Basic Policy

Forests provide a variety of functions for the public benefit, such as sequestering CO2 and storing carbon which mitigate global warming, storing and purifying water, preventing floods and landslides, preserving biodiversity, production of timber, and recreation

The Sumitomo Forestry Group advances sustainable forest management both in Japan and overseas to ensure that timber resources will be available in perpetuity while preserving these public benefit functions of forests. In upstream forest management, middlestream timber distribution and downstream construction of wooden houses, Sumitomo Forestry Group promotes the acquisition and use of the third-party forest certification, namely FSC®(FSC-C113957), PEFC and SGEC forest certification of Japan, which has cross-certification with PEFC.

The domestic forestry operation pursues profitability through production in company-owned forests while ensuring legality with due consideration for biodiversity and unique local cultures, acquiring and maintaining third-party forest certification.

As for the overseas forestry acquisition, below are the guiding principles for selection when obtaining new forests areas.

  1. Forests areas that have good relationships with surrounding villages and local communities.
  2. Forest areas where HCVA*1, HCSA*2 and FPIC*3 can be implemented, no environmental problems were identified in the past, and environmental risks can be eliminated.
  3. Forest areas where third-party forest certification can be obtained (FSC®-FM is preferable and FSC-CW and PEFC certification are acceptable as well).(FSC-C113957)

*1 High Conservation Value Assessment: inspection and assessment to establish conservation policies for areas specified as having high conservation value, such as rare flora and fauna habitat.

*2 High Carbon Shock Assessment: inspection and assessment to specify and restrict development in areas with high carbon absorption volumes so that the volume of carbon retained by forests does not decline when forest land is converted to other uses.

*3 Free Prior Informed Consent: Prior sharing of information and consensus formation with indigenous people and others in cases where there is likelihood that operations could impact the lands, territories or resources of indigenous people.

Forest Management and Timber Usage

Forest Management and Timber Usage

Area of Forest Managed and Certified in Fiscal 2020

Area of Forest Managed and Certified in Fiscal 2020

Niihama Forest

Plantation forest in New Zealand

Plantation forest in Papua New Guinea

Plantation forest in Indonesia

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Area of Forest Managed and Owned by the Sumitomo Forestry Group

As of December 31, 2020

Country Managed Area (ha) Certified Area (ha) Operations Area (ha) Plantation Area for Social Forestry (ha) FM Certification System*1 Certification Number Certification Issuing Body
Japan 47,965 47,736 27,161 0 - - -
  Sumitomo Forestry 47,965 47,736 27,161 0 SGEC JAFTA-010 Japan Forest Technology Association (JAFTA)
Indonesia 163,324 117,628 36,925 8,190 - - -
  PT. Mayangkara Tanaman Industri (MTI) 104,664 74,870 10,534 0 PHPL*2 015.4/EQC-PHPL/IX/2018 PT Equality Indonesia
PT. Wana Subur Lestari (WSL) 40,750 40,750 11,451 0 PHPL*2 10-PHPL-006 PT. Almasentra Sertifikasi
Kubu Mulia Forestry (KMF) 9,270 *3 6,300 0 *3 *3 *3
PT. Kutai Timber Indonesia (KTI) 6,632 0 6,632 0 - - -
Koperasi Serba Usaha Alas Mandiri KTI (KAM KTI) 1,005 1,005 1,005 1,005 FSC® SA-FM/COC-002083 Woodmark
Koperasi Bromo Mandiri KTI (KBM KTI) 1,003 1,003 1,003 1,003 FSC® SA-FM/COC-005493 Woodmark
Plantation by Social Forestry*4 (KTI, PRI) - - - 6,182 - - -
Papua New Guinea 31,260 19,920 11,060 0 - - -
  Open Bay Timber Ltd. (OBT) 31,260 12,854 11,060 0 FSC® NC-FM/COC-005600 Preferred by Nature
7,066 FSC® NC-CW/FM-003093 Preferred by Nature
New Zealand 36,360 36,360 25,972 0 - - -
  Tasman Pine Forests Ltd. (TPF) 36,360 36,360 25,972 0 FSC® SGS-FM/COC-010806 SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Total 278,909 221,644 101,118 8,190 - - -

*1 Forest Management (FM) certification authenticates sustainable forest management by having a third-party inspect based on objective indicators with focus on: (1) compliance with laws and system frameworks, (2) forest ecosystem and biodiversity maintenance and conservation, (3) respect for rights of indigenous people and local communities, and (4) maintenance and enhancement of forest productivity.

