Responding to Climate Change

Mitigation of Climate Change

Establishment and Certification of Science Based Targets (SBT)

As the impact of climate change becomes more urgent globally, companies are being asked to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases as a measure to counter global warming. The Sumitomo Forestry Group submitted a commitment letter to SBTi* to set an SBT for the entire Group in June 2017. The new set of long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets has been approved as SBT by SBTi in July 2018. In October 2018, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published the "1.5 ℃ Special Report," which illustrates the latest scientific findings on global warming. It became clear that there are big differences in the impact on the global environment between suppressing the rise in average temperature of the earth from before the Industrial Revolution to 2℃ and 1.5℃ in the latter half of this century. In April 2019, the SBT Initiative changed itts certification standard to two types of greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets; to the level of global average temperature rise by 1.5℃ and well below 2℃ compared to pre-industrial revolution in response to the trend of the "1.5℃ Special Report" (applicable from October 2019). In September 2021, we submitted an application to the SBT Secretariat to enhance our Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gases emissions reduction targets from the previous 21% reduction to a 54.6% reduction, with 2030 as the target year, in order to expedite our initiatives. Its progress and results are explained below.

SBT

2°C target (SBT approved)

  • Scope 1&2: 21% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2017 (base year) by 2030.
  • Scope 3: 16% reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions from Category 1 and Category 11 compared to 2017 (base year) by 2030.

1.5℃ target (SBT application pending)

  • Scope 1&2: 54.6% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2017 (base year) by 2030.
  • Scope 3: 16% reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions from Category 1 and Category 11 compared to 2017 (base year) by 2030.

Sumitomo Forestry Group is striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take measures to mitigate climate change based on SBT such as thorough energy saving activities and promotion of renewable energy use.

Progress Towards the SBT

In fiscal 2021, scope 1 and 2 emissions increased by 0.1% from fiscal 2020 due to the fact that the manufacturing sites resumed the operation in fiscal 2021 after the suspension over the spread of COVID-19 and also the average emission factor in Vietnam increased significantly. Scope 3 emissions increased by 3% from fiscal 2020 due to an increase in the number of units sold and delivered in the Overseas Housing and Real Estate Business, and Cohnan Kensetsu, a general constructor in Osaka, joined Sumitomo Forestry Group.

Progress toward our science-based reduction target: Scope 1 and 2

Progress toward our science-based reduction target: Scope 1 and 2

Progress toward our science-based reduction target: Scope 3 (Category 1 and 11)

16% reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions from Category 1 and 11 compared to 2017 by 2030

Progress toward our science-based reduction target: Scope 3 (Category 1 and 11)

*1 The calculation method for Category 1 emissions of Scope 3 was revised to apply Accounting Standards for Revenue Recognition (Corporate Accounting Standard No. 29) as of fiscal 2019.

*2 Data collection period for total emissions from fiscal 2020 is January to December of each year, while data collection period for emissions before fiscal 2019 is April of each year to March of the following year.

Aiming for 100% Renewable Energy and Joining the RE100

The Sumitomo Forestry Group positions reduction of environmental impact of our business activities as one material issue that needs to be addressed and strives to engage in energy-saving activities and use of renewable energy. As part of these initiatives, we joined the international RE100* initiative that aims for 100% of electricity used to be from renewable energy in March 2020 to accelerate our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

By 2040, we aim to utilize 100% renewable energy for the electricity used for our Group business activities and for the fuel for our power generation operations.

* RE100 is an international initiative run jointly by The Climate Group, a global environmental NGO, and the CDP. As of February 2022, 290 companies worldwide are members, of which 50 companies are Japanese.

Progress Towards the RE100 Goal

In fiscal 2021, amount of renewable energy introduced in the electricity used in Sumitomo Forestry Group's business activities resulted in 17.2 % which is the total amount of electricity used by the entire Group such as solar panels installed in model homes and for private use of power generated by biomass power plants (including adjacent wood chip manufacturing plants for fuel), etc. In addition, ratio of biomass-derived fuel to the fuel consumption of the power generation business is 88.5% (calorific value conversion).

