Message From Top Management

Our Origins- Utilizing the Potential of Trees and Wood and Acknowledging the Importance of Natural Resources

Ryu Yano
Chairman and Representative Director

Akira Ichikawa
President and Representative Director

Place importance on integrity and sound management. Conduct business activities that benefit both the company and society- Sumitomo Forestry has followed these principles contained within the Sumitomo Spirit by contributing to society and the global environment through its involvement with trees and wood.

These ideas originated at the Besshi Copper Mine in Ehime Prefecture, a private mine that had been around since the Edo period and played a role in the modernization of Japanese industry. Sumitomo Forestry's business dates back to 1691 with the management of the forest around the Besshi Copper Mine, and the company has supported copper mining operations there for more than three centuries since.

By 1890, some 200 years after the mine opened, the forest had become devastated by years of excessive harvesting and smoke pollution. At this point, a large-scale reforestation plan was implemented to regenerate forest through extensive tree planting. Up to around one million trees were planted each year, eventually returning the mountainsides near the Besshi Copper Mine to their natural green state.

You could say the history of Sumitomo Forestry tells a story of social contribution, having learned about the potential of trees and wood and the importance of natural resources through its primary business of tree planting and forest cultivation.

These ideas live on today in our Corporate Philosophy, which states, "The Sumitomo Forestry Group utilizes timber as a renewable, healthy, and environmentally friendly natural resource, and contributes to a prosperous society through all types of housing-related services."

In observing its Corporate Philosophy, Sumitomo Forestry employs a vertically integrated business model centered around trees and wood. Our forestry and environment businessinvolves forest planting and cultivation. The timber and building materials business entails manufacturing and distribution of those materials. The housing business provides comfortable homes, utilizing the warmth of wood. The remodeling and renovation business and the greening business, too, are part of this vertically integrated business model.

A Company Contributing to Society and the Global Environment

Global environmental problems such as global warming and fossil fuel depletion are increasingly becoming global issues. From the perspective of a corporation, contributing to society and the global environment through business activities is both a vital social responsibility and key to corporate growth.

The times are such that Sumitomo Forestry looks to further enhance its business model of effectively using renewable timber resources. Our plantation forest operations, for example, help to secure timber materials, absorb CO2 and sequester the carbon, and preserve biodiversity. Promoting use of Japanese timber(*1) revitalizes Japan's forestry industry and contributes to cultivation of water resources(*2) as well as to conservation of land- for example, through landslide prevention. Meanwhile, taking advantage of the characteristics of wood by building wooden houses that can be lived in for a long time allows environmentally friendly and economical lifestyles.

Sumitomo Forestry is currently pursuing its Long-Term Management Plan, Project SPEED, which will shift the company's business portfolio to better match the times. By steadily implementing the plan, Sumitomo Forestry aims for even further growth as a corporation contributing to society and to the global environment.

(*1) Timber from forests in Japan

(*2) Surface water in the form of rainwater or river water that seeps through the forest floor to become groundwater