Establishment and Certification of Science Based Targets (SBT)

As the impact of climate change becomes more urgent globally, companies are being asked to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases as a measure to counter global warming. The Sumitomo Forestry Group submitted a commitment letter to SBTi* to establish an SBT for the entire Group in June 2017. The new set of long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets has been approved as SBT by SBTi in July 2018. Its progress and results are explained below.

  • 1. Scope 1&2: 21% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2017 (base year) by 2030.

  • 2. Scope 3: 16% reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions from Category 1 and Category 11 compared to 2017 (base year) by 2030.

Sumitomo Forestry Group will further strengthen its energy-saving activities, promote use of renewable energy, and other initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change based on the SBT.

* The SBTi was established in 2015 as a collaboration of four organizations - CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, to help companies determine a pathway for reducing their emissions in line with what is required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures. In Japan, the Ministry of the Environment has translated this in Japanese as “Corporate 2°C Target" and is supporting company efforts.


Page Top

Progress on Reaching Our SBTs

In July 2018, the revised Sumitomo Forestry Group greenhouse gas emission reduction targets were officially approved by SBTi. In fiscal 2020, scope 1 and scope 2 emissions declined 3% compared to fiscal 2019 due to shorter operation of plants mainly due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the adoption of solar power generation panels at plants in Japan. Scope 3 emissions rose 1.9% compared to fiscal 2019 resulting from an increase of delivered household sales in the overseas housing and real estate business as well as the addition of Scott Park as a Sumitomo Forestry Group company.

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also issued its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, which published the latest scientific findings regarding global warming. According to this report, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century will have a significant difference in impact on the global environment. In light of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, the SBT initiative revised its reduction targets for two types of greenhouse gas emissions for the SBT certification in April 2019 to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C (in effect as of October 2019). The Sumitomo Forestry Group is driving forward internal adjustments to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the future from its business activities in accordance with the revised SBT targets.

Progress toward our science-based reduction target: Scope 1 and 2

Shift in SBT certification targets: Scope 1 and 2

Progress toward our science-based reduction target: Scope 3 (Category 1 and 11)

16% reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions from Category 1 and 11 compared to 2017 by 2030

*1 The calculation method for Category 1 emissions of Scope 3 was revised to apply Accounting Standards for Revenue Recognition (Corporate Accounting Standard No. 29) as of fiscal 2019.

*2 The period of data collected for total emissions in fiscal 2020 is from January to December 2020 while the period of data for emissions collected in the previous years was from April to March.

Page Top

Aiming for 100% Renewable Energy and Joining the RE100

The Sumitomo Forestry Group positions reduction of environmental impact of our business activities as one material issue that needs to be addressed and strives to engage in energy-saving activities and use of renewable energy. As part of these initiatives, we joined the international RE100* initiative that aims for 100% of electricity used to be from renewable energy in March 2020 to accelerate our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

By 2040, we aim to utilize 100% renewable energy for the electricity used for our Group business activities and for the fuel for our power generation operations.

* RE100 is an international initiative run jointly by The Climate Group, a global environmental NGO, and the CDP. As of February 2021, 290 companies worldwide are members, of which 50 companies are Japanese.


Page Top

Toward to the RE100 Goal

In fiscal 2020, the renewable energy adopted for Sumitomo Forestry Group business activities included solar power generation panels installed at our housing exhibition sites and power generated for our own use (including an adjacent wood fuel chip factory) from our biomass power generation sites. The amount of renewable energy accounted for about 17% of our total group electricity usage. The fuel derived from biomass power accounted for 88% of the quantity of fuel used for the power generation business (calorific value conversion).

To accelerate the implementation of renewable energy, we plan to have each business division set its own targets and tackle the issue as a company-wide initiative.

Page Top

Approach to Use 100% Renewable Energy

For Sumitomo Forestry Group to achieve 100% renewable energy for the electricity for our operations, we are utilizing Sumirin Denki, a service where we purchase surplus power as well as supply electricity generated from solar power systems of Sumitomo Forestry home houses. We are also considering installing solar power generation systems in our factories both in Japan and overseas. Furthermore, we will consider a diverse range of procurement methods that take advantage of programs in each country we operate while aiming to use 100% renewable energy.

