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  3. Preserving Biodiversity through Products and Services

Preserving Biodiversity through Products and Services

The Green Gift Project, which involves mangrove planting and environmental protection activities worldwide, is supported by NGOs and NPOs, as well as central and local governments, agents and employee volunteers, and contributes to not only the alleviation of and adaptation to climate change and protection of biodiversity but also the reduction in disaster damage and stability in the lives of people in or near forested areas. Additionally, we believe that creating mangrove forests will contribute to the attainment of various SDGs, including alleviation of climate change, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and mitigating damage from natural disasters. In the future as well, Tokio Marine Group will promote the creation of mangrove forests toward the realization of a sustainable society.

Relation between written content and SDGs
Relevant goal Relevant target Description of related content
6. Clean water and sanitation 6.6 Protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers aquifers and lakes Social contribution through tree planting
12. Responsible consumption and production 12.5 Substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
12.8 Ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
Promoting the non-printing of insurance policies
13. Climate action 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries Social contribution through tree planting
Economic value of mangrove planting and impact on local communities
14. Life below water 14.1 Prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds
14.2 Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts
Social contribution through tree planting
15. Life on land 15.1 Ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands Ten-Year Restoration Project of the Coastal Forests of Tohoku Region
Tree-Planting Together with Customers ~ PHLY 80K Trees ~

Section composition

Eco-Friendly Products

Tokio Marine & Nichido, Tokio Marine Millea SAST Insurance and other Group companies are supporting mangrove planting overseas and environmental protection activities in Japan by donating a portion of the proceeds saved by reducing paper consumption through an initiative enabling customers to view their policies online being implemented together with agents. These proceeds are donated to NPOs and NGOs.

Creating Value through the “Green Gift” Project

Through eco-friendly products, Tokio Marine & Nichido acts as one with its agents in engaging in global environmental protection initiatives and welcomes participation by customers as well.

“Green Gift” Project System and Benefits of Reducing Paper

Customers’ selection of the web policy option leads to the conservation of paper resources. Additionally, it allows the company to reduce the environmental footprint created by the manufacture of paper and its transport to the company, the mailing of policies to customers and the disposal of policies when unneeded after maturity. The Green Gift Project also provides a number of other beneficial effects. These include conserving paper resources and contributing to the prevention of global warming and the preservation of biodiversity via mangrove planting activities and communicating to children, who will lead future generations, the importance of the earth’s environment through their actual participation in environmental protection activities in Japan. In fiscal 2017, the number of agreements taking advantage of the Web policy option was approximately 11.1 million, representing a reduction in paper usage of approximately 2,990 tons.

Disclosing information on the “Green Gift” Project

To help customers better understand the activities of the Green Gift Project, the company established a Green Gift page on its website that reports on each of the initiatives. With regard to mangrove planting activities, the page reports on topics such as planting activities in various countries where mangrove planting is undertaken, updates on the growth of planted saplings and the volume of CO2 absorbed through planting. The page also provides information on applying for the Green Gift Planet GENKI Program, an environmental protection activity carried out in each region in Japan mainly for children, the leaders of the future, and reports on these activities.

The company also participates in educational support programs conducted by the international NGO Room to Read in developing countries such as India, Bangladesh and Vietnam aimed at improving education for children where planting takes place and supports a program to restore the forest along the coast devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake conducted by the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement-International (OISCA).

Through this project, Tokio Marine & Nichido will continue to create social value via initiatives aimed at conservation of paper resources, prevention of global warming, conservation of biodiversity, reduction of disaster damage and contribution to local economies, communities and human resources development.

Promoting Non-Printing of Insurance Policies

Since February 2013, Tokio Marine Millea SAST Insurance has been implementing an initiative under which customers can view their policies on its website rather than on paper, which has helped reduce paper consumption. In addition, since April 2013, a portion of the proceeds saved through this move is being used to support and participate in the tree-planting activity in Meguri’s Forest in Shonan International Village, Kanagawa Prefecture, where the company’s head office is located. This project involves dense planting and root planting of a variety of locally indigenous seedlings, which are the most stable seedlings and capable of survival, to let nature take its course in restoring the forest to its original form. By doing so, the project aims to “create a forest that protects life” and thus supports the community, economy and an enriched society.

