Corporate Social Responsibility Information

Saving of Energy and Reduction of Greenhouse
Gas Emissions During Residence Period

Green Smart Proposals

With CO2 emissions in Japan’s household sector increasing year by year, the Japanese Government revised*1 the energy efficiency standards for housing and other buildings in October 2013, and these have been in full force since April 1, 2015. Compliance with the energy efficiency standards will gradually be made compulsory for all new houses and buildings by 2020.
In response, as a provider of about 9,000 custom-built detached houses a year to the Japanese market, Sumitomo Forestry offers “Green Smart,” a housing development concept that meets these new standards.
Wood is a renewable natural resource that absorbs and stores CO2 during its growth process. As well as using wood for its principal structural members, Sumitomo Forestry has offered housing proposals where residents can live comfortably all year round by incorporating its Ryouonbou design, which takes advantage of natural blessings such as the wind and sun. “Green Smart” fuses the Company’s expertise in utilizing these “unique characteristics of wood and blessings of nature” together with its technologies for the “reduction of energy consumption” (such as improvements in thermal insulation) and its technologies for the “smart use of energy” (such as equipment for generating and storing energy, and HEMS*2). By boosting energy efficiency in the house, the Company seeks to reduce CO2 emissions during occupancy.
The Japanese Government’s 2014 Energy Basic Plan sets the goal to realize Zero Energy Houses (ZEH) in standard new-uilds by 2020. Based on our housing technologies outlined in the Green Smart that leverage features of wooden materials and natural resources as they are, the proliferation of ZEH will be accelerated through further reinforcement of the insulation efficiency and the installation of a solar power generation system, enabling essentially zero annual consumption of primary energy.

  • *1 As a consequence of the revisions, the evaluation now covers comprehensive energy efficiency, including thermal insulation, the use of natural energy and installation of energy-efficient devices.
  • *2 Home Energy Management System—a system whereby residents can visualize the amounts of energy they generate and use.
Green Smart

Features of Green Smart

Reduction of Energy Consumption
  • Improves the thermal insulation performance of ceilings, external walls, floors, windows, etc.
  • Uses low-emissivity (low-E) double glazing filled with argon gas for large windows where the greatest heat is lost
Thermal insulation using low-E glass

Thermal insulation using low-E glass


Wooden House
  • Uses wood, which has lower CO2 emissions during the processing stage, and which has better thermal insulation compared to iron and concrete
  • The Ryouonbou design utilizes a sense of comfort brought about by nature
Thermal conductivity of different materials

Thermal conductivity of different materials


Smart Use of Energy
  • Installs solar power generation systems and residential fuel cell units (Ene-Farm)
  • Also installs household storage batteries and HEMS, which allows residents to visually gauge their energy usage
The HEMS screen

The HEMS screen

Trends in Installation Rates of Solar Power Generation Systems and Ene-Farm Units for New Orders
  FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015
Solar power generation systems 36% 45% 51% 43% 35%
Ene-Farm units 30% 41% 53% 51% 43%
Environmentally friendly equipment installation rate 51% 62% 72% 66% 58%

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Release of Model Town Plots for Sale at the Sustainable Smart Town, also known as “Sakimachi Araiminami Sustaina Town”

Sumitomo Forestry, in collaboration with Toyota Home and PanaHome started the sales of model town plots at Sakimachi Araiminai Sustaina Town located in Arai District, Wakabayashi-Ward of Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture. We provide HEMS as well as “smart homes” that equipped certified as Excellent Long-Term Housing models with solar power generation systems, “Double Power Generation*¹,” and EV and PHV chargers in the area. The town as a representation of a sustainable smart town effectively utilizes naturally-derived energy.

  • *1 Double Power Generation is a system provided by Panahome and Sumitomo Forestry only. Toyota Home provides EcoCute.

Overseas Development of Energy-Efficient Housing

In April 2010, Henley Properties (QLD) Pty Ltd. a Group company of Australia became the first company in Australia to make available a zero-emissions demonstration house that is expected to achieve energy-saving benefits of more than 70% compared to existing homes of a similar size. In March 2012, the company constructed a community place, under a zero-emissions model, in a residential lot in Southeast Melbourne in cooperation with local government. The building features a solar power generation system, a solar hot water heater, a 6,000-liter rainwater tank, and a home energy management system (HEMS). Combined with double-glazed windows and a concrete slab and walls providing excellent thermal insulation, the building has earned an eight-star energy rating*1. In December 2012, the company completed a house for a general customer with a nine-star energy rating.
With environmental awareness increasing, the need for energy efficiency in Australia is mounting. Henley Properties is working to promote the widespread adoption of these homes.