Utilizing Sumirin Denki Solar Power Generation for Domestic Electricity Usage

In November 2019, Sumitomo Forestry Group launched Sumirin Denki, a service for owners of Sumitomo Forestry Group homes where we purchase surplus energy generated by their household solar power systems and supply it to others. We began this service with the completion of the government’s FIT (feed-in tariff) fixed-price renewable energy purchase system.

We are working on ways to utilize this energy from Sumirin Denki for our business offices and appropriate it to our domestic electricity consumption. Because Sumirin Denki is based on solar power, we need to think of ways to supply electricity at night and are working on the installation of batteries as well as the procurement of other electricity sources, such as biomass power generation from our own Group operations. As of December 2020, we have 403 contracts with our customers. In the future, Sumitomo Forestry will expand the number of Sumirin Denki contracts to enhance market penetration of this initiative.

Expanding Solar Power in Our Factories

As Sumitomo Forestry Group, our manufacturing facilities account for about 30% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve RE100, it is vital that we conserve energy and expand the use of renewable energy in our factories.

In May 2020, a new plant was opened in the Kashima Plant site of Sumitomo Forestry Crest, which manufactures interior materials. Under a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) model* to hold down initial costs, we installed 1,540 solar power panels in this new factory building, which is forecasted to generate approximately 549 MWh of power annually, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 260t-CO2 per year. In addition, PT AST Indonesia (AST), which manufactures and sells furniture, wooden building materials and interior housing materials, is constructing a new plant to expand production. About 90% of AST greenhouse gas emissions comes from electricity consumption and with the operation of the new plant, electricity consumption is expected to increase. However, we are planning to install 3,384 solar power generation panels on the roof of the new plant, which will produce approximately 2,181 MWh of power annually, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 1,600t-CO2 per year.

Both in Japan and overseas, Sumitomo Forestry Group is considering the installation and expansion of solar power panels in our manufacturing sites in an ongoing effort to increase the ratio of renewable energy.

* PPA Model: A system whereby a host loans out factory rooftop space to a power generation company to install solar power generation panels and then purchases the electricity generated from these panels for its own use

Exterior view of the Kashima Factory

Exterior view of the Kashima Factory

Approaches to Realizing RE100 at Overseas Manufacturing Sites

Our New Zealand subsidiary Nelson Pine Industries Ltd., which manufactures and sells MDF (medium-density fiberboard), veneer and LVL (laminated veneer lumber), consumes the most electricity within our Group. In New Zealand, a high ratio of power composition is from hydropower, geothermal power and other forms of renewable energy, and was approximately 80% as of 2016. The New Zealand government has set out a goal for 100% renewable energy by 2035, which is when we forecast to achieve RE100.

With the momentum for implementing renewable energy growing in Southeast Asia, we are considering the installation of solar power generation systems at our other manufacturing sites in Indonesia and Vietnam. In the United States and Australia where we are primarily involved in the housing business, we plan to steadily transition to renewable energy thanks to the ability to procure renewable energy at low cost and the issuance of sufficient renewable energy certificates.

Page Top

Promotion of the Renewable Energy Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group is advancing renewable energy generation businesses, including solar power generation as well as biomass power generation that chips and uses scrap construction wood in addition to unused forest resources and other such materials as fuel.

The Kanda Biomass Power Generation Plant is set to start operations in June 2021 while the Morinomiyako Biomass Energy Plant should be up and running by November 2023. Sumitomo Forestry aims to maximize the use of wood resources and in turn bolster the local economy by promoting its wood biomass power generation business.

In 2020, the combined output of power generation that resulted from all of these efforts was 501.11 million kWh.

* CO2 emission reductions compared to the electricity purchased from power companies. These emissions are calculated using the CO2 emission coefficients of mainly Hokkaido Electric Power and Tohoku Electric Power.

Trends in the Amount of Renewable Energy Generation

Trends in the Amount of Renewable Energy Generation

*1 The amount of electricity generated from wood biomass power generation covers only consolidated subsidiaries and includes the use of coal as an auxiliary fuel to ensure smooth operation and maintenance

*2 The period of data collected for fiscal 2020 is from January to December 2020 while the period of data for emissions collected in the previous years was from April to March of the following year

Wood Biomass Power Generation Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group operates wood biomass power generation facilities that are fueled by recycled chips primarily using leftover from construction as raw materials, wood not suitable as a building material, and thinning leftover in forests and other unused forest resource.

