Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori Project

We are continuing the Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori Project which began in 1998 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Company's establishment, setting out to restore the vitality of the rich national forest cloaking the foothills of Mt. Fuji that was extensively damaged by a typhoon. Today, this project visualizes the progress of tree growth in survey areas of planted regions and oversee natural forest recovery of Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori.

In fiscal 2020, the Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori was used for volunteer activities and environmental education programs. A total of 553 people visited Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori from inside and outside of the Company with a total of 30,371 people visiting the project between fiscal 1998 and 2020.

Volunteer Activities in Forestry Development

Since the start of the project in 1998, up until now, a cumulative total of 28,000 volunteers have helped to plant approximately 30,000 region-specific saplings and conduct other forestry efforts.

To date, reforestation efforts of national forest damaged by typhoons were completed as the first phase by removing the hexatubes. In fiscal 2019, a tree survey began as a monitoring survey necessary to comprehensive forest management activities. As the second year of this tree survey, 152 volunteers took part in creating a database from records of 599 trees planted on approximately 1,800 m² over five days under the guidance and cooperation of arborists and other tree experts.

The Manabi no Mori project will shift to a more suitable forest for learning by visualizing the growth of the trees that have been cultivated by the volunteers.

Employees Participating as Volunteers

Employees Participating as Volunteers

Employees Participating as Volunteers
Students of the Sumitomo Forestry School of Professional Building Techniques Participating as Volunteers

Students of the Sumitomo Forestry School of Professional Building Techniques Participating as Volunteers

Students of the Sumitomo Forestry School of Professional Building Techniques Participating as Volunteers

Forest Recovery Volunteer Activities Trend

Forest Recovery Volunteer Activities Trend

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

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, looking for tracks and traces of wild animals, 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 2020, a total of 959 students and children from 12 schools were invited to the program. A cumulative total of more than 11,000 students and children have been invited as of fiscal 2020.

Environmental Education Program

Environmental Education Program

Environmental Education Program Trend

Environmental Education Program Trend

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

Vegetation Monitoring and Wildlife Habitat Survey

We have been conducting vegetation surveys since fiscal 2000 to monitor the recovery of the natural forest under the guidance of Vegetation Management Science Laboratory, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. From the same year, we have been conducting wildlife habitat surveys with the cooperation of the Minami Fuji Branch of the Wild Bird Society of Japan.

The vegetation monitoring has been able to confirm the gradual growth of beech, Japanese zelkova, and other trees that were planted as well as dogwood and amur cork trees that grew naturally after the damage caused by the typhoon. Over the last 20 years, the survey revealed that the planted trees had not only gotten larger but entire species in the forest also recovered.

The environment where the ground was bare after the removal of fallen trees gradually transformed from grasslands to forests. With this, on the wildlife habitat survey, the population of pheasants and shrikes is declining, and in their place, the population of such birds of the forest as narcissus flycatchers and varied tit is increasing with opportunities to view them becoming more frequent, indicating that the forest is steadily recovering.

The three-year entomological survey launched in fiscal 2019 with the cooperation of Tokoha University professors reached its second year in 2020. This monitoring survey will identify and list over 80% of the insect species living in Manabi no Mori with a large behavioral range.

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.

Vegetation Shift in the Wind-afflicted Area

Vegetation Shift in the Wind-afflicted Area

(2001)

Vegetation Shift in the Wind-afflicted Area

(2008)

Vegetation Shift in the Wind-afflicted Area

(2016)

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Cooperation with Local Communities

The Sumitomo Forestry Group conducts biodiversity conservation in surrounding areas where it engages business in and conducting and activities tied to local communities with local residents.

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. The Sumitomo Forestry Gunma Branch holds the annual Gunma Manabi no Mori event as a forest maintenance activity. With the cooperation of local forest associations, 73 employees of Sumitomo Forestry and partner building contractors as well as their families participated in the activities which included planting of Japanese cypress seedlings and thinning in May 2019. 94 owners and their families took part in the same program in July 2019.

Gunma Manabi no Mori

Gunma Manabi no Mori

Advocating the Kanagawa Zero Plastic Waste Declaration

The problem of plastic waste in the oceans is internationally acknowledged as an extremely serious environmental problem for the major impact it exerts on aquatic ecosystems and human lives. In February 2019, the Sumitomo Forestry sales offices in Kanagawa (Yokohama Branch, Yokohama North Branch, Kanagawa West Branch, Shonan Branch, and Tokyo South Branch of Housing and Construction Division) pledged their support for the Kanagawa No Plastic Waste Declaration*. As part of this support, the Yokohama and Shonan Branches are conducting annual beach cleaning activities together with its building contractors. The trash included not only plastic waste but also syringes and old tires. This activity was a great chance to reflect once again on the environment around us.

* As an “SDGs Future City,” area, Kanagawa Prefecture announced its “Kanagawa Zero Plastic Wasted Declaration” as part of its specific SDG targets for a sustainable society, publicized as a “Message from the Whales” in September 2018. The project aims to achieve “zero plastic waste” by 2030 or earlier if possible by spreading efforts among the municipalities, private-sector companies and residents of the prefecture to eliminate and collect plastic straws, shopping bags, etc.

Clean-up Efforts on the Tsujido Shore (Shonan Branch)

Clean-up Efforts on the Tsujido Shore (Shonan Branch)

Clean-up Efforts on the Tsujido Shore (Shonan Branch)

Kanagawa Zero Plastic Waste Declaration logo

Kanagawa Zero Plastic Waste Declaration logo

Development of Technology to Pass Down Heritage and Precious Trees 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.

