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 2019, the Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori was used for volunteer activities, environmental education programs as well as opened to NPOs and other organizations. A total of 1,554 people visited Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori from inside and outside of the Company with a total of 29,818 people visiting the project between fiscal 1998 and 2019.

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 first year of this tree survey, 189 volunteers took part in creating a database from records of 495 trees planted on approximately 1,800 m2 over four 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

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

Forest Recovery Volunteer Activities Trend

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 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 2019, a total of 1,101 students and children from 13 schools were invited to the program. A cumulative total of more than 10,000 students and children have been invited as of fiscal 2019.

Environmental Education Program

Environmental Education Program Trend

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.

In fiscal 2019, we started a three-year entomological survey with the cooperation of Tokoha University professors. 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

(2001)

(2008)

(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. Sumitomo Forestry held Gunma Manabi no Mori during fiscal 2019. 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. 94 owners and their families took part in the same program in July.

Gunma Manabi no Mori

Advocating the Kanagawa Zero Plastic Waste Declaration

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. In the future, we will continue the beach cleaning activities that began in fiscal 2018 as well as providing environmental education for local communities about plastic waste.

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.

Successor Trees to the Miracle Pine Return Home:
-Rikuzentakata City, Takatamatsubara Tsunami Memorial Park Tree-planting to Commemorate the Opening of the Park-

The successor trees of the Miracle Pine cloned through grafting returned to their homeland in Rikuzentakata City for the first time on September 22, 2019. The “Miracle Pine” was the sole surviving pine tree from the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Sumitomo Forestry attempted to cultivate successor trees to the Miracle Pine and, in 2011, was successful in using grafts and seedlings to propagate new trees. Three of these successor trees were planted for the opening ceremony of the Takatamatsubara Tsunami Memorial Park. It is hoped that these successor trees propagated from the Miracle Pine will become a symbol of protection against disaster and remind those to come of the Great East Japan Earthquake. These successor trees, together with Rikuzentakata City that recovered strongly from the disaster, will live on to a new tomorrow.

Sumitomo Forestry's Endeavour to Cultivate Successor Trees of the Miracle Pine

April 2011 Japan Landscape Contractors Association Iwate Division Manager Yoneuchi launches the Miracle Pine Rescue Project. Cuttings, graftings, tissue cultures and seedlings are all examined as possible methods of propagation.
December 2011 Three grafted saplings and 18 seedlings germinate
September 2012 Approximately 1,000 pine cones are harvested when the Miracle Pine is felled. Breaking down all of these pine cones, 75 seeds are collected
March 2013 Seeds collected in September of the previous year are planted.
June 2013 The 18 seedlings that germinated in 2011 all wither and die nine seedlings are successfully cultivated from the 75 seeds collected in 2012.
Present Three grafted trees and nine seedlings are growing well.

Miracle Pine seedling planted by Princess Hisako Takamado

Launch of the TOKYO Sakura Project -Preserving and Popularizing the Tokyo Sakura by Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Sumitomo Forestry-

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Sumitomo Forestry launched the TOKYO Sakura Project to preserve and popularize the cherry blossoms that has close ties with Tokyo. Sumitomo Forestry is passing on the genetic strains of Tokyo Sakura through species identification via the genetic information as well as the cloning techniques via tissue cultures unique to Sumitomo Forestry in accordance with the Partnership Agreement on the Natural Park Business concluded by Sumitomo Forestry and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in April 2018.

TOKYO Sakura Project Logo

Start of the 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 23, a total of 136 people from the local community, students from Miyanomori Elementary School in Higashi Matsushima and Sumitomo Group employees took part in planting 630 botanical plants, such as Japanese black pine and evergreen shrubs indigenous to Japan. 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

Tree-planting ceremony

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Training and Education for the Next Generation

Sponsoring Marunouchi Kids Jamboree 2019 and the Children’s Tour Day in Kasumigaseki to Share the Importance of Trees and Nature with Children

Sumitomo Forestry participated in the Children’s Tour Day in Kasumigaseki alongside various government agencies and ministries, such as the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and sponsored as well as exhibited a booth at the Marunouchi Kids Jamboree held at the Tokyo International Forum in August 2019. These are hands-on events aiming to deliver opportunities for children to learn about the society around them. The Marunouchi Kids Jamboree has been held continually throughout each summer season since 2007 under a concept to deliver wonder, discovery and surprise to nurture aspiration for the future in the next generation. Sumitomo Forestry has sponsored this event for the last four consecutive years since 2016. This is the first time the Company has opened a booth in the Housing Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism exhibition venue at the Children’s Tour Day in Kasumigaseki Both of these events provided quizzes for everyone to participate in to share the unique characteristics of wood through direct, hands-on experience. Anyone who answered the quiz was given Kikorin merchandise as a present. Both parents and children alike were able to experience the fun and thrill of learning at the Kids Jamboree.

We also broadly shared information about both events in the new Yomiuri KODOMO Shimbun and distributed these newspapers to children visiting model homes and Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori.

Kids Jamboree Event

Yomiuri KODOMO Shimbun

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 held in July 2019 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 325-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.

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

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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