Community place based on the zero-emissions model

Community place based on the zero-emissions model

  • *1 An evaluation of the energy burden for heating and cooling the inside of a building in Australia. Insulation, windows, the type, size and orientation of the building, and the climatic zone are all factors. The highest rating of 10 stars indicates that no heating or cooling whatsoever is needed to maintain a comfortable indoor living environment. Five stars indicates that the building has high insulation performance, but that a minimum of energy is required for heating and cooling.

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Proposals for Energy-Saving/Environmental Renovations

Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech Co., Ltd. promotes renovations from energy-saving and environmental points of view. It brings success in reducing environmental burden by proposing solutions through improvement of basic home functionality such as earthquake resistance, thermo insulation, and barrier-free design and installation of facility equipment with high energy efficiency. The insulation renovation, specifically, can mitigate the health risk from heat shock in addition to lower the cost of air conditioning. In fiscal 2015, Sumitomo Home Tech established “Healthy Life Reform” under which the reform proposal concerning health impact by room temperature was introduced.

Number of energy-saving/environmental renovations*1

Number of energy-saving/environmental renovations
  • *1 Number of renovated properties with a contract proce of at least 8 million yen

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Research and Development of Life Cycle Carbon Minus (LCCM) Housing

Sumitomo Forestry is engaged in the development of Life Cycle Carbon Minus (LCCM) housing to achieve negative CO2 emissions across the entire life cycle of a home—from construction, occupation and renovation through to demolition and disposal—by using environmental sound equipment such as solar power systems.
Throughout fiscal 2015, the Company conducted R&D associated with living environment from perspectives of health and comfortability in addition to energy reduction. As a preventative solution against excessively dry room conditions during winter, it integrated a humidifying function into the central heating system and developed an energy-saving heating system that improves the room temperature of non-living spaces, for instance, a bathroom. From an energy-saving aspect, the simulation tool used to display the effect of environmentally-sound equipment when proposing the solution was developed, and its operation is due near future. Today and onwards, the Company progressively continue R&D for the realization of “smart wellness homes” which will bring greater convenience beyond the aforementioned energy-saving and living environment features.

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Offsetting CO2 through Project EARTH

The volume of CO2 emitted during the process of harvesting timber used for principal structural members through to the processing, transportation and construction of Sumitomo Forestry Home houses is around six tons per home. Sumitomo Forestry is implementing an initiative called “Project EARTH” in which this CO2 is offset through reforestation activities. The initiative will offset CO2 emissions for all custom-built and spec homes sold between fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2016, and involves planting around 4.8 million trees on a total 2,400 hectares of land and managing cultivation of those trees for 10 years after planting. Reforestation will take two forms—environmental reforestation aiming to revive ecosystems on degraded land, and industrial reforestation to be advanced together with the community to both realize sustainable forest management and contribute to the region.

Project EARTH carried out in East Java, Indonesia

Project EARTH carried out in East Java, Indonesia

Project EARTH carried out in East Java, Indonesia

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Environmental Reforestation in an Indonesian National Park

Since fiscal 2009, Sumitomo Forestry has been carrying out an environmental reforestation project on degraded land in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, located in East Java, Indonesia. This had involved developing a 6-meter firebreak in the plantation forest stretching a total length of 12 km, as well as improving firefighting equipment and conducting patrols. However, in October and November 2014, fires broke out in areas outside the plantation forest. The fires spread, affecting about 400 hectares of previously afforested land, and the situation was that about half of the planted trees would wither and die.
A decision was made to reforest all of the planted trees that had withered, and this operation is underway. Going forward, Sumitomo Forestry plans to apply the lessons learned from the fires, and with the cooperation of officials from the Indonesian government, aims to establish a fire-prevention / fire-fighting system to combat the risks of forest fires that are caused by abnormal weather which would otherwise be largely difficult to project.

Site of the environmental reforestation project in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

Site of the environmental reforestation project in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

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Industrial Reforestation in East Java, Indonesia

Since fiscal 2010, Sumitomo Forestry has been carrying out an industrial reforestation project in collaboration with the community, centered on Supiturang village at the foot of Mt. Semeru in Lumajang Regency, East Java. This is a sustainable forestry project whereby part of the profits from harvesting matured trees will be distributed to improve the livelihoods of community residents, while the remainder is used to cover the costs of replanting and cultivation and other expenses. By fiscal 2015, a total around 1,680 hectares of forest had been planted. The trees panted at the beginning of the project have already matured and due harvested. Therefore, replanting and logging are carried out simultaneously.

Site of the industrial reforestation project in Lumajang Regency

Site of the industrial reforestation project in Lumajang Regency

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CSR Report 2016