In the Mid-Term Sustainability Targets 2024 announced in February 2022, we have set a goal of reaching a renewable energy introduction rate of 35.1%* in power consumption of the Group's business activities in fiscal 2024. While the officially declared RE100goal is by 2040, we aim to complete all of our own efforts by 2030.

* Excludes self-consumption from biomass power generation projects and establishments located in New Zealand aiming for RE100 nationwide in 2035 (Achievement in fiscal 2021 is 2.6%).

Renewable energy consumption rate within the power consumption of the entire group
(FY 2021)

17.2%

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Approach to Use 100% Renewable Energy

In order to achieve 100% renewable energy for the electricity for Sumitomo Forestry Group's operations, we are utilizing Sumirin Denki, which we started in 2019. We are also planning to install solar power generation systems in our factories both in Japan and overseas. Furthermore, we will consider a diverse range of procurement methods that take advantage of programs in each country we operate while aiming to use 100% renewable energy.

Utilizing Sumirin Denki Solar Power Generation for Domestic Electricity Use

Sumitomo Forestry started the "Sumirin Denki" service in November 2019 for owners of Sumitomo Forestry and Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech's homes. The service offers surplus electricity purchase and power supply agency sales for owners whose solar power generation purchase period expires under the feed-in tariff (FIT) for renewable energy.

We are working to allocate this "Sumirin Denki" to the total amount of electricity used by Sumitomo Forestry Group in Japan. We promote the RE100 initiative by utilizing the surplus solar power purchased from the owners with "Sumirin Denki" at our offices and model homes. As of December 2021, the number of contracts was 1,539, and we started supplying electricity purchased from the owners to 34 model homes in the Kinki area. In the future, we will accelerate the promotion of the "Sumirin Denki" services to the owners and aim to allocate the renewable energy in all areas in 2022.

Expanding Solar Power in Our Factories

As Sumitomo Forestry Group, our manufacturing facilities account for about 30% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve RE100, it is vital that we conserve energy and expand the use of renewable energy in our factories.

In September 2020, Sumitomo Forestry Crest Kashima Plant, which manufactures interior materials for houses, introduced solar power generation under the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) model*. In addition, since April 2021, Kashima Plant procured the renewable energy menu electricity and replaced all the electricity with renewable energy and achieved RE100. Following this, the Shizuoka Plant of the same Sumitomo Forestry Crest is also expected to procure renewable energy menu electricity from April 2021 and achieve RE50. In the Mid-Term Sustainability Targets 2024 up to 2024, we plan to expand the procurement of renewable energy menu electricity at the Shizuoka and Imari plants to achieve RE100. Sumitomo Forestry Group’s overseas factories will also promote introduction of the solar power generation, and by 2024, we plan to procure about 20% of renewable energy from both domestic and overseas factories and aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26,000 tCO2 compared to fiscal 2017.

Both in Japan and overseas, Sumitomo Forestry Group is considering the installation and expansion of solar power panels in our manufacturing sites in an ongoing effort to increase the ratio of renewable energy.

* PPA Model: A system whereby a host loans out factory rooftop space to a power generation company to install solar power generation panels and then purchases the electricity generated from these panels for its own use

Exterior view of the Kashima Factory

Exterior view of the Kashima Factory

Approaches to Realizing RE100 at Overseas Manufacturing Sites

Nelson Pine Industries (NPIL), which manufactures and sells MDF (medium density fiberboard), single plate, and LVL (laminated veneer lumber) in New Zealand uses the most electricity in the Sumitomo Forestry Group. In New Zealand, a high ratio of power composition is from hydropower, geothermal power and other forms of renewable energy, and was approximately 80% as of 2016. The New Zealand government has set out a goal for 100% renewable energy by 2035, which is when we forecast to achieve RE100.

