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Mizuho's initiative for biodiversity

Humans have thrived as a species because of the beneficence of biodiversity, but the scale of our success has placed a heavy burden on the natural world. To continue enjoying the benefits of biodiversity in the future, it will be necessary for each country, municipality, business operator, private organization and citizen, in alliance, to take actions to achieve a "Naturally symbiotic society" in which biodiversity is maintained.

Based on this understanding, Mizuho, as an entity managing one of the roots of economic activity, is working to reduce impacts on, protect, and restore biodiversity. We see this as the social responsibility of a financial institution.

Mizuho's initiatives

Mizuho is promoting the following initiatives from the viewpoint of the conservation of biodiversity.

Participated in the Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership

In March 2009, Keidanren announced the " Declaration on Biodiversity by Keidanren," which summarizes a declaration on the conservation of biodiversity and related action guidelines. Agreeing with the declaration, group companies signed on as "Declaration Promotion Partners," and, participating as private-sector partners of the Keidanren Biodiversity Partnership*,are pursuing initiatives promoting biodiversity in their operations.

  • *Participating companies (8 group companies): Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking, Mizuho Securities, Mizuho Research Institute, Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Asset Management One and Mizuho Private Wealth Management.

Participated in the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP)

From March 2010 to June 2017, Mizuho Bank (former Mizuho Corporate Bank) joined the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP)–the first among private financial institutions to do so.

The "Biodiversity Offset" refers to offsetting the negative effects that remain after avoiding, reducing and restoring the impacts of development activities on biodiversity by measurable methodologies. The "Offset" refers to conserving an offset site (an alternative habitat) that is different from a development site. Principally, to offset the remaining negative effects of development activities, we must create positive effects that exceed or are at least equal to the negative effects at the offset site. This idea gained popularity in the United States in the 1970s and expanded to the European Union and Oceania. In Europe and United States, legislation is currently being introduced.

In recent years, a common framework worldwide is being promoted for biodiversity offsets, which is led by BBOP.

Participated in the Cross Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI)

In February 2013, Mizuho Bank, as a member of the Equator Principles Association (EPA), assisted to establish the Cross Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI), a partnership among EPA, IPIECA, and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) that considers measures and strategies to reduce the impact of large–scale development projects on biodiversity. Mizuho has joined various meetings for CSBI since.

In countries around the world, the movement over the last several years to develop and strengthen legal systems for the conservation of biodiversity has been steadily gathering momentum, and companies in these countries are also being asked to participate. As an example, the European Commission in December 2011 announced the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, which aims to propose by 2015 an initiative to ensure there is no net loss of ecosystems and their services. In addition, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has issued guidelines entitled "IFC Performance Standards," and these have been adopted by the Equator Principles Association. The biodiversity preservation provisions of these standards were strengthened in January 2012.

In response to these developments, Mizuho continues to invest its efforts to CSBI, to support this initiative that collaborates beyond industrial borders.

Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB)

From August 2016 to June 2017, Mizuho has joined the Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB).

JBIB is a Japanese initiative which aims to preserve Biodiversity. Various Companies shares their information, and study the biodiversity preservation together at the international standards. Also, they output their efforts to the other companies and stakeholders in order to keep their working level at high.
All JBIB endeavors are in line with this idea. Along with our new members, we have further developed our own approaches and tools based on five themes:

  1. 1)Business and biodiversity relations
  2. 2)Sustainable land use
  3. 3)Forestation
  4. 4)Water and ecosystems
  5. 5)Responsible procurement.

Mizuho continues to invest its efforts to JBIB, to corporate with Japanese companies and strengthen its knowledge on biodiversity preservation.

Case studies on other measures

Measures taken through Mizuho's core businesses

Harnessing its financial system, Mizuho is promoting the following measures.

Company Initiatives Reference
MHBK Support an interest rate reduction in financing funds for the purchase of energy–saving equipment
Adopted the Equator Principles
Participate in CSBI
MHSC Sell SRI and Environmental–Related Financial Products
MHIR Provide government agencies with a wide range of support for environmental and energy policies
Asset Management One Offer such products as the natural environment protection fund (Oze Kiko)

Measures at the Offices

We are promoting initiatives to achieve a recycling–oriented society. Our efforts include a reduction in the use of paper, one of the resources financial businesses like Mizuho consume the most.

Company Initiatives Reference
The group Promote green purchasing
Promote a paper reduction campaign
Promote paper recycling
MHBK Choose FSC–certified paper for paper bags for customers

Measures Taken for Society

Mizuho is promoting forest volunteer activities and biodiversity–related educational activities.

Company Initiatives Reference
The group Reforest coastal land in the disaster–stricken areas
Donate seedlings (Seedlings are donated to the community according to the number of employees participating in the environmental declaration)
Conduct employee volunteer activities for forest preservation (tree thinning), woodland preservation and tree planting
Sponsor nationwide painting contests for elementary and middle school students with a theme of the environment
MHBK Send flowers to the disaster–stricken areas, and give flower seeds to the customers