Corporate Social Responsibility Information

Sumitomo Forestry Group’s Businesses
and CSR

Origin of Sumitomo Forestry CSR

“The Large-Scale Afforestation Project” –the project restored the Besshi Copper Mine beginning in 1894 is where our CSR originated.
Sumitomo Forestry has valued and honored the Sumitomo Spirit for generations. It is the way of thinking that seeks benefit for the individual, the nation and society as a whole and management that does not pursue easy gains and that takes a long-term perspective. The business spirit of Sumitomo that values fairness, integrity, and sound management serves as the source of the firm trust from society.
Sumitomo Forestry can trace its beginnings to the use of wood harvesting operations in neighboring forests to fortify the Besshi Copper Mine opened in Ehime Prefecture in 1691. Timber was crucial for the mining operation, however, by the end of the 19th century, the forests around the Besshi Copper Mine were facing severe degradation due to long periods of excessive harvesting and smoke pollution. The then principal of the mine, Teigo Iba, believed that “allowing this land to be degraded while moving forward with business made possible by its fruits runs counter to the proper course of our relationship with nature. We must return all the mountains of Besshi to their verdant state.” With this belief, he launched the Great Reforestation Plan in 1894 to restore the forests that had been lost. Through a process of trial and error, and by implementing large-scale planting efforts of up to more than two million trees per year, the mountains were eventually returned to a state of rich greenery.
It is the sustainable forest management based on the gratitude for the nature’s resources that serves as the starting point for Sumitomo Forestry’s business activities and for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Sumitomo Forestry Group’s Businesses

In recent years, the global environmental issues and social issues have grown prominent, and society is challenged by the significant turning point. As a corporate group that conducts forest management and provides timber and homes to customers both within Japan and overseas, Sumitomo Forestry Group believes that it can play a major role in resolving these problems.

Environment and Resources Business

Based on the principle of sustainable forestry, the Sumitomo Forestry Group carries out systematic forest management across about 46,000 hectares of vast Company-owned forests in Japan, and is actively engaged in the supply of timber and the revitalization of the forestry industry. The Group promotes sustainable forest operation overseas, managing some 230,000 hectares of plantation forest. The Group also contributes to the preservation of biodiversity and the development of local communities. Consulting services are also provided in Japan and overseas, meeting the diversifying needs of forestry management.

Timber and Building Materials Business

As Japan’s leading timber and building materials trading company, the Sumitomo Forestry Group pursues a broad range of operations, from the procurement of timber and building materials to manufacturing and logistics. The Group also offers logistics systems that streamline the distribution of home building materials to manufacturers, distributors, housing companies and other businesses. Leveraging its strengths in procurement and functionality proposals which draw on its global network, the Group has achieved a stable supply of high-quality timber and building materials to satisfy a wide variety of needs. The Sumitomo Forestry Group has established bases in Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand and the United States, and manufactures high-quality environmentally conscious wood building materials. It is reinforcing its capacity to supply, not only to Japan, but also to emerging countries where increased demand is expected in the wake of economic growth.

Overseas Housing and Real Estate Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group is expanding the scale of its housing and related businesses in the United States and Australia, in areas that expects steady populations growth and demand for housing. In Asia, where a wide range of housing demand is expected to grow, the Group is actively exploring businesses to leverage synergy with its existing businesses.

Housing Business

Sumitomo Forestry Home houses are the leading brand of custom-built wooden houses in Japan, utilizing the unique characteristics of wood and employing advanced construction methods. They enjoy a reputation of being comfortable, safe and secure houses that are environmentally conscious and durable for many years of residence. The Group also supplies apartments, utilizing its design capabilities accumulated in developing custom-built houses to offer refined exteriors, interiors abound with the qualities of wood and a level of comfort only possible with wood.

Housing Stock Business

Amid a changing sense of values toward housing, from flow to stock, the Sumitomo Forestry Group is involved in the remodeling and renovation businesses, raising the value of existing homes. From detached houses to condominiums and shops, the Group provides a variety of services that enable customers to live in their homes and operate stores longer and with more peace of mind.

Greenery Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group conceptualizes optimal greening initiatives in a variety of areas, including housing, city planning, office buildings, urban spaces and satoyama (mountain areas linked to local communities). From the perspectives of biodiversity and sustainability, support is also provided for the environmental greenification of corporations. Comprehensive support is offered, from consulting, through to planning and design, construction and maintenance.

MOCCA (Timber Solutions) Business

Additional increases in production and consumption of wood has been in the spotlight as one of Japan’s national policies. With this in mind, the Group is promoting a shift to the previously less common wood construction of medium to large buildings in non-residential sectors, as well as a greater use of wood qualities in interiors. Through the construction of facilities in fields where there is a strong fondness for wood—namely medicine, education and commerce—the Group aims to create a new wood culture by increasing opportunities for people to be inspired by wood.

Residential Property Development Business

Based on the Group’s expertise developed through a wide range of wood-related businesses, it is engaged in a new form of property development unique to Sumitomo Forestry. From space design to planting and designing lifestyles, the Group fully leverages its comprehensive capabilities to produce detached spec homes in harmony with the local natural environment and culture. Through the development of residential property that grows along with its residents, the Group is helping to realize a higher quality of life.

Lifestyle Service Business

Japan is a country faced with a super-aging society, and here, the Sumitomo Forestry Group operates community- based nursing care facilities and day care services for the elderly. In addition, the Group also provides a variety of businesses closely connected to people’s lives, including the production and sale of agriculture-related products. The Group is constantly focused on creating new services that contribute to a higher quality of life.

Environment and Energy Business

The Group is committed to promoting energy businesses that utilize wood resources and natural energy. With wood biomass power generation, the Group is currently participating at four facilities in Japan using construction debris and unused forest materials as fuel, thereby contributing to the supply of environmentally conscious energy and to the effective use of forest resources.

Overseas Manufacturing Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group has established bases in Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand and the United States, and manufactures high-quality environmentally conscious wood building materials. It is reinforcing its capacity to supply, not only to Japan, but also to emerging countries where increased demand is expected in the wake of economic growth.

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CSR Report 2016