With the momentum for implementing renewable energy growing in Southeast Asia, we are considering the installation of solar power generation systems at our other manufacturing sites in Indonesia and Vietnam. In the United States and Australia where we are primarily involved in the housing business, we plan to steadily transition to renewable energy thanks to the ability to procure renewable energy at low cost and the issuance of sufficient renewable energy certificates.

Promotion of the Renewable Energy Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group is advancing renewable energy generation businesses, including solar power generation as well as biomass power generation that chips and uses scrap construction wood in addition to unused forest resources and other such materials as fuel. Total power generation in 2021 is 491,432 MWh.

Effect of CO2 emission reduction through power generation in fiscal 2021

52,784t-CO2e

* CO2 emission reductions compared to the electricity purchased from power companies. These emissions are calculated using the CO2 emission coefficients of mainly Hokkaido Electric Power and Tohoku Electric Power.

Trends in the Amount of Renewable Energy Generation

Trends in the Amount of Renewable Energy Generation

*1 Amount of electricity generated from wood biomass power generation covers only consolidated subsidiaries of Sumitomo Forestry and includes the amount of power generated by coal, which is used as an auxiliary fuel for smooth operation and maintenance.

*2 An aggregation period after fiscal 2020 is from January to December of each year, and the aggregation period of the discharge amount before fiscal 2019 is from April of each year to March of the following year.

Wood Biomass Power Generation Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group operates wood biomass power generation facilities that are fueled by recycled chips primarily using leftover from construction as raw materials, wood not suitable as a building material, and thinning leftover in forests and other unused forest resource.

The CO2 emitted by burning wood does not contribute to CO2 in the atmosphere as part of the life cycle of the trees because the CO2 in the atmosphere is absorbed through photosynthesis as the trees grow (concept of carbon neutrality). Therefore, the Group has been engaged in wood biomass power generation as a type of business that contributes greatly to the advancement of forestry, such as the effective use of wood, mitigation of CO2 emission and furthermore, the maintenance of local forest environments.

In February 2011, the Sumitomo Forestry Group entered this sector with the operation of the urban-oriented Kawasaki Biomass Electric Power (generation capacity: 33 MW), which primarily uses scrap construction wood as fuel. The Mombetsu Biomass Electric Power Co., Ltd. with a power generation scale of 50 MW utilizing unused wood from domestic forests as its main fuels commenced operation in December 2016, the 6.2 MW Tomakomai Biomass Power Co., Ltd. in April 2017, and 12.4 MW Hachinohe Biomass Electric Power Co., Ltd. in April 2018, and the 75MW Kanda Biomass Energy K.K. in June 2021, respectively.

When the 75 MW Morinomiyako Biomass Energy K.K. commences operation in November 2023, the total power generation scale of the Sumitomo Forestry Group related facilities will be approximately 251.6 MW, which is equivalent to electricity supply for approximately 555,000 households.

Drawing on past experience in the wood biomass power generation business, the Group will continue to expand renewable energy business operations suited to local conditions and other requirements.