Exhibition of the Culture Samples and Seedlings of Japanese Apricot Bonbai Successfully Propagated Through Tissue Culture

Sumitomo Forestry exhibited the culture samples and seedlings of Ume Bonbai* successfully propagated through tissue culture at the Bonsai Exhibition of Ume Trees with Blossoms. The Ume Bonbai trees on display were culture samples and seedlings of Furo and Fuyoho, two of the three precious Ume Bonbai between 350 to 400 years old. This exhibit celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Bonsai Exhibition of Ume Trees with Blossoms.

The culture samples and seedlings cannot generally be viewed by the public because they are grown in a sterile chamber that controls temperature. At this exhibition, we created a system to very carefully control the temperature to achieve this special presentation of the Ume Bonbai. The exhibition treated many visitors to the Ume Bonbai trees passed down for generations as well as leading-edge biotechnologies.

* Dwarfed Japanese apricot tree

■ Bonsai Exhibition of Ume Trees with Blossoms
Bonsai Exhibition of Ume Trees with Blossoms began in 1952 at the Keiunkan in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture and is the most historic and largest Ume Bonbai exhibition in Japan. At this event, about 300 pots are replaced according to the flowering time, and about 90 pots of Bonbai are exhibited in the best condition. The exhibition this year was held from January 9 to March 10, 2021.

Ume Bonbai Seedling

Ume Bonbai Seedling

Culture Sample of the Ume Bonbai

Culture Sample of the Ume Bonbai

Oku Matsushima Natural Recovery Volunteer Planting Activity

Sumitomo Forestry entered into a partnership agreement on restoration property development coordination and cooperation with Higashi Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture in July 2012 after the Great East Japan Earthquake to make every effort toward restoration. Higashi Matsushima City aims to revitalize tourism by bringing back the wetlands in the Susaki district near the Nobiru coast devastated by the tsunami. As part of this effort, Sumitomo Forestry began trial tree planting activities in fiscal 2017. A soil investigation discovered a high concentration of acidity, which needed considerations about the tree species and techniques for planting. We then formulated a tree-planting plan taking into account third-party insight from the Tohoku Research Center of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute.

We could check and make sure the seedlings had been growing with support by local community, so that the Higashi Matsushima Nature Recover Volunteer Planting Activity started near Oku Matsushima “Kizuna” Solar Park along the Nobiru coast of Higashi Matsushima City In fiscal 2019.

On October 28, 2020, a total of 192 people from the local community, students from Miyanomori Elementary School in Higashi Matsushima and Sumitomo Group employees took part. These participants not only planted 640 local indigenous plants from five species—evergreen shrubs, resistant red pine, resistant black pine, Japanese hill cherry and Japanese cheesewood—but also cleared the underbrush around the seedlings in the area planted up to last year to allow further growth. This is a medium- to long-term plan executed together with the local community.

Students from Miyanomori Elementary School in Higashi Matsushima and employee volunteers from the Sumitomo Forestry Group

Students from Miyanomori Elementary School in Higashi Matsushima and employee volunteers from the Sumitomo Forestry Group

Tree Planting

Tree Planting

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Training and Education for the Next Generation

—Communicating the Importance of Circular Use of Forest Resources to the Children Entrusted with the Next Generation—
Support of the Project to Create Japanese Versions of the SDGs 169 Target Icons

Sumitomo Forestry has supported a project to create Japanese versions of the SDGs 169 target icons. This project has a participatory format for anyone who takes part to help create original Japanese icons for the 169 SDG targets written in English.

The 17 goals of the SDGs do have a Japanese translation but the 169 targets still only have a rough translation released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. This project was launched to make the achievement of the SDGs more personal for society at large, which should connect daily actions, by having the children entrusted with the next generation create original Japanese copy for the SDG targets. As part of this support, we visited schools to teach junior high school students about the forest management and circular use of wood addressing Goal 15 Life on Land. Sumitomo Forestry worked together with the children to inspire free thinking while creating the Japanese copy. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper for junior high and high school students and the Asahi Shimbun DIALOG even covered the curriculum and the classroom atmosphere from the school visit to broadly publicize the project.

The final version of the Japanese copy was released at the end of March 2021 based on the ideas solicited from the children and youths.

Project Logo

Project Logo

School Visit

School Visit

Asahi Shimbun Newspaper for Junior High and High School Students

Asahi Shimbun Newspaper for Junior High and High School Students

Conducting Corporate Research Seminars for Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Designated Ehime Prefectural Matsuyama Higashi High School

Students of Matsuyama Higashi High School visit Niihama, Ehime, where the Sumitomo Forestry Group was founded, to take part in a seminar every year, as part of reforms of education curriculum as well as research and development projects (human resource development of future leaders through the development, practice, and systemization of high-quality curriculum) that help nurture leaders in high schools launched by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and technology since 2014.

FY2014 to FY2018 Super Global High School Program
Since FY2019 Program to Promote Education Innovation at High Schools in Cooperation with Local Communities

The seminar 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 Niihama Office as well as field work at the Forester House in Kyubesshi. These students learned about the corporate spirit passed down through the close to 330-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. We had also planned to hold a seminar in fiscal 2020, but the event had to be canceled unfortunately due to Coronavirus disease(COVID-19).

Sumitomo Forestry sponsors and cooperates with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in reforms of education curriculum as well as research and development programs that help nurture leaders in high school through this series of activities.

Forester House

Forester House

Forester House

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Other

Donation of 8,000 Dust Masks to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to Support Medical Sites

Sumitomo Forestry responded to the lack of medical masks that can prevent the spread of infection through droplets, including viruses, on medical sites with the spread of the COVID-19 infection by donating 8,000 dust masks with the same performance as medical masks stockpiled for an emergency to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare after a request from the Keidanren.

In the future, we will continue to use all of our strength as a corporate group to cease the spread of this infection and recover both social and economic activities.

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Sustainability Report