Faculty of Informatics, Gunma University
Biotopes generally play an important role in the conservation of biodiversity, particularly in terms of restoration of regional natural environment, acting as a place for environmental education and a sanctuary for endangered species. Advantest's biotope is surrounded by a rich environment such as vast puddy fields with species-rich ecosystems, making it one of the ideal places for sustainable growth of endangered species such as Eupatorium japonicum and Salvia plebeian.
The floral monitoring performed in fiscal 2022 revealed that 108 native plant species, including "satoyama" (semirural area) plants and 43 exotic species were growing there. Thus, the Advantest's biotope is playing an important role in the conservation of regional biodiversity.
Field surveys and tree growth experiments conducted from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2022 have shown that the biotope forest has been helpful to prevent global warming by fixing carbon at a rate in almost similar range of the natural forests over the past decade. However, the results also suggest that further global warming in the future will significantly inhibit the growth of the Q. acutissima trees planted in the biotope forest. Accordingly, planting more Q. serrata and Q. myrsinaefolia trees, which are less affected by global warming, may be good for adaptive management. We expect that Advantest's biotope will continue to play more important roles in the restoration of regional biodiversity and mitigation of global warming by conserving the native plant species and fixing more CO2.