Mombetsu Biomass Electric Power

Mombetsu Biomass Electric Power

Hachinohe Biomass Electric Power

Hachinohe Biomass Electric Power

Sumitomo Forestry Group's wood biomass power generation business

Business Location Power generation capacity Start of operations Main features
Kawasaki Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co., Ltd. and Fuluhashi EPO Corporation)
Kanagawa Prefecture
Kawasaki City
33MW February 2011
  • Largest biomass power generation facility in Japan that primarily burns scrap wood as fuel
  • Utilizes recycled chips produced from construction debris and waste pallets from Tokyo and surrounding suburbs, as well as pruned branches
  • Equipped with environmental mechanisms, such as flue gas desulfurization equipment, an exhaust gas denitrizer and a bag filter, the urban-sourced biomass power generation plant clears Kawasaki City's strict environmental standards
Mombetsu Biomass Electric Power Business*
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Joint Electric Power Co., Ltd.)
Hokkaido
Mombetsu City
50MW December 2016
  • Unused wood and forest material is primarily procured from within a 75km radius of the power plant and turned into chips at an adjacent plant before being used as fuel.
  • Palm kernel shell, plus some coal is also partially used as an auxiliary fuel
Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Business
(Joint investment with Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Iwakura Corporation and Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd.)
Hokkaido
Tomakomai City
6.2MW April 2017
  • All of the fuels are from unused forest resource in Hokkaido.
Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Business*
(Joint investment with Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co., Ltd. and East Japan Railway Company)
Aomori Prefecture
Hachinohe City
12.4MW April 2018
  • Unused forest resource from forestlands in the Sanpachi-Kamikita-Shimokita region of Aomori Prefecture, timber offcuts, and railway forest thinnings from the nearby railway lines will be used as the main source of fuel
  • Some palm kernel shell will be used
Kanda Biomass Power Generation Business
A joint capital venture between RENOVA Inc., Kyuden Mirai Energy Co. Inc., and Mihara Group K.K.
Fukuoka Prefecture
Miyako District
75MW June 2021
  • Fuel uses thinnings and unused forest resource from northern Kyushu in addition to American pellets and Indonesian palm kernel shell
Morinomiyako Biomass Energy Generation Business
Joint venture with RENOVA Inc., United Corporation, Mizuho Leasing Company, Limited and RenoDa Partners G.K.
Miyagi Prefecture
Sendai City
75MW November 2023
  • Fuel uses pellets produced mainly in North America and palm kernel shell from Indonesia and Malaysia

* A consolidated subsidiary of Sumitomo Forestry

Solar Power Generation Business

Sumitomo Forestry owns a solar power generation facility that can generates 3.4 MW in Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

For some solar panel mounts, we have adopted original wooden mounts mainly made of domestically produced cedar wood to reduce the environmental load of power generation facilities and expand the use of wood.

In fiscal 2021, the combined output of power generation was 4,440MWh.

Solar panels and environmentally friendly wooden frames

Solar panels and environmentally conscious wooden frames

Power plant location for renewable energy business

Promoting the Use of Unused Forest Resource

Unused forest resource is left-over wood biomass generated from logging or thinning of standing trees in forests. Wood biomass power generation plants are operating in each area and the demand for wood biomass is growing following the adoption of the FIT law (Feed-in Tariff for Renewable Energy). By using unused forest resource, we can expect an effective increase in the value of forests while also promoting renewable energy. In fiscal 2021, the Group used 371,000 tons of unused forest resource. We will continue to work on building up systems for the efficient, stable collection of unused forest resource.

Amount of unused forest resource from domestic forest
(2021)

371,000 tons

Unused forest resource

Unused forest resource

Adoption of High-Performance Silviculture Machines

Effectively Extracting Unused Forest Resource

Mombetsu Forestry Office introduced Scandinavian harvesters and forwarders able to turn in small circles in 2015 to begin efforts to deliver log harvest/thinning (unused forest resource) as Mombetsu Biomass Electric Power fuels.

Moreover, by selecting forestry equipment with high-level driving performance in narrow forest areas, operators are able to execute all harvesting and transport operations while on the machine. We consider this is an initiative that improves safety and will play a role even in eliminating occupational injuries.

*1 Self-propelled high-performance forestry machine that brings together each operation to cut, de-limb, and vertically cross-cut*3 timber, which had traditionally been done with a chainsaw

*2 Self-propelled high-performance forestry machine that collects and feeds vertically cross-cut timber on a cargo bed

*3 To cut crude wood to a standard length

Scandinavian harvester

Scandinavian harvester*1

Scandinavian forwarder

Scandinavian forwarder*2

Promotion of Net Zero Energy House (ZEH) Specifications

The household sector in Japan still has high level emission of CO2 although the trend has slowed down. In the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures and the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan approved by the Cabinet in October 2021, the Japanese government declared that “the government will raise energy conservation standards in stages and raise inducement standards and top-runner standards for Housing and Construction to ensure the level of energy conservation performance of ZEH and ZEB standards*1 for new Housing and Construction to be built in fiscal 2030 and after”, and "the government will ensure the level of energy conservation of ZEH and ZEB standards for the stock average of housing and buildings by 2050".

