Corporate Social Responsibility Information

Forest Management Overseas

Forest Management Overseas

The Sumitomo Forestry Group has taken three approaches to conducting plantation forest operations. The purpose of “industrial plantation” is to produce wood and increase the supply of plantation timber (raw material). By zoning its managed land appropriately, the Group aims to achieve both the conservation of valuable ecosystems and the development of local communities through plantation forest operations.
In addition, the Group also conducts “environmental reforestation,” aimed at planting trees for the environmental conservation. It aims to contribute to environmental conservation through the expansion of forested areas and the fulfillment of the ecosystem services function of forests, by actively planting trees on land where natural regeneration would otherwise be difficult. The Group has also been engaged in “social forestry” which shares the economic benefits of forest plantation with local communities while enlisting the cooperation of local residents.

Page Top

Reforestation project in West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Since 2010, under the license from Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry permitting utilization of timber from commercial forests*1, Sumitomo Forestry has been committed to a large-scale forest plantation business conducted in cooperation with the ALAS Kusuma Group, a company involved in forestry management and plywood manufacturing in Indonesia. The project covers the area where repeated illegal slash-and-burn farming and logging practices have persisted, and further degradation is foreseen. To halt the future degradation, the Company believes that proper management of the planned plantation area and provision of the economic foundation for local communities through businesses are important.
The Company produces seedling stocks of various tree species using its technology considering environmental factors such as the soil and moisture content of the planned plantation area. The process of labor-intense planting, nurturing, and felling of trees generate local employment. Additionally, to bring reforestation in practice, the Company makes continuous improvement through studies and monitoring of the reforestation practices based on the latest findings while proactively consulting with third-parties.

  • *1 Issued by the Indonesian government, this is a business license to engage in industrial timber plantation operations in Indonesia. The license is valid for 100 years.

Page Top

Reforestation project in collaboration with the ALAS Kusuma Group
Reforestation project in collaboration with the ALAS Kusuma Group
2012 ・Signed a contract with International Finance Corporation (IFC)—member of the World Bank Group for the provision of advisory services. In accordance with the concept of High Conservation Values Forests (HCVF)*1 that draws great attention in recent years, Sumitomo Forestry conducted assessments on its operational properties with IFC and investigated whether the property use plan is implemented as stated and adequate consideration is made for biodiversity and livelihood of local residents. The reports of the investigation results were audited by a third-party organization, and valuable comments made by stakeholders on the report will be adapted in the business plan.
2013 ・Held public hearings where stakeholders such as local residents, companies in the communities, academics, NGOs, and government officers were invited to share the results of the investigations.
・Obtained the PHPL certification, formally called Sertifikat Pengelolaan Hutan Produksi Lestari issued by Ministry of Forestry (Departemen Kehutanan) on sustainable forest management.
2015 ・Received advice from IFC and incorporated into business practices; on cooperation with stakeholders, such as local residents, and on forest fire prevention methods.
  • *1 HCVF outlines methods to propose multi-facetted values of forests beyond the value as absorbers of greenhouse gases, encompassing the value as habitats of rare, endangered animal species, the value as water sources, the value as providers of essential natural services such as prevention of soil erosion, and the value as important areas for traditional and cultural identities of local communities.

Conservation of Peat Swamp Forests

Past method of tree planting on peat swamps*1 have started with establishing many water drainage canals, and drying-out the land. However, land drying-out results in the decomposition of underground organic matters that leads to releasing greenhouse gases and to global warming. Dried peat, once ignited, is very difficult to extinguish, creating the risk of large-scale forest fires.
In order to sustain the water level even to keep the soil wet, it is important to conduct appropriate control and monitoring of ground water level. Therefore, in drawing up a forestation plan, the Sumitomo Forestry conducts a full field survey based on which the following areas are identified: (1) areas to be protected such as riparian areas and forest reserves, (2) buffer zones, and (3) plantation zones. In the plantation area within peat swamps, water routes have functions of timber transportation, water level regulation, and firebreaking. The water routes are kept disconnected with rivers in order to prevent water drainage which causes emission of greenhouse gases.

  • *1 Characteristics of the peaty soil found in the peat swamps is known to emit enormous amounts of greenhouse gases, typically carbon dioxide and methane gas, if the soil was inappropriately exploited. Owing to joint researches by Japanese and Indonesian academic institutes, this project takes consideration to minimize greenhouse gas emissions that accrue as the peaty soil dissolves during exploitations.
植林方法の模式図

Page Top

Forest Management Consulting Business Overseas

Corporate needs for forest management are diverse. In recent years, there has been a considerable number of companies conducting forest conservation activities and planting activities in developing countries, for the purpose of mitigating the impact on forests in overseas countries and regions where they are doing business, or for the purpose of fulfilling their corporate social responsibility.
Drawing on its knowledge of forest management in Japan and overseas, Sumitomo Forestry implements its consulting business for restoration of degraded forests in tropical regions, the rehabilitation of biodiversity, and for the protection and cultivation of forests that takes into account local communities.
The Company plans to enhance the value of existing projects in cooperation with local governments and relevant organizations, and to promote the proposal of new mechanisms such as REDD+ as well as ongoing projects that contribute to local economies through forest management and agricultural production.

Page Top

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd.'s Project for the Rehabilitation and Regeneration of the Paliyan Wildlife Sanctuary

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd. has been involved in efforts for restoring the devastated forests in the Paliyan Wildlife Sanctuary (Gunung Kidul Regency in the Special Region of Yogyakarta) in Indonesia since 2005. Sumitomo Forestry has provided associated consulting services.
During the first phase of activities to March 2011, around 300,000 trees were planted on 350 hectares of land. Since April 2011, with a goal of creating a framework for local people to voluntarily protect their abundant forest areas, Sumitomo Forestry has provided support for an agricultural guidance program aimed at improving the livelihoods of local residents, the establishment of an inclusive organization to examine ways of managing protected forests, and an environmental education program in cooperation with local schools.
As part of this project, the Company has also opened the doors to its plantation forests, seminar house and other related facilities in a positive effort to make information on its experiences and know-how on forest restoration available to the public. These have been well attended by local elementary and middle school students, by Indonesian and foreign university students and experts in such fields as forestry, the environment and education, as well as by many government officials.

Pepper farming through the agricultural guidance program

Pepper farming through the agricultural guidance program

Page Top

Re-vegetation Project in Gunung Merapi National Park

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd. and PT. TS Tech Indonesia have been running a project for the restoration of ecosystems in Indonesia's Gunung Merapi National Park (Central Java) since fiscal 2012. Sumitomo Forestry has teamed up with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide support for implementation of the project.
In fiscal 2015 , the final year of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance’s Project, the Project carried out regeneration of 50 hectares land of the forest with its indigenous species with the aim to assist in the rehabilitation of devastated national park’s ecosystem from destructive activities such as illegal digging for gravel, and the capacity building of national park rangers through practical regeneration of the flora and fauna of the park. Although parts of the national park was burnt down by the fire in September, the re-vegetation activities were carried out after the fire incident. The project then came to a completion, from which and onwards, the national park rangers have fully taken over the management practices.

Plantation forest in the Gunung Merapi National Park

Plantation forest in the Gunung Merapi National Park

Page Top

CSR Report 2016