Timber and Building Materials Business Initiatives

Promotion for Sales of Environmentally-friendly KIKORIN-PLYWOOD

Sumitomo Forestry has set a ratio of products that use certified timber and plantation trees from the procurement of import wood board products such as plywood as a 2020 target and it strives to expand this. Among these products, JAS Plywood that uses 50% or more FSC-certified or PEFC-certified timber and sustainable plantation timber is marketed as KIKORIN-PLYWOOD, and some of its revenue is invested in plantation businesses in Indonesia. This product made using 50% or more certified timber or plantation timber, was praised as being environmentally conscious. It received an encouragement prize in the 1st EcoPro Awards* on September 12, 2018. The results of fiscal 2020 (April to December) were 42,051 m³. As of fiscal 2021, the definition of KIKORIN-PLYWOOD has aligned with the Timber Procurement Standards as plywood using 100% of sustainable timber, and we will work to promote it even more.

* Hosted by the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry. It was established in fiscal 2004 in order to help further develop and spread the use of Japanese eco-products by broadly communicating information about eco-products among current and prospective clients while also supporting the efforts of the relevant suppliers. The EcoProducts Awards were renovated in fiscal 2018, now presented as the EcoPro Awards





* Data collection period during fiscal 2020 was from April to December 2020.

Exporting Domestic Timber

Overseas demand for timber is forecast to grow in emerging countries including China propelled by economic development and population growth. Under these circumstances, Japanese timber exports have also been on the rise in recent years, and a target of 300,000 m³ has been set for Japanese timber export volume to be reached in fiscal 2025 as we explore overseas market opportunities for Japanese timber.

The novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has greatly impacted fiscal 2020, but our Japanese timber exports have risen 12.1% from the previous year to 123,000 m³ thanks to market recovery resulting from the early containment of the virus in Chinese market.

In fiscal 2021, we also expect exports to rise beyond fiscal 2020 levels in light of the containment of COVID-19 in China and market recovery.

Export Results of Domestic Timber

Export Results of Domestic Timber

Promoting the Use of Certified Timber

The most important aspect of selling certified timber is managing the procurement of certified timber separately from other types of timber. With CoC certification, because we are inspected by a third party, we are able to guarantee that timber and other products are from certified forests and sell them to our customers.

The Sumitomo Forestry Group is working to expand the amount of certified timber it handles with the goal of handling only sustainable timber and timber products by the end of 2021. The result for fiscal 2020 (April to December) was 163,005 m³, which is 109% of the monthly average compared to fiscal 2019.

Recycling of Wood Resources into Chips

The Sumitomo Forestry Group contributes to resource recycling through its wood chip operations, whereby offcuts generated during the timber milling process and wood waste from new housing construction and demolition sites are turned into wood chips to be used as a raw material for products such as paper and particle board, and also as a fuel for power-generating boilers or other equipment.

In the future, we aim to further increase the volume we handle for use as fuel in order to meet the growing demand for fuel used in biomass power generation.

Handling Volume of Wood Chips

Handling Volume of Wood Chips

* The period of data collection for fiscal 2020 is from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

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MOCCA (Timber Solutions) Business Initiatives

Sumitomo Forestry has been engaging in forest management for more than 330 years. In addition, we create living spaces which take advantage of wood through our expertise in the various properties of wood worldwide. The development of a truly broad scope of experience, knowledge and technology promotes the MOCCA (Timber Solutions) Business specialized in proposing wooden non-residential medium- to large-scale construction. In 2017, Sumitomo Forestry entered into a business and capital alliance with Kumagai Gumi Co., Ltd., which possesses a proven track record in numerous construction results worldwide in the civil engineering and construction fields. In 2020, we welcomed Cohnan Kensetsu Inc. with expertise in order and construction management of steel frame and steel concrete construction to the Sumitomo Forestry Group. These partnerships will expand medium- to large-scale non-residential wooden construction by building on the strengths of Sumitomo Forestry, such as wood construction and technologies to more broadly use wood for both interiors and exteriors. The MOCCA (timber solutions) business will also contribute even more to the realization of a sustainable society in harmony with the environment and economy by sharing a culture of wood and revitalizing forestry.

