CSR Information

Contributing to the Reduction
of Greenhouse Gases through Our Business

Wood Biomass Power Generation Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group operates wood biomass power generation facilities that are fueled by recycled chips primarily using leftover from construction as raw materials, wood not suitable as a building material, and thinning leftover in forests.

The CO2 emitted by burning wood does not contribute to CO2 in the atmosphere as part of the life cycle of the timber because the CO2 in the atmosphere is absorbed through photosynthesis as the trees grow (concept of carbon neutrality). Therefore, the Group has been engaged in wood biomass power generation as a type of business that contributes greatly to the advancement of forestry, such as the effective use of wood, reductions in CO2 emissions and the maintenance of local forest environments.

In addition to the Kawasaki Biomass Electric Power Corporation (33MW) already in operation since February 2011, the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant, one of Japan's largest wooden biomass power generations (50MW), started operation using Japanese timber as fuel in December 2016 and the Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Business (5.9MW) started operations in April 2017. The Sumitomo Forestry Group is also expanding its wood biomass power generation business to four plants throughout Japan, with the Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Plant (12.4MW) scheduled to begin operations in April 2018.

Drawing on its past experience in the wood biomass power generation business, the Group will continue to expand renewable energy business operations suited to local conditions and other requirements.

the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant

the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant

The Group’s Wood Biomass Power Generation Business
Business Location Power generation capacity Start
of operations
Main features
Kawasaki Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co., Ltd. and Fuluhashi EPO Corporation)
Kanagawa Prefecture
Kawasaki City
33MW February 2011
  • Largest biomass power generation facility in Japan that primarily burns scrap wood as fuel
  • Utilizes recycled chips produced by using construction debris and waste pallets from Tokyo and surrounding suburbs, as well as thinnings and pruned branches
  • Equipped with environmental mechanisms, such as flue gas desulfurization equipment, an exhaust gas denitrizer and a bag filter, the urban-oriented biomass power generation facility clears Kawasaki City’s strict environmental standards
Mombetsu Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co., Ltd.)
Hokkaido
Mombetsu City
50MW December 2016
  • Thinnings, wood left over from logging and unused wooden materials are primarily procured from within a 75km radius of the power plant and turned into chips at an adjacent plant before being used as fuel
  • Palm kernel shell, plus some coal is also partially used as an auxiliary fuel
Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Iwakura Corporation and Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd.)
Hokkaido
Tomakomai City
5.9MW April 2017
  • All of the fuels are from unused forest material in Hokkaido.
Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co., Ltd. and East Japan Railway Company)
Aomori Prefecture
Hachinohe City
Approx. 12.4MW April 2018
(Planned)
  • Thinnings from the Sanpachi-Kamikita-Shimokita region of Aomori Prefecture, timber offcuts, and railway forest thinnings from the nearby railway lines will be used as the main source of fuel
  • Some palm kernel shell will be used

Japan Bioenergy Co., Ltd. recognized as Superior Industrial Waste Processor

Japan Bioenergy Co., Ltd., which manufactures and sells wood biomass chips, was recognized as a superior industrial waste disposal operator in May 2016 by Kawasaki City.

The system to recognize businesses as superior industrial waste disposal operators evaluates and certifies excellent industrial waste disposal operators through the prefecture or city. In order to receive this recognition, the business must satisfy all of the standards that include legal compliance, business transparency, efforts in environmental friendliness, and a healthy financial strength. The validity of certification in industrial waste disposal is extended from five to seven years by receiving recognition through this system.

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Solar Power Generation Business

Sumitomo Forestry owns a solar power generation facility that generates 3,429 kW in Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The Company gives consideration to mitigating the environmental impact of the power generation facility and expanding applications for the use of timber by installing some wooden mounting frames that are mainly made of domestically produced Japanese cedar.

