The DOWA Group draws from its Basic Biodiversity Policy to minimize the impact that its business activities have on biodiversity, and it is promoting the conservation of biodiversity through social action programs.
We promote mineral exploration and development projects for zinc mines to ensure a long-term zinc supply. Since mine development and operations have a large impact on the natural environment and local communities, we give careful consideration to the ecosystem and the water environment. Even at overseas mines currently under development, we are taking appropriate measures that begin from the mineral exploration stage onward in order to minimize the impact on the environment, such as regular environmental monitoring that includes ecosystem surveys and water quality assessments.
Water quality and biodiversity monitoring (overseas exploration project)
The supply of paper, a forest-based resource, is one of the most important ecosystem services available, and securing this supply has implications in terms of climate change and waste. Since the DOWA Group’s manufacturing businesses are centered on nonferrous metals, excluding water it does not use biological resources as its main raw materials. However, as we do use paper at all of our domestic and overseas business locations, the entire Group purchases large amounts of paper each year. For this reason, we use photocopy and pamphlet paper made from a mixture of post-consumer paper and forest-certified wood pulp while making every effort to use sustainable biological resources.
When selecting paper suppliers in fiscal 2020, the Group not only confirmed that the paper itself was environmentally friendly but also verified that the suppliers carried out sustainable paper procurement based on its CSR Procurement Policy.
In Kosaka, which since the Meiji era has lost a lot of forest due to the impact of exhaust gasses and deforestation by the mining and smelting industry, progress in forestation has been made with the planting of black locust and Japanese cedar trees after WWII. However, while the black locust trees are highly fertile, they are a species of tree with a relatively short life span, and they are shifting to a period of decline in their growth cycle. The DOWA Group started planting trees in 2006. We aim to create a natural and stable forest so that, different from an artificial forest, it does not require maintenance by humans. We have worked to restore the original vegetation of the area by “making a local forest with local trees.”
Under the guidance of the Japanese Center for International Studies in Ecology, we have completed planting about 25 species and 170,000 trees by 2018. The seedlings planted in the first year have grown a lot, and now form a small forest.
Plants around marshes and waterfronts are known to have a high water purification capabilities. We created habitats for those plants, including aquatic creatures, insects and microorganisms, on the premises of DOWA Hightech Co., Ltd. in Honjo City, Saitama and installed effluent treatment facilities that are friendly to the environment to clean water using natural purification capabilities. We named these facility “Bio Palette,” hoping that in the facility there would be different flowers in full bloom in each season throughout the year like a colorful pallet of paints. The BOD concentration of effluent passing through Bio Pallet is reduced from between 10 to 20 mg/l to less than 3 mg/l, with significantly reduced organic pollution. A wide range of creatures like dragonflies and rice fish gather in the Bio Palette, many insects fly to the leaves and flowers there, creating an environmentally friendly place for many creatures. Many people visited Bio Palette, including the Prefectural Governor and elementary school children, who showed great interest in our purification technology utilizing living creatures.
Because Bio Palette is environmentally friendly and low cost treatment system, we plan to promote Bio Palette as a final effluent treatment technology both in Japan and throughout the world.