KURKKU FIELDS: The Future of a Recycling-oriented Society Inspired by Wood

KURKKU FIELDS is a sustainable farm and park embodying a recycling-oriented society on an expansive approximately 30 hectares in Kisarazu City, Chiba Prefecture. Musician Takeshi Kobayashi who launched the ap bank non-profit organization around the theme of a sustainable society supervised the overall operations under the cooperation of Kisarazu City. The concept is a concerto of people, agriculture, food, art and nature. Agriculture, food and art are broken down into seven different categories: FARM, EAT, ART, PLAY, STAY, NATURE and ENERGY. As a place to experience the shape of a sustainable future and the Touch of Life, KURKKU FIELDS proposes prosperity in the future for people and society as well as an ideal form of consumption and eating.

Sumitomo Forestry built four buildings of the facility in the EAT and STAY areas. Each of these buildings took advantage of wood in structures as well as in the interiors and exteriors. By using scrap wood from the barn for flooring for some of the materials, we also tried to show our consideration for the environment and our desire to not waste limited resources.

We proposed the active use of wood for the buildings inspired by a desire for everyone to touch and experience the trees vibrant with life at KURKKU FIELDS made for the Touch of Life experience. With a new construction plan, we are continuing to evolve toward the grand opening.




New Marukatsu Takada Shoten Miwa Company Building

Marukatsu Takada Shoten produces and sells somen noodles in Miwa District of Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture, the birthplace of hand-stretched somen.

Marukatsu Takada Shoten asked Sumitomo Forestry to design and build a new company building constructed of wood to act as a type of laboratory to share the new wonders of somen in the new era according to its philosophy to take on new challenges rather than protect tradition.

We proposed a design with a modern exterior which found natural unity with the local landscape. The first-floor somen shop area realized a space stimulating all five senses of diners from the qualities to the touch and smell of wood. The office area achieved a work space on a single floor where everyone could work together.

Using the local wood long adored by the local people, all who come can enjoy the evolving look and feel of the building as it ages.

President of Marukatsu Takada Shoten Katsuichi Takada said, “The transformation of our working environment has also transformed the mentality of all who work here.” Marukatsu Takada Shoten is sure to surpass our expectations with somen noodles unlike anything to come before.

New Marukatsu Takada Shoten Miwa Company Building

New Marukatsu Takada Shoten Miwa Company Building

New Marukatsu Takada Shoten Miwa Company Building

Bringing the Qualities of Wood to Fast Food Restaurant Construction

In fiscal 2020, Sumitomo Forestry built seven fast food shops using wood.

Sumitomo Forestry proposed and employed laminated engineered Japanese cedar made from domestic wood for the posts of the structural framework. Sumitomo Forestry took charge of the structural design and wood frame construction. For beams, we used Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) manufactured by Nelson Pine Industries Ltd. (NPIL), a Sumitomo Forestry Group in New Zealand. Use of Sumitomo Forestry’s original S-100 coating material (powerful water repellent silicone coating) and the AZN dry wood preservation treatment on the wooden louvers installed on the exterior improved weather resistance and durability. As of March 2021, our Group has completed a total of 274 stores using wood construction through these types of proposals.

Trees continue to stabilize CO2 as carbon even after they are turned into products. Wood structures help reduce CO2 emitted by these stores throughout the entire life cycle from material procurement to construction, renovation, repair, demolition, and disposal better than the steel frames or steel concrete used for columns and beams.

Sumitomo Forestry will promote further use of wood by providing total solutions from the procurement and supply of materials to the construction.

S-100 Wood Preservation Latticework

S-100 Wood Preservation Latticework

Construction of a Fast Food Restaurant

Construction of a Fast Food Restaurant

Exterior of a Fast Food Restaurant Built with Wood

Exterior of a Fast Food Restaurant Built with Wood

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Toward the Future -Aiming for the Timberized Eco Cities with W350 Plan-

Sumitomo Forestry announced its W350 Plan in February 2018. The W350 Plan is a research and technological development roadmap aiming to realize a Timberized Eco City symbolized by 350-meter-tall wooden high-rise building by 2041, which will mark the 350th year since the foundation of business in 1691. The plan is intended to develop future technologies that contribute to people's lives, society and the global environment, including building construction methods, environmental technologies, wood for building materials and resources.

The new three-story wooden research building completed in October 2019 at the Tsukuba Research Institute will help further this plan as a research and development base.

Toward Realizing the W350 Plan

Managed mainly by our research and development center, Tsukuba Research Institute, the W350 Research and Technological Development Plan is a roadmap for future technologies; to develop building construction methods, environmental technologies, wood for building materials and resources. This roadmap will expand the possibilities of wooden structures as well as natural resource of wood.