The CO2 emitted by burning wood does not contribute to CO2 in the atmosphere as part of the life cycle of the timber because the CO2 in the atmosphere is absorbed through photosynthesis as the trees grow (concept of carbon neutrality). Therefore, the Group has been engaged in wood biomass power generation as a type of business that contributes greatly to the advancement of forestry, such as the effective use of wood, mitigation of CO2 emission increase and the maintenance of local forest environments.

In February 2011, the Sumitomo Forestry Group entered this sector with the operation of the urban-oriented Kawasaki Biomass Power Generation Plant (generation capacity: 33 MW), which primarily uses scrap construction wood as fuel. Thereafter, full operations began at the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant in December 2016 with a generation capacity of 50 MW, the Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Plant in April 2017 with a generation capacity of 6.2 MW and the Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Plant in April 2018 with a generation capacity of 12.4 MW. All of these plants generate power primarily from unused forest resource from Japan.

Once the 75 MW Kanda Biomass Power Generation Plant begins full operation in June 2021 and the 75 MW Morinomiyako Biomass Energy Plant in November 2023, the Group will have a total power generation capacity of roughly 251.6 MW, which will supply electricity to approximately 555,000 households.

Drawing on past experience in the wood biomass power generation business, the Group will continue to expand renewable energy business operations suited to local conditions and other requirements.

Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant

Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant

Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Plant

Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Plant

The Group's Wood Biomass Power Generation Business

Business Location Power generation capacity Start of operations Main features
Kawasaki Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co., Ltd. and Fuluhashi EPO Corporation)
Kanagawa Prefecture
Kawasaki City
33MW February 2011
  • Largest biomass power generation facility in Japan that primarily burns scrap wood as fuel
  • Utilizes recycled chips produced from construction debris and waste pallets from Tokyo and surrounding suburbs, as well as pruned branches
  • Equipped with environmental mechanisms, such as flue gas desulfurization equipment, an exhaust gas denitrizer and a bag filter, the urban-sourced biomass power generation plant clears Kawasaki City's strict environmental standards
Mombetsu Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co., Ltd.)
Mombetsu City
50MW December 2016
  • Unused timber and forest material is primarily procured from within a 75km radius of the power plant and turned into chips at an adjacent plant before being used as fuel.
  • Palm kernel shell, plus some coal is also partially used as an auxiliary fuel
Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Iwakura Corporation and Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd.)
Tomakomai City
6.2MW April 2017
  • All of the fuels are from unused forest resource in Hokkaido.
Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co., Ltd. and East Japan Railway Company)
Aomori Prefecture
Hachinohe City
12.4MW April 2018
  • Unused forest resource from forestlands in the Sanpachi-Kamikita-Shimokita region of Aomori Prefecture, timber offcuts, and railway forest thinnings from the nearby railway lines will be used as the main source of fuel
  • Some palm kernel shell will be used
Kanda Biomass Power Generation Business
A joint capital venture between RENOVA Inc., Veolia Japan K.K., Kyuden Mirai Energy Co. Inc., and Mihara Group K.K.
Fukuoka Prefecture
Miyako District
75MW June 2021
  • Fuel uses thinnings and unused forest resource from northern Kyushu in addition to American pellets and Indonesian palm kernel shell
Morinomiyako Biomass Energy Generation Business
Joint venture with RENOVA Inc., United Corporation, Mizuho Leasing Company, Limited and RenoDa Partners G.K.
Miyagi Prefecture
Sendai City
75MW November 2023
  • Fuel uses pellets produced mainly in North America and palm kernel shell from Indonesia and Malaysia

Solar Power Generation Business

Sumitomo Forestry owns a solar power generation facility that generates 3,429 kW in Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The Company gives consideration to mitigating the environmental impact of the power generation facility and expanding applications for the use of timber by installing some wooden mounting frames that are mainly made of domestically produced Japanese cedar.

In fiscal 2020, the combined output of power generation was 4,123,000 kWh.

