Basic Policy

Forests perform a variety of functions for the public good, such as storing and purifying water, preventing floods and landslides, and absorbing and retaining CO2, which is linked to global warming, preserving biodiversity, production of timber, and recreation.

On a basis of appropriate management, 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 the public functions of forests. In upstream forest management, middlestream timber distribution and downstream construction of wooden houses, the Sumitomo Forestry Group also promotes the acquisition of FSC forest certification as well as PEFC forest certification and the mutually authenticable SGEC forest certification both domestically and abroad.

In the domestic forestry business, production in company-owned forests is aimed at realizing profitable forestry together with ensuring legality with due consideration for biodiversity and unique local cultures. By practicing sustainable forest management, we have obtained and maintain certification of 100% of certifiable forests.

We operate under the following philosophy when obtaining new forests in our overseas forestry business.

  1. To build good relationships with surrounding villages and local communities.
  2. The major presumption is that HCVA*1, HCSA*2 and FPIC*3 are to be implemented. It is also possible to eliminate environmental risk, and there must be no identified past environmental problems.
  3. FSC®-FM certification must be obtained (FSC-CW and PEFC certification are also desirable).

※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 Owned in Fiscal 2019

Area of Forest Managed and Owned in Fiscal 2019

Niihama Forest

New Zealand Forests

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Area of Forest Managed and Owned by the Sumitomo Forestry Group

As of March 31, 2020

Country Company Managed Area
Certified Area
Plantation Area for Social Forestry
FM Certification System*1 Certification Number Certification Issuing Body
Japan Sumitomo Forestry 47,967 47,736 - SGEC JAFTA-010 Japan Forest Technology Association (JAFTA)
Indonesia PT. Mayangkara Tanaman Industri (MTI) 104,664 74,870 - PHPL*2 015.4/EQC-PHPL/IX/2018 PT Equality Indonesia
PT. Wana Subur Lestari (WSL) 40,750 40,750 - PHPL*2 10-PHPL-006 PT Almasentra Konsulindo
PT. Kutai Timber Indonesia (KTI) 5,873 0 - - - -
Koperasi Serba Usaha Alas Mandiri KTI (KAM KTI) - 1,005 1,005 FSC® SA-FM/COC-002083 Woodmark
Koperasi Bromo Mandiri KTI (KBM KTI) - 1,003 1,003 FSC® SA-FM/COC-005493 Woodmark
Other*3 - 0 10,743 - - -
Subtotal 151,287 117,628 12,751      
Papua New Guinea Open Bay Timber Ltd. (OBT) 31,260 12,854 - FSC® NC-FM/COC-005600 Nature Economy and People Connected
7,006 - FSC® NC-CW/FM-003093 Nature Economy and People Connected
Subtotal 31,260 19,920 -      
New Zealand Tasman Pine Forests Ltd. (TPF) 36,360 36,360 - FSC® SGS-FM/COC-010806 SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Total   266,874 221,644 12,751      
Total (Managed Forest Area and Plantation Area for Social Forestry) 279,625

*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 plantation area includes data for environmental reforestation for social contribution and consulting businesses for third-parties.

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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 new 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. 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 Functions 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 functions 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 2019 were 13.3 million t-CO2 (+200,000 t-CO2 from the previous year). Carbon stocks at overseas plantation forests were 9.33 million t-CO2 (+1,950,000 t-CO2).

* The amount of CO2 absorbed by forests and stored as carbon. Calculated using a formula that multiply volume density, carbon content, and other coefficients set per type of tree against the accumulated amount in the forest. Furthermore, if there is a purchase of large forest during this period, they are omitted as its increase of accumulated amount within the last year cannot be identified. Natural trees and planted trees are within the scope in Japan but only planted tree are included for overseas.

Carbon Stock of Forests in Japan and Overseas

*1 Domestic: Carbon stock as of the beginning of each fiscal year

*2 Overseas: Carbon stock as of the beginning of each calendar year

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Logging and Transport: Supplying Timber Products Through Systematic Logging

The Sumitomo Forestry Group logged approximately 70,000 m³ of trees in Japan and approximately 850,000 m³ of trees overseas in fiscal 2019 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 2019, we planted forests on 159 ha in Japan, and on 7,430 ha overseas. The newly planted trees will absorb CO2 during their growth and retain it as carbon.

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Sustainability Report