Basic Policy

The Sumitomo Forestry Group has been committed to responsible timber procurement and having established Timber Procurement Standard and Timber Procurement Philosophy and Policy in 2005 and 2007 respectively, to bring contributions to sustainable society via business activities of “wood” -a renewable resource.

In July 2015, Timber Procurement Philosophy and Policy were extended beyond timber and became subject to procurement of construction materials and other items, and reestablished as Sumitomo Forestry Group Procurement Policy. The Group's economically, socially and environmentally responsible procurement today is being carried out based on this policy.

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Green Procurement and Sustainable Procurement

The Sumitomo Forestry Group formulated the Green Procurement Guidelines in 2002. The Guidelines establish standards for procuring products from two perspectives: the supplier's stance toward the environment (corporate activities assessment) and the product's impact on the environment throughout its life cycle (product assessment).

In 2013 and again in 2020, the Group revised the Green Procurement Guidelines and added items to ensure even broader progress of sustainability initiatives concerning occupational health and safety and human rights under “the corporate activity assessment.”

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Environmental Consideration and Legal Compliance in Responsible Material Procurement

The Sumitomo Forestry Group procures materials for the Housing and Construction Business in accordance with the Green Procurement Guidelines.

When adopting new products or reforming existing products, we create green procurement ledgers as well as waste disposal confirmation forms (product/packaging) in addition to product specifications which define the specifications, standards and quality criteria of products. Green procurement ledgers confirm aspects of procurement such as verifying the timber procured has been legally logged, confirming the no occurrence no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as use of certified chemicals such as insecticides when adopting new products. Regarding materials made of wood, documentations such as legal certification are confirmed to ensure that procured wood materials comply with the Clean Wood Act. The waste disposal confirmation forms (product/packaging) verify aspects such as the type of offcuts, disposal methods and processing facilities.

We create two copies of each form and suppliers and we each keep copies.

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Communication with Procurement Partners and Partner Evaluation

Sumitomo Forestry's Housing and Construction Business worksites are found in every region of the country, and they rely on support from the many business partners that the Sumitomo Forestry Group collaborates with. The Company considers communication with these companies to be vital in order to share with them its philosophy of improving the quality of homes while protecting the environment.

Main Communication Activities with the Business Partners of Sumitomo Forestry's Housing and Construction Division

Name/Scale Description
Evaluation and feedback based on the Supplier Evaluation Standards
Implementation rate: 100% (FY2019)
Material suppliers of the Housing and Construction Business (suppliers excluding on-site equipment manufacturers, precut factories, building material operators and frame centers) are evaluated every year per type of material based on items including corporate overview, quality, cost, delivery period, environmental response as well as services. We provide feedback from the evaluation results as a way of bettering our procurement.
In fiscal 2019, we provided 245 feedbacks, a 100% implementation rate. In addition, we regularly audit supplier plants as part of the evaluation. In fiscal 2019, Sumitomo Forestry audited 117 plants although these audits have been suspended since February 2020 due to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). If buildings are constructed with materials, which are not confirmed for performance quality, it would pose various risks for the people and the buildings. Therefore, we have formulated methods for auditing plants that focus on quality management to confirm whether material we procure are manufactured based on our quality standards and other aspects.

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Responsible Material Procurement

Sustainable procurement practices throughout the supply chain have come to be expected in material procurement that goes beyond checking on quality, cost and delivery dates to confirming efforts made by the suppliers with respect to the environment, society and other sustainability aspects.

The Mid-Term Sustainability Targets announced in May 2019 set an annual implementation target for sustainability procurement survey implementation rate in the supply chain of the domestic housing department and conducted questionnaires about initiatives related to issues such as human rights, occupational health and safety, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable wood materials at each supplier.

In fiscal 2019, more than 80% of suppliers were surveyed, exceeding the target set for questionnaires with suppliers (subject to the survey*) that make up 65% of our purchasing ratio.

We will expand the scope of supplier surveys from fiscal 2020 with a plan that calls to implement surveys at suppliers (subject to the survey*) that make up 90% of our purchasing ratio by fiscal 2021.

* Manufacturers that are direct or indirect suppliers

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Housing and Construction Business Initiatives for Sustainability in Timber and Wood Products

The Housing and Construction Division newly set a 100% target for the rate of sustainable timber used as primary building material in the Mid-Term Management Plan announced in May 2019. This target aims to put sustainable timber procurement into practice, including confirmation of legal compliance of timber procurement, compliance with human rights and occupational health and safety, biodiversity conservation, and considerations of the local community, especially for timber used in housing as outlined in the Sumitomo Forestry Group Procurement Policy.

In fiscal 2019, we were able to increase the rate of sustainable timber used for primary building material of Sumitomo Forestry detached homes to 80%. In fiscal 2020, these initiatives will strive to go even further with the goal of reaching 100% sustainable timber used.

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Sustainability Report