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Social Challenge 3
A future where people and nature are in harmony


Why it matters

The NTT Group's businesses have an impact on ecosystems. For example, the telecommunication equipment essential to our business operations, particularly telephone poles and communications cables, is installed in the natural environment. At the same time, we are sometimes affected by the ecosystem, for example cables are bit and damaged by squirrels or crows. Ecosystems full of biodiversity provide the bounty, such as water and food, which is critical to supporting all forms of life on earth, and thus require a proper approach for conservation.

What can be accomplished

Through our business and employee activities, we will promote initiatives related to conserving ecosystems within nature, in order to ensure that nature is left untouched for future generations.

Future vision

The NTT Group is working to preserve the ecosystems, which are the foundation of society's activities, while also conducting environmentally friendly business activities that take into consideration the mutual influence between ecosystems and the NTT Group.

Business Activity 10
Thoroughly implementing environmental assessment

Our commitment

Implementing environmental assessments during the construction of data centers and other buildings

Our objective

The NTT Group adheres to its Green Design Guideline for Buildings when constructing new data centers or other buildings, and endeavors to reflect the necessary aspects in the facility's design.

Background and Concepts

Communications equipment, data centers and other buildings as well as solar panels required for the NTT Group's business activities present an impact on the environment. In light of this, facilities are designed to minimize impact on the ecology.

Environmental Assessments during the Construction of Data Centers and Other Buildings

When planning to construct new data centers or other buildings, we research the historical, social, geographical, biological, and environmental attributes of the prospective building site and surrounding district based on our NTT Group Sustainability Design Guideline for Buildings, and endeavor to reflect the necessary aspects in the facility's design.For example, we use native plant species as vegetation for greening our data centers, which have in recent times become the core components of ICT infrastructure.

When drawing up proposals for the construction of new data centers for customers, the NTT Group applies the Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE*1) and submits proposals designed to obtain the highest CASBEE rank of S. While paying due consideration to the environment in this way, we also take care to minimize noise and vibration and maintain the scenic appeal of the district during construction while endeavoring to ensure that exhaust heat and noise from the air conditioning outdoor units and emergency generators of functioning data centers will have minimal impact on neighboring areas.

Business Activity

NTT Urban Development
Shinagawa Season Terrace acquires "ZEB Ready" certification

Compared to standard buildings, Shinagawa Season Terrace is able to reduce its annual primary energy consumption in its office areas by 51% (43% for the entire building), and acquired the top 5 star rating in the Building- Housing Energy-efficiency Labelling System (BELS) and ZEB*2 Ready" certification in December 2019 for the office area that is its main application. Featuring atriums filled with natural light and wind, a heat discharge system using cool external air, air-conditioning using a sewage heat recovery system, recycled water, and more, Shinagawa Season Terrace is one of the highest standard environmentally friendly office buildings in Japan, with eco designs and facilities offering excellent comfort and energy efficiency.

  1. CASBEE: A system for the comprehensive assessment of the quality of a building from such perspectives as environmental performance, interior comfort, and scenic appeal
  2. ZEBs are defined as buildings using advanced architectural designs that aim to realize substantial energy savings while maintaining the indoor environment by (1) reducing the energy loads, (2) positively utilizing natural energy by applying passive technologies, and (3) introducing high efficiency equipment and systems. They additionally aim to achieve the highest degree of energy independence and reduce the annual primary energy balance to zero by (4) introducing renewable energy.

Business Activity 11
Contributing to natural ecosystem conservation

Our commitment

Business activities that contribute to preservation of the Ecosystem

Our objective

The NTT Group is working on activities that contribute to preservation of the ecosystem by harnessing our information dissemination capabilities.

Background and Concepts

As a company providing ICT services, we are working on contribution activities that harness our information dissemination capabilities. The guidelines that apply to various business types and industries within the NTT Group outline the requirements for materials used for business activities. This applies to procurement and purchasing activities conducted at each business site within the NTT Group, as part of efforts to switch over to renewable energy sources and forest certified paper, which has a low environmental impact. Compared with the adverse effects on ecosystems caused by mining fossil fuels or global warming, renewable energy sources are deemed to have minimal negative impacts.

The NTT Group operates services that supply both corporate and private customers with power from renewable energy sources, as it aims to run business activities that reduce the impact that society as a whole has on ecosystems.

Business Activity
NTT Data CO2 Sink

With a view to realizing a net-zero emissions society, the use of carbon credits is expected to expand in order to offset greenhouse gas emissions that cannot be completely reduced. However, the appeal of the value of carbon credits brings with it quality assurance issues such as the vintage of the carbon credit, preventing double counting, and permanence assurance.
This is why NTT Data has focused on forests, which are a powerful source of greenhouse gas sequestration. Using a solution called "CO2 Sink" in Calabria, Italy, NTT Data is working to measure the amount of greenhouse gases absorbed by forests in a large-scale and transparent manner. There, satellite data is combined with data from sensors installed in the forest to accurately quantify ecosystem greenhouse gas absorption through machine learning, facilitating monitoring of thousands of hectares of forest. In this way, we are aiming to create high-quality carbon credits. We will contribute to decarbonization by encouraging companies to disclose and claim appropriate credit usage.


Business Activity
Supporting Coral Ecology Research with Underwater Drones

As a special partner of the "OIST Coral Project," NTT DOCOMO is working to preserve biodiversity in collaboration with coral ecology research.

The OIST research group's coral ecology research utilizes DOCOMO's underwater drone technology to support research on coral reef ecosystems through video and photographic surveys and seawater sampling in deeper waters (30 to 80 m) that have been difficult to study thus far.