Solar panels and environmentally friendly wooden frames

Solar panels and environmentally friendly wooden frames

Promoting the Use of Unused Forest Resource

Amount of unused forest resource from domestic forest

Unused forest resource

Unused forest resource

Unused forest resource is left-over wood biomass generated from logging or thinning of standing trees in forests. Wood biomass power generation plants are operating in each area and the demand for wood biomass is growing following the adoption of the FIT law (Feed-in Tariff for Renewable Energy). By using unused forest resource, we can expect an effective increase in the value of forests while also promoting renewable energy. In fiscal 2020, the Group used 333,000 tons of unused forest resource. We will continue to work on building up systems for the efficient, stable collection of unused forest resource.

Adoption of High-Performance Silviculture Machines

Effectively Extracting Unused Forest Resource

Mombetsu Forestry Office introduced Scandinavian harvesters and forwarders able to turn in small circles in 2015 to begin efforts to deliver log harvest/thinnings (unused forest resource) as biomass power generation plant fuels.

Moreover, by selecting forestry equipment with high-level driving performance in narrow forest areas, operators are able to execute all harvesting and transport operations while on the machine. We consider this is an initiative that improves safety and will play a role even in eliminating occupational injuries.

Scandinavian harvester

Scandinavian harvester*1

Scandinavian forwarder

Scandinavian forwarder*2

*1 Self-propelled high-performance forestry machine that brings together each operation to cut, de-limb, and vertically cross-cut*3 timber, which had traditionally been done with a chainsaw

*2 Self-propelled high-performance forestry machine that collects and feeds vertically cross-cut timber on a cargo bed

*3 To cut crude timber to a standard length

Page Top

Promotion of Net Zero Energy House (ZEH) Specifications

ZEH Standardization Target

ZEH Standardization Performance

The household sector in Japan still has high level emission of CO2 although the trend has slowed down. Japan has launched policy targets that aim for more than half of all custom-built detached houses constructed by housing manufacturers and other companies to be ZEH compliant by 2020 in the measure to counter global warming approved by Cabinet decision in May 2016. The Fifth Strategic Energy Plan approved by Cabinet decision in July 2018 sets a goal that “aims to achieve ZEH (net zero energy houses) for more than half of the ordered detached houses newly constructed by home-makers, etc. by 2020 and for all newly constructed houses on average by 2030.”

ZEH is a scheme for housing to provide less than zero annual net primary energy consumption by combining equipment to generate energy such as high thermal insulation efficiency, energy-saving equipment, and solar power generation.

This standard responds to many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including not only Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts but also Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The standardization of ZEH will contribute to building a sustainable society.

Wood is conventionally a renewable natural resource that absorbs and stores CO2 during its growth process. As well as using wood for its principal structural members, Sumitomo Forestry has offered housing proposals where residents can live comfortably all year round by incorporating its own unique Ryouonbou design, which takes advantage of natural blessings such as the wind and sun. The Company's expertise in utilizing these unique characteristics of wood and blessings of nature together with its technologies for the reduction of energy consumption, such as improvements in thermal insulation as well as the adoption of energy-saving equipment, and its technologies for the smart use of energy, such as equipment for generating and storing energy and HEMS*1.

Given the ZEH targets established by Japan, Sumitomo Forestry has set a ZEH standardization target of 80%*2 for fiscal 2020, and reached 56% (all of Japan excluding Hokkaido)*2 as of fiscal 2020. We are making greater insulation efficiency in buildings and around openings as well as built-in solar power generation systems basic specifications as of April 2017 in our new housing.

*1 Home Energy Management System— a system whereby residents can visualize the amounts of energy they generate and use

*2 Data collection period: April 2020 to March 2021. Values include Nearly ZEH and ZEH Oriented while they exclude Hokkaido and Okinawa Pref. respectively. The fiscal 2020 targets and results for Hokkaido are, respectively, 51% and 62%. ZEH is defined as a primary energy reduction rate of 100% or more including renewable energy such as solar power generation systems while Nearly ZEH is defined as between 75% to 99%. ZEH Oriented is defined as a primary energy reduction rate of at least 20% (however, this is limited to housing built on narrow urban sites), excluding renewable energy.
This is a different indicator from the percentage of orders for ZEH type houses out of new custom-built detached houses (52.1% in FY2020 [April to December] results/values based on orders for ZEH, Nearly ZEH and ZEH Oriented) in the Mid-Term Sustainability Targets


Wooden Houses with Superior Insulation

If the thermal conductivity of wood is 1, the thermal conductivity of concrete would be almost 13 and steal upwards of 440. Wood as a material is a superior insulator to mitigate the transfer of heat. In addition, Sumitomo Forestry uses high-performance 24K glass wool thermal insulator (high-end product) based on its own unique standards.

