HIGH LIGHT 01 Adapting to Climate Change Increasing Environmentally-friendly Houses

As the Sumitomo Forestry Group engages in the sales of housings, one of the areas which we can contribute the most in reducing environmental impact is the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions from housings that people live in.

We aim to standardize Net Zero Energy House (ZEH) which enables household's consumption of primary energy to be net zero or less, and contributes to mitigating climate change. To achieve this, we are strengthening our efforts through business activities by setting a standardization target of 80% by fiscal 2020.


Example: SDG targets 7.3

By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

Sumitomo Forestry's contribution in achieving the goal

  • Promotion and sales of ZEH
  • Research and development of Life Cycle Carbon Minus* housing
  • Development of housing that are safe and resistant to fires, earthquakes, and other disasters

* Concept of having a negative CO2 emission balance in a house's entire lifecycle from procurement of raw materials, construction, living, renovation, demolition, to disposal.

Contribute in economic benefits and raising environmental awareness
Initiatives in Oita Branch, Which has the Most ZEH Orders

The Sumitomo Forestry Group is promoting the diffusion and sales of ZEH and 33% of housing orders in Japan were ZEH in FY 2017. In particular, Oita Branch had an extremely high rate of 84.7%.

Oita Branch thoroughly explains the characteristics and merits of the ZEH to the customer during proposal. One of the characteristics of Sumitomo Forestry's ZEH is two power generation systems using solar panels and fuel cell units (Ene-Farm) for households. The largest benefit is that the use of both electricity and gas allows reduction of heating and lighting costs compared to all-electric house. Another strength is design capabilities cultivated through custom-built housings and insulation efficiency from the use of wood.

These benefits are based on first-hand and objective external feedbacks and can provide the customers better understanding. Specifically, we visit a house which a customer actually lives in our on-site tour and the resident explains how their annual heating and lighting costs are saved. We also hold lectures by financial planners to explain more about the result of saving heating and lighting costs from the aspect of family finance.

We received feedback from customers who built ZEH, in addition to enjoying the energy-saving benefits, children are enjoying power saving like a game as amount of power generated by the solar panels and power usage are visible on the indoor monitor. As shown in this feedback, the standardization of ZEH began from a pursuit of greater economic benefits through energy-saving but is also contributing in raising environmental awareness of the customers.

ZEH standardization target and results (including Nearly ZEH)*

  FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2020
Japan (Excluding Hokkaido and Okinawa) Target 5% 35% 80%
Results 32% 33% -
Oita Branch Results 68.3% 84.7% -

* Custom-built base While ZEH is defined as a primary energy reduction rate of 100% including solar power, Nearly ZEH is defined as between 75% to 100%.


Reforming Awareness and Making Proposals with Determination

I have been working on raising the sales of ZEH since I was assigned to this branch as way to differentiate from competitors and as a measure against global warming. As a result of promoting to make proposals to all the customers, we were able to achieve an incredible result of 84.7% by the third year.

I focused mainly on changing the awareness of the sales staff. I made persistent small steps such as holding workshops and quizzes that are unique to the branch for the staff to accumulate knowledge and raise their persuasiveness. The largest contribution to our success was that sales staff come to share my thinking of not just competing by price but highlighting added values of reducing fixed costs in living such as electricity and other energy costs and environmental contribution to the customers.

As customers are becoming more aware about ZEH, I hope to promote them even further.

Housing and Construction Division Former General Manager of the Oita Branch (Currently the General Manager of Nishi-Kyushu Branch) Kentaro Mori

Kentaro Mori
Former General Manager of the Oita Branch
(Currently the General Manager of Nishi-Kyushu Branch)
Housing and Construction Division


Energy-saving Housing for Overseas
Activities by Henley Properties in Australia

The Sumitomo Forestry Group is engaged in sales of highly energy-saving housing in overseas as well. For example, in April 2010, Henley Properties (QLD) Pty Ltd. a Group company 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.

Furthermore, airtightness and insulation are being improved to increase the energy-saving performance. In 2018, Henley Properties became the first builder in Victoria, Australia to implement multiple layer glass as a standard specification.

The Sumitomo Forestry Group will continue to consider the regional characteristics and needs around the world to develop housing with high environmental performance and it standardization.


Establishment and Certification of Science Based Targets

The Sumitomo Forestry Group engages in activities to reduce greenhouse gas emission throughout the Group and promote the standardization of environmentally-friendly housing. In July 2018, our long-term target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 21% compared to 2017 by 2030 received certification from Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

SBT logo

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