*2 Pengelolaan Hvtan Produksi Lestari (PHPL) is an Indonesian certification of sustainable production forest maintenance.

*3 The former owners of the forest assets (9,270 ha) purchased by KMF had acquired the FSC and PHPL certifications. However, due to the change in ownership, KMF is currently in the process of acquiring these certifications again.

*4 The land area is calculated by conversion from the number of seedlings distributed at KTI and RPI

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Seedling Farming and Cultivation: A First Step Toward Sustainable Forest Management

Securing superior seedlings is a crucial first step toward sustainable forest management. Stable production of superior seedlings enables appropriate forest establishment. Sumitomo Forestry was the first to modernize seedling production. We are contributing to the sustainability of forest resources and active resource production through efforts such as the construction of greenhouse-type cultivation facilities with proper environmental management. With the opening of a production facility in Minamiaizu, Fukushima Prefecture in fiscal 2019, we have established a system capable of cultivating 1.9 million seedlings a year with six locations throughout Japan, which supply seedlings not only to company-owned forests but also national forests in Japan and privately-owned forests. We produce our own seedlings to plant in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea as well. Our sustainable forest management plants, cultivates, harvests, and replants trees in New Zealand and every other region where we do business.

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Cultivation: Preserving the Public Benefits of Forests Through Appropriate Management

The Sumitomo Forestry Group manages a total of approximately 48,000 hectares of company-owned forests in Japan and a total of around 230,000 hectares of company-owned plantation forest area overseas. The Group works to maintain and enhance the public benefits of these forests by carrying out underbrush clearing, pruning, thinning and other appropriate management required for them to grow.

Carbon stocks* of forests in Japan owned by Sumitomo Forestry Group at the end of fiscal 2020 were 13.48 million t-CO2 (+140,000t-CO2 from the previous fiscal year). Carbon stocks at overseas plantation forests were 10.14 million t-CO2 (+810,000t-CO2).

* Formula to Calculate Carbon Stock
Accumulated amount × Volume density × Biomass expansion factor × (1 + the ratio of tree above-ground to under-ground) × Carbon content ratio (calculated by changing the expansion factor, ratio under-ground, volume density and carbon content ratio for each tree species); Moreover, this targets natural forests and plantations in Japan (approx. 48,000 ha) but only plantations overseas (approx. 67,000 ha).

Carbon Stock of Forests in Japan and Overseas

Carbon Stock of Forests in Japan and Overseas

* Carbon stock as of the end of each fiscal year

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Logging and Transport: Supplying Timber Products Through Systematic Logging

The Sumitomo Forestry Group logged approximately 40,000 m³ of trees in Japan and approximately 670,000 m³ of trees overseas in fiscal 2020 in forests it owns or manages based on long-term logging plans. Harvested trees are milled and processed before finally reaching the market as products such as housing and furniture. In the case of timber turned into structural members for housing, the products are used for several decades. Even after being dismantled or at the end of their product life, wooden construction and timber products can be reused as fiberboard or other wood materials in construction or as raw material for making paper, and all that time it will continue to retain CO2. The CO2 released when timber is ultimately burned as a wood fuel is what has been absorbed from the atmosphere as trees grow, and therefore it does not represent an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere over the life cycle of the tree.

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Site Preparation and Planting: Preparing for the Next Cycle

Harvesting and using timber alone will lead to a diminishing of forest resources. The Sumitomo Forestry Group therefore promotes sustainable forest management by always planting new trees after logging.

In fiscal 2020, we planted forests on 243 ha in Japan, and on 4,288 ha overseas. The newly planted trees will absorb CO2 during their growth and retain it as carbon.

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Sustainability Report