Comparison of Materials by Thermal Conductivity

Comparison of Materials by Thermal Conductivity

Unique Standards of Thermal Insulators of Sumitomo Forestry

Unique Standards of Thermal Insulators of Sumitomo Forestry

Adoption of 360° TRIPLE Insulation Standards

Sumitomo Forestry has adopted 360° TRIPLE Insulation as a standard that enhances the insulation efficiency of custom-built detached homes (excluding fireproof specifications). In addition to offering high-performance thermal insulation materials, the standard provides all-around insulation for buildings as a whole from structural materials to windows with high thermal performance to realize affordable yet comfortable lifestyles.

360° TRIPLE Insulation creates a living space that stays cool in the summer, warm in the winter and increases energy-saving performance. This insulation option supports the highest 5 star standard of the Building-Housing Energy Efficiency Labeling System (BELS) certification* advocated by the Japanese government.

We have applied for BELS for all of our custom-build detached houses. BELS is a labeling system with which a third party evaluation organization evaluates and certifies the energy efficiency of new and existing structures using an index indicating the energy performance and asset value of each building. Our initiative strives to make Sumitomo Forestry the first major housing manufacturer to have every building BELS-certified. Sumitomo Forestry homes enhancing insulation efficiency deliver assured safety and comfort proven by the BELS certification.

* BELS is one third-party evaluation system based on the Building-Housing Energy-Efficiency Labeling Guidelines (evaluation standards on labeling of the energy consumption performance for buildings) defined by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. This certification is run by the Association for Housing Performance Evaluation & Labeling. The system objectively evaluates energy efficiency to display a five-tier star rating. BELS stands for the Building-Housing Energy-efficiency Labeling System.

Limiting Energy Loss with Highly Insulating Glass

Windows cause the greatest loss of heat in living spaces. Shielding interior spaces from heat in the summer and preventing heat from escaping in the winter is vital. As windows cause the largest heat loss, Sumitomo Forestry uses low-E multi-layered glass with argon gas inside. Argon gas is injected between the multi-layers of glass to mitigate heat transfer to the air while the panes are coated with special metal film. The superior thermal insulation and insulation properties shield interior spaces from heat in the summer and prevent heat from escaping in the winter.

Insulation using low-E multi-layered glass

Insulation using low-E multi-layered glass

Double Power Generation

Sumitomo Forestry recommends the installation of solar power generation system, as well as residential fuel cell units. Double power generation can generate the necessary electricity for daily life in the home. Furthermore, Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) realize zero energy homes (ZEH specifications) by proficiently managing energy consumption throughout the home.

Double Power Generation

Trends in Installation Rates of Environmentally-Friendly Equipment (based on number of houses)

FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Solar power generation systems 48% 46% 51% 56% 57%
Ene-Farm units 34% 34% 35% 36% 27%
Eco One* 16% 18% 16% 17% 15%
Environmentally friendly equipment installation rate 68% 69% 72% 75% 70%

* Hybrid electric and gas hot water and central heating systems

New MyForest BF Release Brings a Lifestyle Offering the Rich Quality of PRIME WOOD

In April 2021, Sumitomo Forestry launched the new MyForest BF nationwide (excluding Okinawa). MyForest BF takes advantage of high-quality wood products carefully selected by Sumitomo Forestry to propose an original material as PRIME WOOD and achieve a truly luxuriously and warm indoor space. By leveraging the power of wood which enhances focus and relaxation, MyForest BF creates a living space that alleviates the stress of time spent at home doing telework and other things as well as a new way of life to spend treasured time with family.