ZEH is a scheme for housing to provide less than zero annual net primary energy consumption by combining equipment to generate energy such as high thermal insulation efficiency, energy-saving equipment, and solar energy creation.

This standard responds to many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including not only Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts but also Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The standardization of ZEH will contribute to building a sustainable society.

Sumitomo Forestry has long used "wood," which are renewable natural resources and absorb and fix CO2 in the process of growth, as the principal structural members, and adopted a unique design method, "Ryoonbo," that utilizes the blessings of nature such as the wind and the sun and provided housing where people can live comfortably throughout the year. The Company's expertise in utilizing these unique characteristics of wood and blessings of nature together with its technologies for the reduction of energy consumption, such as improvements in thermal insulation as well as the adoption of energy-saving equipment, and its technologies for the smart use of energy, such as equipment for generating and storing energy and HEMS*2.

The Mid-Term Sustainability Targets has set a target for the ZEH order ratio for newly built custom-built homes, which was 67.4% in fiscal 2021.
With respect to new custom-built detached houses, we will promote the spread of ZEH with the basic specifications of further strengthening heat insulation performance of buildings and its openings and installing a solar power generation system.

*1 Compliant with reinforced hull standards and 20% reduction from the current energy conservation standards excluding renewable energy.

*2 Home Energy Management System. A system whereby residents can visualize the amounts of energy they generate and use

*3 Including Nearly ZEH, Small ZEH Oriented, Heavy Snow ZEH Oriented

For new custom-built detached houses
Actual ZEH order ratio *3
(FY 2021)

67.4%

Wooden Houses with Superior Insulation

If the thermal conductivity of wood is 1, the thermal conductivity of concrete would be almost 13 and steal upwards of 440. Wood as a material is a superior insulator to mitigate the transfer of heat. In addition, Sumitomo Forestry uses high-performance 24K glass wool thermal insulator (high-end product) based on its own unique standards.

Comparison of Materials by Thermal Conductivity

Comparison of Materials by Thermal Conductivity

Unique Standards of Thermal Insulators of Sumitomo Forestry

Unique Standards of Thermal Insulators of Sumitomo Forestry

Adoption of "360° TRIPLE Insulation Standards"

Sumitomo Forestry has adopted 360° TRIPLE Insulation as a standard that enhances the insulation efficiency of new custom-built detached houses (excluding fireproof specifications). In addition to offering high-performance thermal insulation materials, the standard provides all-around insulation for buildings as a whole from structural members to windows with high thermal performance to realize affordable yet comfortable lifestyles.

360° TRIPLE Insulation creates a living space that stays cool in the summer, warm in the winter and increases energy-saving performance. This insulation option, as a standard, corresponds to 5 stars, which is the highest rank of the Building-Housing Energy-efficiency Labeling System (BELS)* promoted by the government, as a standard.

Sumitomo Forestry applies for BELS for all of new custom-build detached houses. BELS is a labeling system with which a third party evaluation organization evaluates and certifies the energy efficiency of new and existing structures using an index indicating the energy performance and asset value of each building. Our initiative strives to make Sumitomo Forestry the first major housing manufacturer to have every building BELS-certified. In fiscal 2021, the BELS certification rate (at the start of construction of the main unit) was 99.5%. Sumitomo Forestry homes enhancing insulation efficiency deliver assured safety and comfort proven by the BELS certification.

* BELS is one third-party evaluation system based on the Building-Housing Energy-Efficiency Labeling Guidelines (evaluation standards on labeling of the energy consumption performance for buildings) defined by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. This certification is run by the Association for Housing Performance Evaluation & Labeling. The system objectively evaluates energy efficiency to display a five-tier star rating. BELS stands for the Building-Housing Energy-efficiency Labeling System.

