CSR Information

Examples of Social Contribution Activities in Japan

Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori Project

National forest cloaking the foothills of Mt. Fuji was extensively damaged when a typhoon struck southern parts of the Kanto region in 1996. In 1998, setting out to restore the vitality of the original forest, Sumitomo Forestry launched a natural forest restoration project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Company’s establishment; encompassing around 90 hectares of the damaged forest named Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori.

The Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori is opened up not only for the volunteer activities in reforestation and environmental education programs, but also for NPOs and other organizations. A total of 1,468 people visited Mt.Fuji Manabi no Mori from inside and outside of the Company in fiscal 2016 with a total of more than 23,500 people visiting the project between 1998 and 2016.

Volunteer Activities in Forestry Development

Tree-planting activities carried out by many volunteers from both inside and outside the Company since the start of the project in 1998 have already been completed and the project is now in the cultivation stage. Cultivation activities such as underbrush clearing, pruning and thinning will be continued.

Volunteer activities were implemented on 7 occasions in fiscal 2016, with participation by a total of 274 visitors.

Company-led volunteering

Company-led volunteering

Forest Recovery Volunteer Activities Trend

Forest Recovery Volunteers Trend

Environmental Education Program

Sumitomo Forestry has been implementing an Environmental Education Program for local elementary and junior high school students since fiscal 2006 in collaboration with the NPO Whole Earth Institute. Activities include nature observation and games incorporating the five senses. The aim of these opportunities to rediscover the natural world is for the students to learn about the importance of nature and encourage them to consider new ways in which people can coexist with nature in the future. In fiscal 2016, a total of 794 students from 8 schools participated in the program.

Environmental Education Program

Environmental Education Program

Environmental Education Program Trend

Environmental Education Program Trend

Vegetation Monitoring and Wildlife Censuses

Experts have been carrying out surveys, including vegetation monitoring and wildlife censuses, since fiscal 2000, providing valuable data for understanding the biodiversity of the region.

Cultivating a forest is a never-ending job and Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori, too, is a 100-year project. To ensure that the project is still running 100 years from now, forest management and environmental activities will be continued as a way to communicate the importance of nature to as many people as possible.

Page Top

Forest Maintenance Activities at Gunma Manabi no Mori

In July 2012, Sumitomo Forestry and Gunma Prefecture signed a prefectural forest maintenance partnership agreement, and are working with the prefectural authorities to promote the maintenance of forest at the foot of Mt. Akagi.

Located within the jurisdiction of Maebashi City, Akagi Forest is owned by Gunma Prefecture, which promotes maintenance and conservation of its forests in cooperation with companies and organizations. During fiscal 2016, Sumitomo Forestry held Gunma Manabi no Mori in October. About 50 people participated, including employees of Sumitomo Forestry and partner builders and their families. In the activity, the participants experienced planting Japanese cypress seedlings and also thinning of grown trees with guidance from the local forestry. Maintaining and conserving forests requires ongoing care, and so two activities are planned again for fiscal 2017. As the August event in FY2016 had to be canceled due to a typhoon, the owners of Sumitomo Forestry Home will be invited to the July event in FY2017 as well.

Gunma Manabi no Mori

Gunma Manabi no Mori

Page Top

Passing Down Heritage and Precious Tress to the Next Generation

Sumitomo Forestry uses the most cutting-edge biotechnology in addition to conventional grafting and cutting based on the request of owners to pass down heritage and precious trees to the next generation. We are also putting our strength into breeding seedlings that provide the properties in the flowers and leaves of heritage and precious trees as a way to pass down both heritage and precious trees to the next generation. In addition, we are building a DNA database for trees to further advance a sophisticated program to identify individual varieties.