This plan of creating Timberized Eco Cities will revitalize the forestry industry with increased demand of timber and mitigate climate change with increased fixation of CO2; in essence, Sumitomo Forestry will contribute to invigorate the community and to realize coexistence with the global environment.

New Research Building of the Tsukuba Research Institute, Which will Serve as the Research Base for the W350 Plan

It has been 30 years since Tsukuba Research Institute was established. The deterioration of the main research building and increase in staff have become issues needing to be addressed. The new research building completed in October 2019 adopts new Post-tensioning*1 earthquake‐resistance technology related to the wooden structures. Energy saving technology and renewable energy will also be used with a view of achieving a zero energy building (ZEB).

The new research building is a three-story building with a floor area of 2,532.67m². The exposed beams, pillars, and wall structure has been designed using the semi-fireproofing technique. Full building evacuation safety verification [Route C (Minister's certification)]*2 makes it possible to reduce restrictions on wooden interiors so that spaces with the qualities of wood can be presented. The building greatly reduces CO2 emissions by installing solar panels on the roof and adopting absorption water chiller-heaters fired using wood pellets. With roofs, balconies and exterior walls used as areas to test greening, the research and development of green technologies for non-residential wooden architectural structures will be conducted while office space will be used for verifications such as green layouts that seek to improve intellectual productivity.

This facility will offer an office capacity of 140 people and a gallery presenting information about wood. This building received the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Prize at the 23rd Wood Utilization Competition and the New Office Promotion Award from the 33rd Nikkei New Office Awards.

With the new research building positioned as the cornerstone of the W350 Plan, we also began a construction plan for a six-to eight-story wooden hybrid building (20m to 30m tall) as the next actual step forward. This plan has been named “W30” and is currently under way.

*1 Technology where high-strength steel poles and wire ropes running through load-bearing members are tensioned to increase the fixation of position between members.

*2 A method for verifying safety performance where everyone within a building is able to evacuate safely to the ground level given a pre-determined fire scenario. If safety can be confirmed, some of the regulations of the Building Standards Act of the Japanese government are eased, enabling greater freedom of design, such as exposing wood structural members to view. Route C designation requires certification by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, but since evacuation safety performance is confirmed using sophisticated calculation methods not stipulated by the notice, it allows for the highest level of design freedom.

Overview of New Research Building at Tsukuba Research Institute

  • Location:Midorigaoka,Tsukuba-shi,Ibaraki Prefecture,Japan
  • Building area: 1,120.27m²
  • Floor area: 2,532.67m²; 1F: 1,001.95m²; 2F: 894.44m²; 3F: 636.28m²
  • Structure: Three-story wooden Original Post-tensioning Semi-fireproof Structure
  • Application: Research Facility
  • Project Management: MOCCA (Timber Solutions) Department*, Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd.
  • Design: le style h/Atelier Asami Kazuhiro and MOCCA (Timber Solutions) Department, Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd.
  • Construction company: Kawada Industries, Inc.
  • Construction Period: March 26, 2018 to September 30, 2019

* Restructured as the Construction Market Development Department on April 1, 2020

W350 Plan Receives the Special Jury Award at the MIPIM AWARDS 2020

As the research and technological development roadmap aiming to realize a Timberized Eco City, the W350 Plan received the Special Jury Award at the MIPIM AWARDS 2020*1 which celebrates extraordinary real estate development worldwide. This is the first time an entry from Japan has been bestowed the honor of the Special Jury Award. Our entry to the MIPIM Awards was sparked by the completion of the new research building at the Tsukuba Research Institute in October 2019 as the foundation for the W350 Plan. This project not only received the Special Jury Award in 2020, but was also selected as a finalist in the BEST FUTURA PROJECT category*2 for the second consecutive year since 2019. Nikken Sekkei Ltd. handled the design of the tall wooden high-rise building symbolizing the W350 Plan while Sumitomo Forestry worked on the overall concept.

*1 The MIPIM AWARDS have been held since 1991 at the MIPIM*3, the world’s largest real estate market event, to commemorate outstanding projects driving innovation and celebrating achievements.

*2 The BEST FUTURA PROJECT category commemorates projects that have a revolutionary architectural, technical and environmental impact on the future.

*3 MIPIM stands for Marché International des Professionnels de l‘Immobilier. This international market event of real estate professionals is the largest in the world bringing together real estate developers and architects from around the globe.


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