Table of Contents
Under its corporate mission, "BEAUTY INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD," Shiseido is committed to developing human- and earth-friendly cosmetics that maintain the beauty of the natural environment as well as people's skin.
(Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative: Yota Takakura; hereinafter "INOCA"), a start-up company with the vision of "creating a world where people and nature coexist in harmony," and with "environmental transfer technology*1" that models arbitrary marine environments and enables environmental analysis at the laboratory level, instead of the conventional approach from actual marine areas, (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yota Takakura, Representative; hereinafter "Inoka"), a startup company with "environmental transfer technology*1" that models arbitrary marine environments and enables laboratory-level environmental analysis.
In this collaboration to evaluate the impact of cosmetic ingredients on marine ecosystems, we will evaluate the impact of various cosmetic ingredients, such as those used in sunscreens, on the entire marine environment, including coral reefs and other organisms, by reproducing in a tank in the laboratory scenarios of future environmental changes, including a rise in sea water temperature, which is predicted to have a significant impact on marine organisms. By reproducing scenarios of future environmental changes in a tank in the lab, we evaluate the impact of various cosmetic ingredients, such as those used in sunscreen, on the entire marine environment, including coral reefs and other organisms.
Shiseido has previously evaluated the impact of various UV-protectants used by Shiseido on coral communities*3 under conditions similar to actual use of sunscreens by combining the results of simulations*2 of the concentration distribution of UV-protectants in the ocean and an evaluation of the impact of UV-protectants on coral communities*3 conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Takashi Nakamura of the Faculty of Science at Ryukyu University. We have evaluated the effects of various UV-protectants used by our company on coral communities under conditions similar to those under which sunscreens are actually used, and have confirmed that there is very little concern about the effects of these products on coral communities.
The results obtained through joint research with both parties will be used to develop human- and earth-friendly products for the next generation, with an eye on the ever-changing marine environment of the future, as well as to develop a global environmental assessment method, which will be used by many companies.
1 Environmental transfer technology: INOCA's proprietary technology that reproduces an arbitrary ecosystem in an aquarium without using natural seawater, taking into account a wide range of factors such as water quality (dissolved concentration of more than 30 trace elements), water temperature, water flow, lighting environment, and relationships among various organisms including microbes, using an IOT device developed in-house.
2 Simulation: Tokyo Bay risk assessment model developed by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
3 Coral colonies: Coral colonies that are large enough to spawn, excluding the period of floating larvae and juvenile coral colonies.
Vision of collaboration with INOCA
INOCA's strengths include an experimental environment built using our proprietary "environmental transfer technology" and extensive environmental assessment experience with multiple industries. By combining these strengths with our global research network and environmental assessment technologies, we will conduct environmental assessments that accurately capture the complex conditions of the rapidly changing coral reef ecosystem, and aim to develop products that are friendly to both people and the earth.
In addition to product development, in the future we will begin to develop global environmental assessment methods through joint research, with the goal of making these methods available to a large number of companies. Furthermore, in light of the demand for transparent and objective information disclosure on the relationship (dependence/impact) between corporate activities and the natural environment, such as the launch of the TNFD*4 , we aim to develop new indicators that can be used to analyze the impact of corporate activities on marine biodiversity and risk/opportunity.
4 TNFD: Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). Following the lead of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which has been a driving force in shaping public opinion and creating a framework for global decarbonization, the TNFD aims to establish a framework for market participants, including corporations and financial institutions, to manage and disclose nature-related risks and opportunities. An international initiative launched in June 2021 with the aim of establishing a framework for companies, financial institutions, and other market participants to manage and disclose information on nature-related risks and opportunities. INOCA is also a member of the TNFD Forum, a collective of stakeholders
Thoughts on Collaboration
Yota Takakura, CEO, Inoka Co.
We are very pleased that this collaboration has been realized. Japan is a coral-rich country with more than half of the world's reef-building coral species. While corals are important in terms of natural capital, it is predicted that most of them will be dead by 2040. Both companies will make every effort to raise the importance of marine biodiversity from Japan to the world through environmental transfer technology.
Yosuke Tojo CTO, Shiseido Co.
