CSR Information

Responsible Timber Procurement

Basic Policy of Timber Procurement

Forests around the world are decreasing due to illegal logging, excessive slash-and-burn farming, conversion to agricultural land and other practices, and this has been a social issue on a global scale. Because timber is one renewable resource essential to Sumitomo Forestry Group's businesses, deforestation and forest degradation are also significant challenges concerning sustainability of its business operations.

As a responsible builder of wooden houses and buildings as well as a trader of timber and building materials, we work with our suppliers to build a reliable supply chain and contribute to developing a sustainable society.

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Promotion System of Timber Procurement Management

Sumitomo Forestry Group established the Timber Procurement Committee, chaired by the head of the CSR Department and comprising managers from departments in charge of timber procurement for the trading and housing operations. The committee discusses issues related to group-wide timber procurement, including procurement standards and risk assessments for illegal logging.

Timber Procurement Committee

Timber Procurement Committee

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Enabling Sustainable Timber Procurement

Procurement Policy

Under the Sumitomo Group Procurement Policy, Sumitomo Forestry Group carries out due diligence on timber procurement to ensure that the procurement is performed in a sustainable manner with consideration of compliance, human rights, labor practice, biodiversity, and local communities.

Compliance

When performing due diligence, the Company ensures suppliers supply the timber that meets logging compliance requirements and use only the timber products made with raw materials that satisfy the requirements by consulting the provided information. Normally, the information include names and locations of the producers, held certifications or permits, procured product names, quantities of the products, used wood species, their logging sites, and their main buyers.

Additionally, the aforementioned information sorted by country, region, wood species, and timber type is then compared with the procurement standards stipulated by Timber Procurement Committee for a risk assessment against illegal logging. For timber products found at medium to high risk, the Company requests additional information from their suppliers, sends its investigators for on-site inspections, and implement measures to mitigate the risk.

Consideration for Human Rights, Labor, Biodiversity Conservation and Local Communities

Following items are checked, through supplier surveys and local interviews for the products that are being procured:

・Whether the rights of workers and local inhabitants are abused in the area where we procure the products and their raw materials from. If this is the case, whether suppliers check their logging practices take place with consideration for these rights.

・Whether the high conservation values forests are included in the area where we procure the products and their raw materials from. If this is the case, whether suppliers check their logging practices with consideration to forests with high conservation value.

Review

Continued efforts to improve the supply chain is encouraged through the reports on the progress of these activities from sections in charge of timber procurement.

Timber Procurement Management System

Timber Procurement Management System
  • * In addition, non-compliance matters are reviewed through surveys and interview assessments.

Timber Procurement Committee met three times in fiscal 2016 and conducted surveys at 110 suppliers for import timber to confirm their compliance. Moreover, an on-site inspection was undertaken in Romania in April 2017.

On-Site Inspection in Romania

Several environmental groups have expressed their concerns over illegal logging in the forest management and timer production in Romania in recent years. In this on-site inspection, we observed the lumber manufacturing of the supplier and the primary harvest of logs that is actually transported to the plant. The supplier properly checks transport permits and the logs bundled on the trailer when receiving raw material logs at the lumber manufacturing plant. For example, the visiting staff was able to confirm that the supplier is thorough in segregated management to make sure not to use logs brought in that exceeds the amount permitted and it is engaging in measures that include reporting to the forestry authorities. We received an explanation of forest management from a forest ranger on the harvest land and checked the actual hammer stamp mark and process when loading the trailer in the field. In addition, we confirmed the care in work to preserve the rare forest ecosystem by observing the forest conservation areas under the jurisdiction of Romania.

Inspection of harvest land still covered in snow

Inspection of harvest land still covered in snow

Check when loading the trailer

Check when loading the trailer

Properly checking the delivery at the plant using tablet terminals

Properly checking the delivery at the plant using tablet terminals

Segregated management of round wood beyond the amount on the permit

Segregated management of round wood beyond the amount on the permit

Current Timber Procurement

Japan has announced the Act on Promotion of Use and Distribution of Legally-Harvested Wood and Wood Products (Clean Wood Act) as an effort against illegally harvested timber on May 20, 2016, which was enacted on May 20, 2017. Interest in sustainable procurement is also growing with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo set for 2020. The Sumitomo Forestry Group will precisely reflect the needs of the market and will continue to contribute to encouraging the standardization of forest certification programs and certified materials.

Procurement of Timber for House Building Materials

The Sumitomo Forestry Group’s primary products, wooden houses, require a significant amount of wood materials which constitute about 15% of weight of all materials used. In fiscal 2016, the Group used approximately 125,000 tons of wood in total.

Total Material Weight Per-House
Material Type Weight
Wood 15.46t
Metal 3.66t
Plastic 1.90t
Paper, Fiber 0.11t
Glass, Ceramic, Unburnable Building Material 13.60t
Concrete 53.17t
Rubble 14.30t
Housing Equipment 1.08t
Total 103.28t
  • * The weight per material type was provided by Sumitomo Forestry Tsukuba Research Institute based on 2012 BM147 Plan.
Purchase and Sales of Timber and Timber Products

Sumitomo Forestry Group is a trading company of timber building materials imports about 1,630 thousand m³ yearly of timber products such as wood and plywood from abroad.

Breakdown of Imported Materials

Breakdown of Imported Materials

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CSR Report2017