Limiting Energy Loss with Highly Insulating Glass

Windows cause the greatest loss of heat in living spaces. Shielding interior spaces from heat in the summer and preventing heat from escaping in the winter is vital. As windows cause the largest heat loss, Sumitomo Forestry uses low-E multi-layered glass with argon gas inside. Argon gas is injected between the multi-layers of glass to mitigate heat transfer to the air while the panes are coated with special metal film. The superior thermal insulation and insulation properties shield interior spaces from heat in the summer and prevent heat from escaping in the winter.

Insulation using low-E multi-layered glass

Insulation using low-E
multi-layered glass

Double Power Generation

Sumitomo Forestry recommends the installation of storage battery for family use, in addition to solar power generation system. Double power generation can generate the necessary electricity for daily life in the home. Furthermore, Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) realize zero energy house (ZEH specifications) by proficiently managing energy consumption throughout the home.

Trends in Installation Rates of Environmentally-conscious Equipment (based on number of houses)*1 *2

FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Solar power generation systems 51% 56% 57% 68.9%
Ene-Farm units 35% 36% 27% 25.5%
Eco One*3 16% 17% 15% 19.4%
Environmentally conscious equipment installation rate 72% 75% 70% 78.2%

*1 The aggregation period of fiscal 2020 is from April 2020 to December 2020

*2 The aggregation period before fiscal 2019 is from April of each year to March of the following year

*3 Hybrid electric and gas hot water and central heating systems

Renovating to Improve Function and Asset Value

Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech promotes renovations from energy-saving point of view. We propose the installation of energy-efficient equipment alongside better insulation efficiency as well as new life styles that decrease the energy consumed in daily life, realize reductions to the environmental impact, and decrease lifetime heating and lighting costs.

The insulation renovations can also mitigate health risks from heat shock.

We also continue to focus on "seismic resistant retrofitting" proposals. In particular, the need to create comfortable and safe homes to enhance relaxing and fulfilling time spent at home including the improvement of the telework environment is increasing due to effects of the COVID-19. Recently, we are actively promoting seismic resistance and structural reinforcement work in consideration of the response to intermittent earthquakes.

We actively strive to bring about excellent long-term housing in existing properties as well as long-term excellent extension and alteration standards by improving the performance in thermal efficiency, energy-savings and seismic retrofitting.

Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech has set the goal of "improving the rate of orders for environmentally conscious renovations" in Mid-Term Sustainability Targets 2021 with fiscal 2021 as target year.

In fiscal 2021, we aimed for a total order ratio of 60 % for the four works of seismic construction, structural reinforcement work, heat insulation renovations, and smart material installation on, standard property (other than owners of Sumitomo Forestry homes), and the actual result was 58.9%.

In terms of battery storage, we hold seminars and campaigns to share the benefits of resilience renovation using solar power plus battery storage (iedenchi-NX) with owners of Sumitomo Forestry Homes equipped with solar power generation systems. These campaigns facilitate non-face-to-face estimates while seminars are conducted in an online format as full measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Needs for Environmentally-conscious renovations will continue to grow in the future in order to ready properties for potential natural disasters.

Carbon Stock in the Housing and Construction Business

Trees retain CO2 as carbon even after they are turned into products. Constructing wooden houses can therefore be likened to building forests in the city. The total domestic carbon stocks*1 in timber that was used in construction of the houses in the MOCCA (timber solutions) business in fiscal 2021 reached 193,000 t-CO2. Sumitomo Forestry Group is contributing to a decarbonized society by increasing carbon stock in forests and cities.

*1 CO2 fixation is calculated by categorizing the actual amounts of timber used per tree species for new custom-build detached houses, rental properties, and MOCCA business, and calculating carbon content from the specific gravity of each tree species.