Although nurturing the seedlings into a forest takes much time, through this activity, employees, their families and the company are united as one in increasing awareness of the need to protect the global environment.

Social Contribution through Tree Planting

Tokio Marine & Nichido has planted mangrove trees mainly in Southeast Asia since 1999 in conjunction with multiple NGOs that have extensive know-how in planting mangroves overseas. Mangrove planting not only ensures the fixation (absorption) of CO2, but also promotes biodiversity and provides benefits to the local population.

Tokio Marine & Nichido employees conduct tours of the mangrove forests and employees and agents give lessons on biodiversity derived from mangrove planting to convey the significance of biodiversity-related activities through mangrove planting to the local community.

Green Gift Project: Mangrove Planting

Status of Mangrove Planting

Since 1999, Tokio Marine & Nichido has been conducting its Mangrove Planting Project primarily in Southeast Asia. During the 19-year period to fiscal 2017, we planted 10,550 hectares of new forest in nine countries: Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Fiji, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia. (The Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) has been engaged to evaluate the status of mangrove development and CO2 absorption and fixation in planted areas, and a report on the findings has been received.)

The activity was rolled out as a commemorative project to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Tokio Marine & Nichido, with the original idea coming from employees who voiced their desire to launch a long-lasting initiative in the environmental field. The project is conducted in partnership with the NGOs Action for Mangrove Reforestation (ACTMANG), OISCA and the International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems (ISME) and through collaboration with local governments and communities.

Benefits of Mangrove Planting for the Environment and Local Life

“Mangrove” is a generic term for flora that thrives in brackish waters (where seawater and fresh water meet) along tropical and subtropical coastlines and river mouths in Asia, Africa and South America. Mangroves are sometimes referred to as “forests in the sea” and are effective in mitigating global warming as they absorb and fix large volumes of CO2, a major cause of global warming. They also serve as natural levees to protect people’s lives and local ecosystems from tidal waves, tsunamis and other natural disasters.

Mangroves protected the lives of many people as well as buildings and structures when the tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean hit in December 2004 and the typhoon that wreaked havoc in the Philippines in November 2013 (named Yolanda in the Philippines and Haiyan in English). At present, mangroves are being planted in the Demak area of Indonesia and Gujarat State in India, which are susceptible to coastal erosion and flooding, with the main objective being to protect people’s lives and keep buildings and structures intact.

The roots of mangrove trees also serve as “cradles of life,” creating a rich ecosystem by providing a sanctuary for living creatures such as young fish, shellfish, crabs and shrimps that feed off mangrove leaves and berries while attracting monkeys and birds, and also because the roots help ensure a gentle tide and waves at high tide and maintain water temperature. Fish and shellfish caught in the sea and in rivers near mangrove forests in Quảng Ninh Province in Vietnam and Ranong Province in Thailand are the staple diet of the local people and a source of income through sales to intermediaries, thus contributing to sustainable regional development.

In addition, the mangroves themselves are being used in a variety of different ways. Along with the seeds and fruits being used to make soup and sweets, the leaves become feed for farm animals and the trunks and branches are used as materials for the pillars and roofs of people’s homes, thereby providing excellent support to the lives of the people.

Tokio Marine Group considers mangroves as “insurance for the future of the Earth” because they protect the planet and people’s lives and bring benefits. We are committed to being involved in the Mangrove Planting Project for 100 years. The project has been up and running for 19 years to date and the mangrove forests continue to grow. Going forward, we plan to put more effort into activities that protect and nurture mangrove forests.

Indian Ocean tsunami following earthquake off the island of Sumatra in December 2004

Mangrove planting area in Ranong Thailand, the area behind which was protected from tsunami damage.