The strength and ingenuity of the original Big Frame Construction Method (BF Construction Method) offers peace of mind and comfort to residents and uses wood and tile throughout the exterior to create an always-appealing look matching the cityscape. The BF construction method not only can create an amazingly spacious home with minimal pillars and walls but also offers a highly adaptable structure to renovate things, such as shifts to the room plan as children grow and throughout the life stage of families.

These houses of wood deepen the love families have for their home as they live there by letting them discover a new family lifestyle offering comfort.

Renovating to Improve Function and Asset Value

Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech promotes renovations from energy-saving point of view. We propose the installation of energy-efficient equipment alongside better insulation efficiency as well as new life styles that decrease the energy consumed in daily life, realize reductions to the environmental impact, and decrease lifetime heating and lighting costs.

The insulation renovations can also mitigate health risks from heat shock.

We will continue to focus on seismic retrofitting proposals and actively strive to bring about excellent long-term housing in existing properties as well as long-term excellent extension and alteration standards by improving the performance in thermal efficiency, energy-savings and seismic retrofitting.

Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech has set a goal to improve the order rate of environmentally-friendly renovations in the Mid-Term Sustainability Targets announced in May 2019.

In fiscal 2020, we achieved a 62.2% total order rate for seismic construction, structural reinforcement work, insulation renovations, and smart material installations on standard property (other than owners of Sumitomo Forestry homes), exceeding our 55% target.

The impact of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) increased the need to build comfortable, safe environments able to enhance the times spent at home, such as the preparation of telework environments. Active advancements in seismic and structural reinforcement work responding to intermittent earthquakes occurring these days allowed us to surpass our targets.

In terms of battery storage, we hold seminars and campaigns to share the benefits of resilience renovation using solar power plus battery storage (iedenchi-NX) with owners of Sumitomo Forestry Homes equipped with solar power generation systems. These campaigns facilitate non-face-to-face estimates while seminars are conducted in an online format as full measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Needs for Environmentally-friendly renovations will continue to grow in the future in order to ready properties for potential natural disasters.

Example of notices about resilience reform seminars and campaigns

Example of notices about resilience reform seminars and campaigns

Moving Higurashi Bettei, Shisakajima, Reopened as a Commemorative Hall

Higurashi Bettei was designed by Magoichi Noguchi, a renowned architect of the Meiji period. Built as a guest house and other purposes for the Sumitomo family in 1906, it is located on the island of Shisakajima in the Seto Inland Sea, about 20km off the shore of Niihama(where the copper mine was located).

As one of 20 Sumitomo Group companies involved in the project to move the structure to a hilltop location in the city of Niihama, Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech was engaged in the reconstruction of the structure, which opened to the public in November 2018 as the Higurashi Bettei Museum and conveys the history of Sumitomo.

The history behind the construction of Higurashi Bettei is that it was built as an adjacent structure when Sumitomo's copper smelter was moved to Shisakajima in order to overcome the smoke pollution in Niihama caused by the Besshi Copper Mine operation. More than 110 years after its construction, the building was deteriorating despite its many invaluable design features inside and out. In the relocation construction work, we used timber produced in Ehime Prefecture to build the structure with improved seismic resistance. Design features such as fireplaces, ceilings and floors were carefully dismantled from the original structure, and reconstructed upon relocation.

Exterior view

Exterior view



Cleaning drainage water stains

Cleaning drainage water stains

Page Top

Carbon Stock in the Housing and Construction Business

Trees retain CO2 as carbon even after they are turned into products. Constructing wooden houses can therefore be likened to building forests in the city. The total domestic carbon stocks*1 in timber that was used in construction of the houses in the MOCCA (timber solutions) business in fiscal 2020*2 reached 185,000 t-CO2. The Sumitomo Forestry Group contributes to measure to counter global warming by increasing carbon stocks for forests and cities.

*1 CO2 fixation is calculated by categorizing the actual amounts of timber used per tree species for new detached houses, rental housing, and MOCCA business, and calculating carbon content from the specific gravity of each tree species.

