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CSR Report 2010
Together with global warming prevention, the preservation of ecosystems, where living things co-exist in an intricate balance, has recently developed into a major environmental challenge influential to the creation of a sustainable society.
The NTT Communications Group makes an effort to avoid affecting ecosystems through business activities such as the construction and dismantling of wireless relay stations within nature reserves. We also engage broadly in awareness activities and dissemination of information through the "eco-goo" portal of Group company, NTT Resonant Inc., on which a special biodiversity website was set up early on.
The NTT Communications Group is also actively taking steps to protect the oceanic environment when providing global network services. NTT World Engineering Marine Inc. (NTT-WE Marine), which lays and maintains submarine cables, has designated the prevention of ocean pollution as one of its basic policies. When building submarine network infrastructures, we maintain a high level of awareness as a company that is closely involved with the natural marine environment. Our intention is to fully comply with environment-related laws and regulations, including MARPOL 73/78 (a treaty for preventing marine pollution), and to harmoniously coexist with marine life forms and the fishing industries.
When designing routes for laying submarine cables in shallow offshore areas, we pay special attention to the protection of the natural marine environment. For example, in areas with multiple coral reefs, we carry out detailed assessment and develop a careful plan that allows us to lay cables while avoiding the coral colonies, in order to protect them and the creatures living within and around them. In the Inland Sea, where the majority of the marine area is designated as a national park, we work with the relevant government agencies and local governments to develop careful plans before laying cables.
Protecting coral colonies
Before laying or burying submarine cables, we clean the planned ocean seabed route. We collect abandoned fishing nets, rope, and wires during the cleanup operation and take them back to the construction base and properly dispose of them as industrial waste.
Trash collected from the bottom of the ocean
NTT-WE's Subaru, a vessel that lays submarine cable, is one of only a handful of ships in Japan that use an electric propulsion system (in which the electricity from a generator drives the propulsion motors). This system reduces the amounts of NOx and SOx contained in the engine exhaust and helps reduce air pollution. The system also decreases the vessel's energy consumption, which helps mitigate global warming by reducing CO2 emissions. By efficiently controlling the number of engines driven by the generator during trips, for example, using three engines when traveling to the construction site but only two on the way back, energy consumption is reduced by about 10% a year. Furthermore, the paints used on the ship's body are free of toxic substances such as tin and lead, while the lights inside the ship have been changed to LEDs.
The Subaru, a vessel that lays submarine cable (total weight: 9,557 tons)
As of March 31 2010, 10 of our 54 wireless stations for telecommunications and broadcasting networks were in national parks. The NTT Communications Group carefully considers biodiversity requirements in building micro-roads that we need to patrol and maintain these facilities, adhering strictly to the law and our own environmental assessment techniques.
We endeavor to prevent ecological damage and reduce our environmental impact in maintaining our wireless stations.
We have produced wireless station construction plans after surveying the distributions of plant, bird, and insect life, and other habitat distribution factors to prevent biodiversity damage. If identifying animals and plants on the World Conservation Union's Red List of endangered species, we contact third-party government bodies and nonprofit organizations to ensure that our construction plans do not affect biodiversity. In surveying, planning, designing, and working on station sites and roads, we will continue to adhere to our guidelines to safeguard nesting areas, animal paths, and vegetation.
NTT Resonant Inc. took the lead in setting up a special biodiversity site on its Japanese "eco-goo" portal in January 2008. The site uses a test and other features to convey information about biodiversity in a straightforward manner. In April 2009, NTT Resonant joined the Japan Business Initiative for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (JBIB) and looks to enhance the information available through collaboration with the NTT Group and a wide range of corporations in the run-up to the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010.
Special feature on biodiversity on the "eco-goo" portal