Solar panels and environmentally friendly wooden frames

Solar panels and environmentally friendly wooden frames

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Transitioning to Renewable Power Generation

The Sumitomo Forestry Group is advancing renewable power generation by establishing solar power generation systems at model homes as a prerequisite for power use at companies in addition to its wood biomass power generation and solar power generation businesses. In fiscal 2016, the combined output of power generation that resulted from all of these efforts was 201,660,000 kWh.

Shift in Renewable Power Generation*1
Shift in Renewable Power Generation
  • *1 Results are only for solar power generation in fiscal 2015
  • *2 The amount of electricity generated from wood biomass power generation covers only consolidated subsidiaries and includes the use of coal as an auxiliary fuel to ensure smooth operation and maintenance

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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.

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Coffee farming technical training to revitalize and protect forests in Vietnam

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has contracted the Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC) to implement a Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) feasibility study program, and in fiscal 2013, Sumitomo Forestry was awarded a contract to conduct a study. Since then, the Company has conducted a feasibility study for a project in Dien Bien Province, northwestern Vietnam that would preserve and regenerate forests that had been degraded due to slash-and-burn cultivation, improve the livelihoods of local residents, and reduce GHG emissions through biomass power generation using timber supplied from those sustainable forests.

The region is vital as a water source with the area being home to a number of dams used for power generation. It is also one of Vietnam’s poorest regions. This project contributes to environmental protection and the sustainable growth of the region. In fiscal 2015, the Company started offering a coaching program on coffee farming and process techniques, as a support that can generate cash income. Coffee had been grown at a small scale in the region in the past although local farmers lacked know-hows and techniques. The coaching program is expected to have contributed to yield increase and quality improvement of the coffee produced at the farm.

The Company will continue coordinating and cooperating with Japanese Government officials, government authorities in Vietnam, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and ASKUL Corporation.

Demonstration farm in Vietnam for coffee farming technical training

Demonstration farm in Vietnam for coffee farming technical training

Study being conducted in Vietnam

Study being conducted in Vietnam

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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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Adapting to Climate Change

Preparing and Operating Disaster Recovery Guidelines

Disaster Recovery Guidelines were put in place in the Housing Division and measures and action for operations were defined to quickly and accurately respond to damages from natural disasters to our customers houses as they become more prevalent due to climate change.

In these times of peace, each relevant department is putting together actions such as the response to natural disasters in the form of disaster recovery offices. In addition, each branch prepares customer management ledgers, stores and manages emergency supplies (sheets, sandbags, garbage bags, ropes, etc.) based on a Memorandum for Cooperation in Emergencies entered into with building contractors to review the emergency contact network at the beginning of each term.

When a disaster occurs or is expected to occur, the disaster recovery offices link and respond with all relevant departments to establish a disaster response headquarters in each target region. In addition, we immediately undertake disaster recovery measures by putting in place a disaster recovery office within the Housing Division as necessary. These systems smoothly execute preventive, emergency response and recovery measures as well as other actions.

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Selling Houses with High Disaster Preparedness

On November 4, 2016, BF-Si Resilience Plus was released to pursue security, safety and comfort when disasters such as earthquakes or flooding strike. Big-Frame Construction Method that boasts a structural strength only offered by Sumitomo Forestry ensures the safety of buildings and provides functionality for an uninterrupted lifestyle until recovery even when lifelines are cut thanks to equipment such as enhanced storage space, solar power generation systems, wall-mounted electrical boards and water tanks. A video intercom with a network camera allows the interior to be clearly seen with a wireless camera as well as gives owners the ability to check the state of their house in a disaster even while out-and-about.

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Toward the Future

Sumitomo Forestry Group plans to work to expand renewable energy businesses even further while cooperating with partners who have energy development know-how as the Japanese government targets to reach a 22% to 24% ratio of renewable energy for the total amount of power consumed by 2030 defined in the Energy Mix Policy formulated by the Japanese government in June 2015.

Moreover, we will protect the global environment and forests worldwide as well as contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases by continuing to provide consulting services appropriate for the needs of comprehensive forest management overseas through the use of our know-how in forest management and reforestation.

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CSR Report2017