*This is a coral preservation project run by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST)


Study of the Dependence and Impact On Nature in the NTT Group

Study of potential dependencies and impact

At the NTT Group, we have many business facilities throughout the world, and while these facilities have a dependence on nature, they also have impacts on it. In order to deepen our efforts to ensure the positive coexisting of nature and humanity as we work to realize NTT's vision of a sustainable society, we conducted a study of these relationships with nature in order to grasp the overall situation.
First, we conducted a study on the potential dependencies and impact on nature using ENCORE1 and other methods for each major type of equipment used in the NTT Group's business, which covered mobile telecommunications, regional telecommunications, ICT and the renewable energy businesses.
As a result, in the raw material procurement stage, the impact of raw material procurement (metal mining) on the surrounding ecosystem, the impact of water withdrawal, and the impact of pollution on the surrounding environment were cited as impacts common to the businesses.
In the installation and operation stages, the main impacts for each major type of equipment included the impact of water withdrawal at data centers and the impact on the surrounding ecosystem at other telecommunication facilities and renewable energy generation facilities.
Furthermore, in the disposal stage, the impact of pollution to the surrounding environment was cited.

Based on these results, we conducted a regional assessment of NTT Group's directly operated facilities at the installation and operation stages to study the actual impact on nature, as well as an overview of nature-related risks at the metal mining stage. In the disposal stage, the NTT Group is already making efforts to recycle waste, and over 99% of dismantled telecommunications equipment is recycled; therefore, the impact is considered minor and was not included in the scope of this survey. (☞Related link)

1 ENCORE (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risk and Exposure)
Items with an asterisk indicate a dependency on nature; items without an asterisk indicate an impact on nature.

Installation and operation
Regional assessment of directly operated facilities

For the regional assessment of directly operated facilities at the installation and operation stages, we conducted a sampling survey by facility type of all NTT Group power generation facilities (solar and wind power) and telecommunications facilities (data centers and other telecommunications facilities) (tot. approx. 100,000 facilities).

As a result of this study, it was found that a few percent of the samples of power generation facilities, data centers, and other telecommunications facilities were located in areas with a high degree of importance to biodiversity. Also, regarding water, certain data centers located outside Japan were found to be located in areas with high water stress. For power generation facilities (solar and wind power), taking into account the significant assumed dependencies and impact on nature as well as the diverse nature of trends in these areas, going forward we will consider whether there are any risks that may arise for facilities located in areas of high importance and what additional measures can be taken. For data centers, since the impact on nature is thought to be mainly due to water withdrawal, each operating company collects data on water intake and the surrounding water environment, and individually confirms that risks arising from these factors are minor. Due to the nature of the business, telecommunications equipment are distributed throughout Japan, including minor equipment such as utility poles and remote terminal boxes. For telecommunications equipment located in areas of high importance, in order to ascertain whether incidents of concern have occurred in the surrounding environment due to impacts of the facilities, we exchanged opinions with stakeholders such as park administrators and facility administrators of certain protected regions in order to ascertain the current situation. As a result, it was found that no incidents of concern had occurred for the equipment regarding which interviews were held, and it was determined that potential business risks are low. Going forward, in addition to scrutinizing the degree of impact on other regions, we will consider all possible countermeasures including voluntary rulemaking in the event of new installations and alleviating environmental impact.

In addition to the equipment subject to the sampling survey, a research institute conducting research using chemical substances has individually installed wastewater treatment facilities and implemented measures to prevent leakage of chemical substances, and regularly monitors water quality to confirm that the quality of wastewater treated by these facilities is within legal limits. Furthermore, there have been no major leaks by the NTT Group, and we have determined that the risk of environmental pollution from these facilities is low.

Results of regional assessment of directly operated facilities

Note: Facilities owned by NTT Ltd. outside Japan are not included in the regional assessment.

Image of the biodiversity assessment tool (IBAT)


Image of Aqueduct


Biodiversity risk: Using the biodiversity risk assessment tool (IBAT), it was assessed whether the location was in a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA).

Raw materials procurement
Overview of nature-related risks at the mining stage of metal raw materials

For the mining stage of metal raw materials, we focused on copper, iron, aluminum, and rare metals as four major types of metals, and conducted an assessment of the primary mines in the major producing countries with large exports to Japan in terms of biodiversity and water risk. As a result of this assessment, we found that biodiversity risk is high at a very large number of mines, and water risk is also high in about half of the mines, which could have significant impacts on nature.

In order to promote efforts in the supply chain for the realization of a sustainable society, the NTT Group requests that suppliers comply with the NTT Group Supply Chain Sustainability Promotion Guidelines and NTT Group Green Procurement Standards, and conducts company and product evaluations as well as periodic surveys and studies of the status of environmental conservation efforts. Within these frameworks, we will strengthen our dialogue with suppliers regarding the conservation of nature and biodiversity, and discuss strengthening our efforts to conserve biodiversity and regional water resources in upstream processes, including the mining of metal resources.

Status of biodiversity risk and water risk associated with primary mining areas for metal resources

Biodiversity risk: Using the biodiversity risk assessment tool (IBAT), locations were judged as high risk if they were within 70 km of a KBA or conservation area.
Water risk: Using WRI Aqueduct 2019, production bases were judged as high risk if there was "High" or "Very High" Baseline Water Stress.
Also, ratios are based on the number of survey sites per metal type (major mines in primary producing countries) as the denominator. For rare metals, tantalum was selected in light of the availability of location data in primary statistics, keeping in mind the raw materials of electronic parts in the telecommunications business.