The collaboration with INOCA, which has focused on marine biodiversity ahead of its time in Japan, a country with oceans in all directions, and continues to take on the challenge of digitally controlling unique technologies to reproduce the marine environment, has been realized. The addition of this collaboration to the collaboration between Shiseido and the University of the Ryukyus will greatly advance the establishment and implementation of a technological foundation for marine ecosystem impact assessment in Japan and accelerate Shiseido's sustainable manufacturing. With an eye to its application as a global evaluation method, we will deliver cosmetics that not only realize beauty for consumers but are also friendly to the global environment.
Past Initiatives with the University of the Ryukyus
In collaboration with Associate Professor Takashi Nakamura of the Faculty of Science at the University of the Ryukyus, who is engaged in research on reef-building corals and coral reef organisms, Shiseido focused on changes in the state of coral communities and the photosynthetic efficiency*5 of zooxanthellae that live in coral, and conducted an evaluation of the effects of UV-protectants on two types of corals*5: soft corals (sea squirts) and hard corals (rock corals) 6 to evaluate the effects of UV-protectants on these corals. Furthermore, we utilized the Tokyo Bay Risk Assessment Model developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) to verify the presence (concentration) of UV-protectants in the ocean when Shiseido's leisure-use sunscreens are actually used in the sea. Simulations were also conducted under conditions assuming the most frequent use by bathers in midsummer*7.
By multiplying the results of these verifications and evaluations, we have worked to assess the impact of sunscreens on the ocean in a way that more closely resembles actual conditions of use. Based on the results of this evaluation, we are developing our leisure-use sunscreens with extremely low impact concerns on coral communities.
5 Photosynthetic efficiency: The value at which light energy is used most efficiently when an organism performs photosynthesis under certain conditions (photosynthetic maximum quantum yield).
6 Coral: Coral used in the experiment was collected with a special harvesting permit from the prefectural governor in accordance with Okinawa Prefecture regulations.
7 Conditions: Calculated based on information such as sunscreen use area, amount of sunscreen used, and number of past bathers.
About INOCA Corporation
With a vision of "creating a world where people and nature coexist in harmony," INOCA is a venture company founded in 2019 by an aquarist (a breeder of aquatic organisms) with leading coral breeding techniques in Japan and an engineer who used to conduct AI research at the University of Tokyo. The company is promoting research and development of "environmental transfer technology" that reproduces an arbitrary ecosystem in an aquarium by combining the artisanal knowledge of aquarists with IoT and AI technologies, and is developing highly unique businesses such as laboratory research on marine biodiversity and the "Coral Reef Lab" educational program under the mission of "making the ocean visible. The company is also engaged in highly unique projects such as laboratory research on marine biodiversity and the "Coral Reef Lab" educational program.
About the University of the Ryukyus
The world's coral reef ecosystems have suffered massive and devastating damage in recent years and will continue to undergo repeated, large-scale disturbances in the future.
Nakamura Laboratory conducts research mainly in coral reef areas, combining field surveys on coral reefs and experiments while rearing coral reef organisms. We also emphasize the importance of combining the results obtained from laboratory experiments and field surveys to reveal things that could not be understood by each of these methods alone.
Under the corporate mission "BEAUTY INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD," Shiseido aims to "realize a sustainable society where people can experience happiness through the power of beauty" by the year 2030. We aim to "realize a sustainable society where people can experience happiness" through the power of beauty by 2030.
In the environmental area, based on the idea of "Manbai Seikatsu "*8 , which is also the origin of our company name, we are working to build technologies and business models that can reduce environmental impact and realize a circular economy rather than a disposable economy. Throughout the entire value chain, we are implementing three strategic actions: "reducing the burden on the global environment," "developing sustainable products," and "promoting sustainable and responsible procurement" with consideration for the environment and human rights. In addition to the environmental area, we are also working to solve social issues with a focus on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). We are implementing three strategic actions: "Gender Equality," which leverages our characteristics as a beauty company; "Empowerment through the Power of Beauty," which contributes to shining in one's own way; and "Promotion of Respect for Human Rights," which forms the basis of all our activities.
8 A passage from the Chinese classic "I Ching": "How wonderful is the virtue of the earth, from which all things are born!
▼ Shiseido Company Information
|name of company||INOCA Corporation|
|Location||Landic Toranomon Building 2F, 3-7-10 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo|
|Business Overview||Environmental Consulting / Educational Services / AI Development|
|uniform resouce locator||https://corp.innoqua.jp/|
|name of company||Shiseido Company, Limited|
|Location||7-5-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo|
|uniform resouce locator||https://corp.shiseido.com/jp/|