Breeding uniquely sacred Kitano Sakura cherry blossom trees that change color
from white to pink in the Kitano Tenmangu Honden (Main Shrine) in Kyoto

We have been advancing research and development related to the breeding of “Kitanosakura” seedlings since 2014 to pass down the sacred Kitano Sakura trees located in front of the Kitano Tenmangu office in Kyoto, which are a unique species with flowers that change color as they blossom. However, Sumitomo Forestry succeeded in breeding these trees through a stem apex culture, which is one type of tissue culture, in April 2016. Kitano Tenmangu is known for plums, but the Ukon horse track on the inner grounds of the main temple that opened in 807 was in fact a favorite place famous for cherry blossom viewing of Sugawara Michizane, who was a Captain of the guards of Ukon. The "Ukon" noh song set in the Ukon horse track sings of spring coming to reign as a goddess.

Return of the tissue cultured seedlings and DNA analysis
of the Sacred Kitano Tenmangu Plum Tree

We succeeded in breeding seedlings through tissue cultures in 2015. Thereafter, the Sacred Kitano Tenmangu Plum Tree “Beniwa Konbai” that had been raised with the utmost care was returned to Kitano Tenmangu. Moreover, different genes in the leaves and roots were discovered as a result of examining the genes of the Sacred Plum Tree estimated to be over 300 years old. These results indicated a great potential to breed these sacred trees through grafts. Documents describe the breeding of plum trees from the end of the Heian Period through the Kamakura Period through clone propagation such as grafting and cutting. We were unable to scientifically prove grafting was used in the Edo Period from DNA analysis results and the estimated ages of trees in this research. In the future, however, we believe it is possible to dig deeper into the history of grafting by examining the DNA of even older trees.

The Sacred Kitano Tenmangu Plum Tree “Beniwa Konbai”

The Sacred Kitano Tenmangu Plum Tree “Beniwa Konbai”

Page Top

Owners Networking “Fureai no Mori Tree-Planting Tour”

In October 2016, "Sumitomo Forestry Home" Owner networking event "Fureai Forest Afforestation Tour" was held at Ehime Prefecture Niihama Company-owned Forest, where Sumitomo Forestry began its history. This social event is aimed to provide an opportunity for the Sumitomo Forestry Home owners to witness the Group’s sustainable forest management first hand and also to build good company-owner relationships.

28 people from 11 groups participated in the event and planted about 900 Japanese cypress trees, which is equivalent to 0.3 hectares.

Tree-planting scene

Tree-planting scene

Page Top

Conducting Courses for High School Students Under the Theme
to Find New Potential of Wood to Rediscover the Power of Trees

Sumitomo Forestry Group cooperated in the 16th Nikkei Education Challenge held in July 2016. The Group conducted a course under the theme to Find New Potential of Wood to Rediscover the Power of Trees for high school students who will be entrusted the future of our society.

High school students learned the wonders of trees, the new potential of wood, and the current state of timber use in Japan as well as the importance of domestic timber use through participation in this program.

The program introduced wonders of trees that included the functionality of wood as a material and the beautiful aging of trees as time passed like the wind with course content able to evoke interest and understanding in the high school students. At the same time, the program shared the current reality of insufficient use of domestic timber regardless of the fact that roughly 70% of the land in Japan is covered in forest. In addition, the course appealed to the social mission and significance of the Sumitomo Forestry Group in actively using domestic wood as well as promoting the reforestation of forests and plantations as well as the revitalization of local regions.

Page Top

Conducting Corporate Research Seminars for SGH-designated
Ehime Prefectural Matsuyama Higashi High School

As part of the Super Global High School (SGH) Program underway since 2014, the students of Matsuyama Higashi High School visit Niihama, Ehime, where the Sumitomo Forestry Group was founded, to take part in a seminar every year.

The seminar held in June 2016 was made up of two sections; a lecture to introduce the businesses of the Sumitomo Forestry Group as well as a discussion about the experiences of employees working abroad among other things in addition to field work at the Forester House in Kyubesshi. These students learned about the corporate spirit passed down through the close to 325-year history of Sumitomo Forestry as well as the contributions to current business expansion overseas.

In fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015, students visited the Djakarta office to experience the Sumitomo Forestry business expansion in Indonesia.

Sumitomo Forestry sponsors and cooperates with the Super Global High School Program to foster global leaders starting from high school who can participate on the international stage through these series of activities.

Field work scene

Field work scene

Page Top

CSR Report2017