*2 Data collection period: January to December 2020

Carbon stock of the timber used in the construction of houses and MOCCA (timber solutions) business in Japan in fiscal 2020

Carbon stock of the timber used in the construction of houses and MOCCA (timber solutions) business in Japan in fiscal 2020

Page Top

Sales of Environmentally-friendly Housing Overseas

Henley Properties drove forward efforts to enhance energy-saving performance in the Australian housing industry, such as pioneering its own standard specifications ahead of competitors, by recommending a five-star energy rating*1 for the standard energy-saving performance in 2001. Efforts toward the environment accelerated further after the involvement of the Sumitomo Forestry Group in 2009. Henley Properties conducted a variety of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact, including the development of the first zero emission house*2 for the general consumer as a major home builder company in the country.

In Victoria, Henley Properties also uses low carbon concrete by replacing approximately 20% of cement, the primary ingredient in concrete used in foundations of homes, with fly ash (waste produced when burning fossil fuels) and blast furnace slag (byproduct separated from iron ore in the iron manufacturing process in blast furnaces). The low carbon concrete successfully reduced CO2 emissions by about three tons per home in the construction stage.

More than 80% of new homes built in Australia uses veneer glass because multi-layered glass has not become as popular for use in homes as in Japan due to cost. However, since 2018, Henley Properties was the first in Victoria to make multi-layered glass a standard specification in order to increase the insulation efficiency of homes*3.

Henley Properties also leads the industry in efforts to improve airtightness. A survey conducted in 2019 showed homes built by Henley Properties have shown airtightness roughly three times higher than the average home in Australia*4. This level of airtightness can reduce the power consumption necessary for heating and cooling the average home by approximately 25%.

Henley Properties is not only improving environmental performance but is also pioneering the development of residential properties that consider the health of the people living there. The Company is also developing a system to provide ventilation while mitigating construction, lighting, and heating costs to improve the air quality inside the home. Moreover, Henley Properties reviewed primary construction and finishing materials and adopted interior coatings with ultra-low VOC*5 in accordance with the advice from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. These measures achieve housing that suppresses rising costs, maintains high quality, and protects the health of the people living there.

*1 An evaluation metric of the energy burden for heating and cooling the inside of a building in Australia. Insulation, windows, the type, size and orientation of the building, and the climatic zone are all items included in this metric. Currently, a six-star rating is the standard specification.

*2 Environmentally-friendly housing expected to have an energy-saving effect of more than 70% compared to conventional housing.

*3 Multi-layered glass is effective in improving insulation efficiency of homes by limiting the thermal reflux to approximately 35% less compared to veneer glass.

*4 The average value for Henley Properties is 5.9 ACH where the average housing in Australia is 15.4 ACH (ACH is an index that indicates the air leakage per hour at a 50 Pa indoor-outdoor air pressure difference. The lower the value the higher the airtightness).

*5 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic chemical substances volatile in the air at ordinary temperatures and pressures. Many construction coatings and adhesives contain these organic chemicals and have the potential to cause sick house syndrome or impact human health in other ways when dispersed in large quantities.

Ventilation System Development

Ventilation System Development

Coatings Containing Low VOC Percentage

VCoatings Containing Low VOC Percentage

Page Top

Research and Development Related to Life Cycle CO2 (LCCO2)

Sumitomo Forestry clarifies shared benefit offered by wood construction and promotes reductions of CO2 emissions related to construction (Embodied Carbon), evaluations of CO2 fixation as well as research and development related to the reduction of CO2 emissions during operations (Operational Carbon) as a way of further contributing to the environment and society.

In addition to investigating reductions of CO2 emissions related to construction, such as differences of emissions due to the type of structure and identifying major factors influencing emissions, we are also advancing research to further contribute to an environment by promoting initiatives across Sumitomo Forestry divisions from forest management to material procurement and improvements. In the future, we plan to begin development of a system that can evaluate CO2 emissions during the construction planning stage.

Moreover, we are realizing even further reductions in operational CO2 emissions through the adoption of various technologies with a low environmental impact to realize zero energy buildings, verification of the benefits of the new building at the Tsukuba Research Institute completed in 2019, dramatic reductions of CO2 emissions through energy creation using solar panels on the roof and an air-conditioning system that uses wood pellets as a renewable energy fuel, and reductions of consumption energy during operations through the use of natural energy such as daylight and natural ventilation. Sumitomo Forestry intends to continue furthering these energy reduction efforts through innovations to operational methods founded in measurement data.

Page Top

Sustainability Report