Sustainable Forest Management

Forests perform a variety of functions for the public good, such as storing and purifying water, preventing floods and landslides, absorbing and retaining CO2 which is linked to global warming, and preserving biodiversity.

On a basis of appropriate management, the Sumitomo Forestry Group advances sustainable forest management both in Japan and overseas to ensure that timber resources will be available in perpetuity while preserving the public functions of forests.

Forest Management and Timber Usage

Forest Management and Timber Usage

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Promoting Certification of Forests

The Sumitomo Group promotes the acquisition of the SGEC forest certification for forests owned in Japan as well as the FSC forest certification for plantations overseas while advocating broader use of certified timber in upstream forest management, middlestream timber distribution and downstream construction of wooden houses.

Status of Sumitomo Forestry Group Forest Certification/FM Certification*1

Certified Forests
Area (ha)
Certification System Date Certified Certification Number Certification Issuing Body
Forests Owned by Sumitomo Forestry 46,213 SGEC September 25, 2006 JAFTA-010 apan Forest Technology Association (JAFTA)
Open Bay Timber Ltd. (OBT)
(Papua New Guinea)
12,854 FSC® Septemeber 12, 2016 RA-FM/COC-005600 Rainforest Alliance
7,066 FSC® October 11, 2017 RA-CW/FM-003093 Rainforest Alliance
OBT Total 19,920
PT. Wana Subur Lestari(WSL)(Indonesia) 40,750 PHPL*2 June 25, 2013 LPPHPL-006-IDN PT Almasentra Konsulindo
PT. Mayangkara Tanaman Industri (MTI)(Indonesia) 74,870 PHPL*2 September 24, 2013 015/EQC-PHPL/IX/2013 PT Equality Indonesia
Koperasi Serba Usaha Alas Mandiri KTI (KAM KTI)(Indonesia) 1,005 FSC® December 22, 2008 SA-FM/COC-002083 Woodmark
Koperasi Bromo Mandiri KTI (KBM KTI)(Indonesia) 207 FSC® January 4, 2017 SA-FM/COC-005493 Woodmark
Tasman Pine Forests Ltd. (TPF)(New Zealand) 36,200 FSC® September 7, 2016 SGS-FM/COC-010806 SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

*1 Forest Management (FM) certification authenticates sustainable forest management by having a third-party inspect based on objective indicators with focus on: (i) compliance with laws and system frameworks, (ii) forest ecosystem and biodiversity maintenance and conservation, (iii) respect for rights of indigenous people and local communities, and (iv) maintenance and enhancement of forest productivity.

*2 Pengelolaan Hvtan Produksi Lestari (PHPL) is an Indonesian certification of sustainable production forest maintenance.

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Cultivation—Preserving the Public Functions of Forests Through Appropriate Management

The Sumitomo Forestry Group manages a total 47,977 hectares of its own forests in Japan and a total of around 230,000 hectares of managed area overseas. The Group works to maintain and enhance the public functions of these forests by carrying out underbrush clearing, pruning, thinning and other appropriate management required for them to grow.

Carbon stocks* of the Company-owned forests in Japan in fiscal 2017, the amount of immobilized carbon dioxide at beginning of fiscal 2016 were 13,060,000 t-CO2 (up by 520,000 t-CO2 from the previous fiscal year) whereas those of overseas plantations were 7,830,000 t-CO2 (up +7,763t-CO2).

* The amount of CO2 absorbed by forests and stored as carbon. Calculated using a formula that multiply volume density, carbon content, and other coefficients set per type of tree against the accumulated amount in the forest. Furthermore, if there is a purchase of large forest during this period, they are omitted as its increase of accumulated amount within the last year cannot be identified. Natural trees and planted trees are within the scope in Japan but only planted tree are included for overseas.

Carbon Stock of Forests in Japan and Overseas

Carbon Stock of Forests in Japan and Overseas

*1 Domestic: Carbon stock as of the beginning of each fiscal year

*2 Overseas: Carbon stock as of the beginning of each calendar year

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Harvesting—Supplying Timber Products Through Systematic Harvesting

The Sumitomo Group logged 68,331m³ of trees in Japan and 1,161,680 m³ of trees in overseas in fiscal 2017 in forests it owns or manages based on long-term logging plans. Harvested trees are milled and processed before finally reaching the market as products such as housing and furniture. In the case of timber turned into structural members for housing, the products are used for several decades.

Trees retain CO2 as carbon even after they are turned into products. Using timber products and constructing wooden houses can therefore be likened to building forests in the city.

The total domestic carbon stocks in timber that was used in construction of the houses in the MOCCA (timber solutions) business in fiscal 2017 reached 185,000 t-CO2.

The Sumitomo Forestry Group helps to increase carbon stocks even in cities by advancing the construction of houses and the MOCCA business, thereby contributing to global warming prevention efforts.

* Calculated as carbon dioxide fixation per newly built detached houses multiplied by number of houses completed until fiscal 2015. From fiscal 2016, CO2 fixation is calculated by separating actual amount of wood used for new detached houses, rental housing, and MOCCA (Timber Solutions) business and calculating the carbon content based on their specific gravity.

Carbon stock of the timber used in the construction of houses and MOCCA (timber solutions) business in Japan in fiscal 2017

Carbon stock of the timber used in the construction of houses and MOCCA (timber solutions) business in Japan in fiscal 2017

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Usage—Wood Can Be Reused and Does Not Increase CO2

Even after being dismantled or at the end of their product life, wooden construction and timber products can be reused as fiberboard or other wood materials in construction or as raw material for making paper, and all that time it will continue to retain CO2. The CO2 released when timber is ultimately burned as a wood fuel is what has been absorbed from the atmosphere as trees grow, and therefore it does not represent an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere over the life cycle of the tree.

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Planting–Preparing for the Next Cycle

Harvesting and using timber alone will lead to a diminishing of forest resources. The Sumitomo Forestry Group therefore promotes sustainable forest management by always planting new trees after harvesting.

In fiscal 2017, the Group planted approximately 142 hectares of forests in Japan and around 8,280 hectares overseas. The newly planted trees will absorb CO2 during their growth and retain it as carbon.

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Contributing to Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Utilizing Forest Management and Reforestation Know-How

The Sumitomo Forestry Group applies its expertise in areas such as sustainable forest management and reforestation to projects that contribute to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Group will gather the knowledge to apply with new systems, such as REDD+*, which is currently under consideration by the United Nations, and the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), which is being proposed for introduction by the Japanese Government, as well as to gathering knowledge required for those projects.

* The developed version of REDD, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. The concept "REDD+" includes, besides that of REDD, the positive emission reduction of GHGs through sustainable management and conservation of forest and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.


Participation in the Japan Public-Private Platform for REDD+

The Japan Public-Private Platform for REDD+ was established in November 2014 by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, an independent administrative corporation. Sumitomo Forestry joined the platform as a member of the Executive Committee, in a move to conserve forests in developing nations and to contribute to sustainable development such as mitigating climate change, preserving biodiversity and reducing poverty. The aim of the platform is to promote REDD+ activities, and moving forward, by expanding its circle of activities, it will contribute to global warming countermeasures through public-private collaboration.

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