We are tackling environmental issues such as climate change, resource depletion, pollution, and biodiversity conservation on a global scale. To help leave a prosperous planet for future generations, Canon is implementing a multifaceted environmental strategy using a consistent PDCA cycle-based approach. As a global corporation working in harmony with the environment, Canon will continue to deepen its connection to the earth based on the principle of kyosei.
In order to promote environmental assurance activities efficiently and effectively in response to the numerous environmental issues that companies face today, companies must first understand the characteristics of their own business activities and their impact on the environment. They then need to clarify priority initiatives, taking into account both risks and opportunities. Every year, Canon identifies the major issues of material significance through the materiality analysis described below.
Taking global trends into account, Canon organized the environmental aspects of its business activities in relation to global environmental issues. Priority was assigned to these environmental aspects from two perspectives, namely, the relative interest level of stakeholders and the relative impact on Canon’s business activities.
In the analysis of a stakeholder survey conducted in 2018, we found out that ‘reuse and recycling of used products’ was the issue of greatest interest to stakeholders, followed by ‘management of air emissions and prevention of pollution,’ ‘management of raw material use,’ ‘reduction of waste/prevention of water and soil pollution,’ and ‘reduction of energy consumption.’
Canon recognizes that issues relating to resource recycling and the prevention of global warming, such as ‘reuse and recycling of used products’ and ‘management of raw material use,’ have a major impact on our business activities in terms of product competitiveness, costs and other factors, which is why we give them the highest priority.
The issue of the ‘management of chemical substances contained in products’ is one that Canon expects to impact business activities significantly given the potential links to health problems and environmental pollution. Regulatory compliance is also part of our corporate responsibility as the global trend toward stricter regulation of chemical substances increases.
We recognize the importance of initiatives relating to the ‘management of air emissions and prevention of pollution’ in regions where the Canon Group has operations. We continue to take steps to meet the targets and emissions standards that we have set in this area.
As for ‘biodiversity conservation,’ while the relative interest of stakeholders is not as high, there are elements that are directly and indirectly related to various aspects of our business. So we consider this a material issue to address.
We continue to take measures to advance our environmental activities in the four areas that we have identified of material concern. These are (1) contributing to a low-carbon society; (2) contributing to a circular economy; (3) eliminating hazardous substances and preventing pollution; and (4) contributing to a society in harmony with nature.
The risks and opportunities in each environmental aspect of Canon’s business activities are as follows. We try to evaluate specific risks and opportunities in each business sector on an ongoing basis.
The SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015. Canon’s four areas of materiality are related with the SDGs as follows.
Goal 13 of the SDGs calls for each country to take measures to address climate change. In addition, the adoption of the Paris Agreement has led to the establishment of an international framework for climate change countermeasures from 2020 onward. This has encouraged all countries and regions that have ratified the agreement to declare their own targets and plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and establish a “Pledge & Review” framework. Furthermore, Goal 7 of the SDGs, which focuses on improvements in energy efficiency, is closely connected to the realization of a low-carbon society. Not only does the use of fossil fuels lead to greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels themselves are a limited resource. Recognizing this, it is essential for us to promote the efficient use of energy.
Canon has been promoting improvements in CO2 efficiency at all stages of the product lifecycle in order to contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society. To successfully implement these improvements, we have been enhancing energy efficiency at each lifecycle stage. At the same time, we have been making efforts to utilize renewable energy while taking into account the availability of renewable energy options from region to region.
As activities aimed at realizing the SDGs, Canon will continue efforts to improve energy efficiency as well as initiatives to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions per product.
Goal 12 of the SDGs aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, calling for the promotion of resource recycling following the 3Rs and the reduction of waste. Also, Goal 6 emphasizes the sustainable use of water resources, which are essential for human life.
To this end, Canon is pursuing more advanced circulation of limited resources based on the reuse and recycling of its products. We are also making continuous efforts to design smaller products, to reduce the consumption of resources at our production sites, and to reduce waste.
We reaffirmed that our initiatives for resource conservation and resource circulation fulfill these SDGs, and we will continue to promote such efforts going forward.
Goal 12 of the SDGs calls for the appropriate management of chemical and waste substances at each lifecycle stage. Based on frameworks agreed upon internationally, each country and region has established various regulations and is making efforts to comply with these regulations. Furthermore, Goal 6 identifies the preservation of clean water as a crucial element in the sustainable use of water resources.
Canon built and operates its own framework to appropriately manage both the chemical substances contained in its products and the chemical substances used in its production processes. Under our green procurement system, we work in cooperation with suppliers to strictly manage the chemical substances contained in our products, thereby preventing contamination from hazardous chemical substances.
Moreover, for chemical substances used in production processes, we determine “prohibited substances,” “emission-reduction substances,” and “regulated substances,” and manage them accordingly based on the rules and regulations of each country where we operate. At the same time, we diligently manage the amount of chemicals used in accordance with standards adopted in each region and thoroughly comply with standards for air, water, and soil emissions.
Additionally, we make proactive contributions to the establishment of international frameworks for the appropriate management of chemical substances in the supply chain.
We believe our efforts to manage chemical substances and prevent pollution are deeply connected to these SDGs. As such, we will continue to pursue stringent management practices.
Valuable forest resources, biodiversity, and various natural habitats are disappearing as a result of climate change and overdevelopment. In response to this, global initiatives are being undertaken to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted at COP10. The SDGs, particularly Goal 15, call for the protection and conservation of terrestrial ecosystems, reconfirming the importance of protecting forests and the ecosystems of living creatures.
At Canon, we recognize the importance of conserving and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems. Based on our Biodiversity Policy, we are promoting conservation and protection activities around the world.
One such activity is the Canon Bird Branch Project, which gives consideration to the cycle of life by focusing on birds as they occupy the top spot in the local ecosystem pyramid consisting of plants, insects, and small animals that provide birds with food, as well as the water and soil that allow these living things to grow.
In addition, based on our Basic Procurement Policy for Wood Products, we procure lumber products that have been produced through sustainable means to prevent valuable forest resources from being lost in excessive amounts due to such practices as illegal logging.