What is Natural Capital?

Natural capital is made up of diverse living creatures and the water, soil, and air that sustain them. These are the foundation sustaining life on earth and conserving them needs to be prioritized ahead of everything else. The way we live depends on natural capital and the ecosystem services they provide. We thus feel continued wise use of natural resources which constitute natural capital over the long run goes beyond mere environmental conservation. It must extend to putting communities on a solid social foundation to enable sustainable economic development.

Natural Capital Finance Alliance (formerly the Natural Capital Declaration)

SuMi TRUST Holdings became a signatory to the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) proposed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development "Rio+20" held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. SuMi TRUST Holdings is the only financial institution in Japan to have signed the declaration when it originally promulgated. The initiatives of NCD signatories have been expanded through NCD’s reorganization into Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA).

We will support the development of methodologies that can integrate natural capital considerations into the decision-making processes for all financial products and services including loans, investment, and insurance policies.

  • (a)
    We will apply a holistic approach to the evaluation of bonds and stocks by integrating natural capital considerations in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk analysis in short-, medium-, and long-term growth forecasts of investee companies.
  • (b)
    We will systematically incorporate the consideration of evaluating natural capital into the credit policies of specific sectors, including commodities, that have a major impact on natural capital, either directly or indirectly through the supply chain.

Major Initiatives in the Group’s Business to Date

2000 SuMi TRUST Bank is entrusted with the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund, a charitable trust from the Keidanren Nature Conservation Council

SuMi TRUST Holdings signs the Leadership Declaration of the Business and Biodiversity Initiative

SuMi TRUST Holdings establishes the Basic Policy for Addressing Biodiversity Issues (currently Action Guidelines for Preserving Biodiversity)

SuMi TRUST Bank translates the TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) Interim Report

2010 Asset management company develops Ikimonogatari, a Japanese equity investment trust specializing in biodiversity
2012 SuMi TRUST Holdings signs the Natural Capital Declaration (now the Natural Capital Finance Alliance) proposed by UNEP FI at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
2013 SuMi TRUST Bank develops environmental rating loans with natural capital evaluation; SuMi TRUST Bank forms the the Natural Capital Study Group
2016 SuMi TRUST Bank signs the Equator Principles
2018 Asset management company joins Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return, an engagement organization working primarily with the fisheries and livestock industries
2019 SuMi TRUST Bank develops Positive Impact Finance (PIF)
2020 SuMi TRUST Bank establishes financing policies for specific sectors; SuMi TRUST Bank is entrusted with a forestry trust by Okayama Prefecture’s Nishiawakura Village; Asset management company participates in working group TNFD (Task force for Nature-related Financial Disclosures)

Business and Biodiversity Initiative: Our Initiatives as a Leadership Declaration Signatory

SuMi TRUST Holdings signed a leadership declaration under the Business and Biodiversity Initiative "Biodiversity in Good Company" at the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in May 2008 in Germany. Since then, we have continued to carry out activities in line with the principles of the declaration, which was led by the German government.

Declaration Initiatives in 2019-2020
1. Analyzing corporate activities with regard to their impacts on biological diversity We provided environmental rating loans with natural capital evaluation and Positive Impact Finance (PIF) solutions that comprehensively analyzes economic, social, and environmental impact of corporate activities, and also analyzed investee initiatives during our asset management company engagements.
2. Including the protection of biological diversity within their environmental management system In our Sustainability promotion system, we draw up a plan for each fiscal year on efforts related to natural capital and review their performance semiannually.
3. Appointing a person in the company responsible for steering all activities in the biodiversity sector and reporting to the Management Board The head of the Sustainability Management Department steers all activities and reports to the Executive Committee.
4. Defining realistic, measurable objectives that are monitored and adjusted every two to three years We set targets based on the challenges for achieving SDG goals (see page 68)
5. Publishing activities and achievements in the biodiversity sector in the company’s annual, environmental, and/or corporate social responsibility report We published the Natural Capital Report (this report)
6. Informing suppliers about the company’s biodiversity objectives and integrating suppliers accordingly and step by step We continue to pay attention to procurement of copier paper and office supplies linked to illegal logging in tropical rain forests, which has large detrimental impacts on biodiversity. In the asset management business, we also engaged as an investor in tropical rainforests. In the PIF solutions business, we continued to set and monitor nature-related KPIs with our borrowers.
7. Exploring the potential for cooperation with scientific institutions, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and/ or governmental institutions with the aim of deepening dialogue and continuously improving the corporate management system vis-a-vis the biodiversity domain We became a signatory to the Principles for Positive Impact Finance of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and actively participated in initiatives aimed at establishing and enhancing methods for evaluating natural capital impacts.
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