Tale Nok near Ranong, Thailand, which did not have mangroves, was damaged by the tsunami.

Benefits of mangroves

Fish catches are more abundant thanks to the mangroves.
(Ranong Province, Thailand)

The young leaves of the grey mangrove are used as feed for farm animals.
(Gujarat State, India)

Economic Value and Impact on Local Communities from Mangrove Planting

To the present, mangrove planting has generated diverse benefits such as mitigating and preventing global warming, preserving biodiversity and contributing to the development of local economies, communities and human resources. However, expressing the specific economic value created by this project had proved difficult. To determine this value, Tokio Marine & Nichido commissioned Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. to undertake a survey and make assessments based on internationally recognized methods. The results of provisional calculations show that the total economic value created by the Mangrove Planting Project from April 1999 when the company started the planting to the end of March 2014 totaled US$33 billion. This project also impacts some 1.25 million people living where the mangroves are planted or nearby and has generated benefits in terms of improving the lives of residents in these communities and preventing and mitigating disasters. By ascertaining the numerical value of the outcomes of the mangrove-planting activities, we were able to reaffirm our awareness of the positive social impact of this initiative. Going forward, we will utilize the results of this value assessment to improve our Mangrove Planting Project and continue to undertake these activities together with our stakeholders as we aim to further create value.

Economic Value and Impact on Local Communities from Mangrove Planting

Mangrove Planting Tours

Since 1999, Tokio Marine & Nichido has been promoting its Mangrove Planting Project in Southeast Asia and other countries and regions and conducting a volunteer tour to plant mangrove trees about once a year. Tokio Marine Group employees, agents and retired employees as well as their families participate in these tours as volunteers to plant mangrove seeds and saplings with local residents and children and visit villages and elementary schools in respective regions to promote international exchange. As of March 2018, we have conducted 18 mangrove planting volunteer tours, in which a total of approximately 545 members have participated.

Green Gift Project: Educational Support Program in Developing Countries

We provide educational support for children in areas that we plant mangroves.

Green Gift Planet GENKI Program

Tokio Marine & Nichido is implementing the Green Gift Planet GENKI Program, which tackles environmental protection initiatives together with local citizens and includes donations to environmental NPOs and other groups as well as participation in environmental activities throughout Japan.

The project is conducted in conjunction with Japan NPO Center, a specified non-profit corporation that has received backing from the Ministry of the Environment and is responsible for the coordination and operation of the entire project. The aim is to provide children in each region, the leaders of the future, with the opportunity to learn about local environmental issues and foster a desire to protect the environment.

The activities offer the chance for local NPOs and other groups to collaborate with new stakeholders such as Tokio Marine & Nichido and its agents. It is also a great chance for the company’s customer contact branches to meet with local governments, environmental NPOs and other members of the local community. As of March 2018, around 13,600 participants (including around 5,200 children) had taken part in 197 different events to protect local forests, woodlands, river valleys and the sea.

Green Gift Project: Ten-Year Restoration Project of the Coastal Forests of Tohoku Region

We support the Ten-Year Restoration Project of the Coastal Forests of Tohoku Region damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Tree-Planting Together with Customers ~PHLY 80K Trees Initiative~

Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) has continued to conduct the “PHLY 80K Trees” tree planting program since 2015, inspired by Tokio Marine & Nichido’s Green Gift Project. With the cooperation of customers and agents, the initiative has provided the funding for 240,000 trees to date through costs saved by encouraging customers to make electronic payments and asking agents to cooperate by making direct deposits of commissions and reducing the preparation of paper statements as well as donations from the company. Some 50 employees volunteered to give forest tours in 2017, with close to 100 employees having offered their time since the initiative began. Funding from an additional 80,000 trees will be provided between 2018 and 2019.

In the United States, record wildfires, storms and other natural disasters have destroyed millions of trees in forests in recent years. PHLY is on a mission to build healthy forests and ecosystems to provide greater security to communities.