Promoting Biodiversity Conservation for SustainabilityThe Tokyo Gas Group has established the Guidelines for Promoting Biodiversity Conservation, recognizing the critical value of nature’s blessings and to ensure that we continue to enjoy these blessings into the future. Under the guidelines, we strive to understand and alleviate the impact of our business activities on biodiversity, promote the sustainable use of resources, and partner with local communities in biodiversity conservation activities.
Carrying Out Environmental Impact AssessmentExtracting natural gas and constructing LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals or power stations have a far from negligible impact on the landscape and natural environment. Tokyo Gas reviews the state of biodiversity conservation at overseas gas wells from which it procures LNG and confirms that local ecosystems are being considered. In Japan, we conduct the required environmental assessments for the construction of LNG terminals and power plants and cooperate with nongovernmental organizations to undertake such activities as managing green spaces with due consideration for ecosystems.
We are working to conserve biodiversity by accurately understanding the impact of each segment of our LNG value chain, from natural gas procurement to transportation, production and supply.
In gas fields from which Tokyo Gas procures LNG, our suppliers implement measures to conserve biodiversity, such as by protecting endangered species and forests and engaging in afforestation and protecting marine ecosystems.
For example, in our LNG project in Malaysia, we installed 1,500 artificial reef balls in a national park. It was consequently confirmed that sea turtles last seen along the park’s coast in 2010 have been returning since 2015 to lay eggs. And in our LNG project in Australia, we are working jointly with the Australian Institute of Marine Science to record the status of the coral reef and marine life in the area of our business activities and to conduct research on bleaching and rehabilitating the coral reef.
Installing artificial reef balls
Concerns have risen over the potentially adverse impact on ecosystems of aquatic organisms contained in the ballast water*1 of LNG vessels, as they are transported outside their normal habitat and discharged at ports where LNG is loaded. Although we have already taken some steps, such as discharging ballast water on the high seas, we are also installing ballast water treatment equipment on LNG vessels that we own and operate, including those under construction, to reduce the impact on ecosystems under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water adopted by the International Maritime Organization, which came into effect in September 2017.
Hard clams not previously found in Japanese waters
Measures at City Gas Production Sites
We are greening the sites of the Sodegaura, Negishi, Ohgishima, and Hitachi LNG Terminals by only partially mowing grass fields and curbing the use of herbicides.
In addition, we collaborate with the Jumoku Kankyo Network Society, a nonprofit organization, in conducting research on birds, insects and plants. Thinning trees on the basis of proven research and stacking eco-piles of rotting timber and other matter have led to an increase in the number of species of flowers with a positive impact on insects. We have also confirmed that Japanese rice fish, an endangered species, are breeding naturally in the artificial ponds at our LNG terminals.
NPO conducting an ecosystem survey
Japanese rice fish in our artificial pond
Measures during City Gas SupplyWe use pit sand to refill sites excavated for gas pipeline work. Reducing the use of pit sand, however, mitigates environmental destruction and reduces CO2 emissions by vehicles that carry sand to worksites. The Tokyo Gas Group seeks to lower its impact on the ecosystem by laying pipes in shallower, narrower trenches than conventional installations and adopts a non-open cut construction method, which enables minimizing road excavation, to reduce the volume of excavated soil.
Departure shaft in a non-open cut gas pipeline construction
”Eco-balls”, an innovative temporary backfiller in pipeline works
■Recycling Excavated Soil
Measures at Offices
We plant trees on rooftops and create green curtains at our offices and corporate museums. We have greened the rooftop of the Gas Science Museum and opened to public for communicating with customers as well as local elementary schools and other community groups. At the Kumagaya Building, plants growing on the walls and near the windows provide shade to lower indoor temperatures.
Greened rooftop of the Gas Science Museum, open to public
Biodiversity Conservation Activities at the Nagano Tokyo Gas ForestWe have been monitoring the environment at the Nagano Tokyo Gas Forest since 2007 together with a local nonprofit organization in an effort to conserve biodiversity. We have confirmed a total of 447 species of living organisms in the forest (351 plants, 17 mammals and 79 birds) based on our flora survey and biota monitoring conducted.
A hare in the Nagano Tokyo Gas Forest
Environmental and Social Contribution Activities in the Mori Sato Umi Tsunagu (Connecting Forests, Villages and Ocean) Project