Carbon stock of the timber used in the construction of houses and MOCCA (timber solutions) business in Japan in fiscal 2021

Carbon stock of the timber used in the construction of houses and MOCCA (timber solutions) business in Japan in fiscal 2021

Sales of Environmentally-conscious Housing Overseas

Henry Properties of Australia has been a driving force in efforts to improve energy-saving performance in the Australian housing industry, such as setting the 5 stars of the energy-saving performance standard Energy Rating*1 as its own standard specifications ahead of other companies. Efforts toward the environment accelerated further after the involvement of the Sumitomo Forestry Group. Henley Properties conducted a variety of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact, including the development of the first zero emission house*2 for the general consumer as a major home builder company in the country.

More than 80% of new homes built in Australia uses veneer glass because multi-layered glass has not become as popular for use in homes as in Japan due to cost. However, since 2018, Henley Properties was the first in Victoria to make multi-layered glass a standard specification in order to increase the insulation efficiency of homes*3.

Furthermore, Henry Properties has led the industry in efforts to improve airtightness. A survey conducted in 2019 showed homes built by Henley Properties have shown airtightness roughly three times higher than the average home in Australia*4. This level of airtightness can reduce the power consumption necessary for heating and cooling the average home by approximately 25%.

Henley Properties is not only improving environmental performance but is also pioneering the development of residential properties that consider the health of the people living there. The Company is also developing a system to provide ventilation while mitigating construction, lighting, and heating costs to improve the air quality inside the home. Moreover, Henley Properties reviewed primary construction and finishing materials and adopted interior coatings with ultra-low VOC*5 in accordance with the advice from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. These measures achieve housing that suppresses rising costs, maintains high quality, and protects the health of the people living there.

*1 An evaluation metric of the energy burden for heating and cooling the inside of a building in Australia. Insulation, windows, the type, size and orientation of the building, and the climatic zone are all items included in this metric. Currently, a six-star rating is the standard specification.

*2 Environmentally-conscious housing expected to have an energy-saving effect of more than 70% compared to conventional housing.

*3 Multi-layered glass is effective in improving insulation efficiency of homes by limiting the thermal reflux to approximately 35% less compared to veneer glass.

*4 The average value for Henley Properties is 5.9 ACH where the average housing in Australia is 15.4 ACH (ACH is an index that indicates the air leakage per hour at a 50 Pa indoor-outdoor air pressure difference. The lower the value the higher the airtightness).

*5 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic chemical substances volatile in the air at ordinary temperatures and pressures. Many construction coatings and adhesives contain these organic chemicals and have the potential to cause sick house syndrome or impact human health in other ways when dispersed in large quantities.

Ventilation System Development

Ventilation System Development

VCoatings Containing Low VOC Percentage

VCoatings Containing Low VOC Percentage

Research and development on visualization of CO2

Sumitomo Forestry clarifies "shared benefit" of wooden buildings and wood-based materials and promotes research on CO2 emissions (embodied carbon) from raw material procurement to processing, transportation, construction, demolition, and disposal, CO2 emissions during building operation (operational carbon), and a visualization and calculation method of life cycle CO2 (LCCO2) that combines both in order to increase value of wood and contribute to realization of a decarbonized society.

In addition to investigating reductions of CO2 emissions related to construction, such as differences of emissions due to the type of structure and identifying major factors influencing emissions, we are also advancing research to further contribute to an environment by promoting initiatives across Sumitomo Forestry divisions from forest management to material procurement and improvements. In the future, we plan to begin development of a system that can evaluate CO2 emissions during the construction planning stage.

In addition, "Tsukuba Research Institute New Research Building" was completed in 2019. By using an air conditioning system that uses wood pellets, which are renewable energy fuel and energy creation using solar panels on the roof and natural energy such as daylight and natural ventilation, we have achieved a reduction in CO2 emissions during operation and aim to further reduction by continuing to verify the effectiveness. In the future, we aim to further reduce CO2 emissions through various efforts within the laboratory.