Sustainable Forest Management

Sustainable Forest Management

Basic Policy

In addition to supply function of producing wood, forests have diverse public benefits such as water source recharge, prevention of landslides, CO2 absorption and fixation as a countermeasure to global warming, preservation of biodiversity, and recreation.

The Sumitomo Forestry Group advances sustainable forest management both in Japan and overseas to ensure that wood resources will be available in perpetuity while preserving these public benefits of forests. Sumitomo Forestry Group's Business is also promoting the acquisition of SGEC forest management certification, which is mutually certifiable with FSC forest management certification and PEFC forest management certification in Japan and overseas, in its upstream forest management, midstream wood distribution and manufacturing, and downstream wooden construction.

In our domestic forestry business, we will pursue profitability through wood production in Company-owned forests, while at the same time practicing sustainable forest management that ensures legality and takes biodiversity and local culture into consideration, and obtain and maintain 100%* forest certification in forests subject to certification.

*Except for land leased to Kawanokita Development and surrounding forests.

As for the overseas forestry acquisition, below are the guiding principles for selection when obtaining new forests areas.

  1. Forests areas that have good relationships with surrounding villages and local communities.
  2. Forest areas where HCVA*1, HCSA*2 and and FPIC*3 can be implemented, no environmental problems were identified in the past, and environmental risks can be eliminated.
  3. Forest areas where third-party forest certification can be obtained (FSC®-FM is preferable and FSC-CW and PEFC certification are acceptable as well).

*1 SGEC-FM (Trademark License No. SGEC/31-21-1057), PEFC-FM (Trademark License No. PEFC/31-21-1057)

*2 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.

*3 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.

*4 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.

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Forest Management and Wood Usage

Forest Management and Wood Usage

Forest management, certification, and operations area in FY2022

Forest management, certification, and operations area in FY2022
Company owned forests in Shikoku

Company owned forests in Shikoku

Planted forest in New Zealand

Planted forest in New Zealand

Planted forest in Papua New Guinea

Planted forest in Papua New Guinea

Planted forest in Indonesia

Planted forest in Indonesia

Area of Forest Managed and Owned by the Sumitomo Forestry Group

As of December 31, 2022

Country Managed Area
Certified Area
Operations Area
Forest certification system*1 Certification Number Certification Issuing Body Afforestation Area for Social Forestry※3
Japan 47,989 47,736 27,161 - - - 0
  Sumitomo Forestry 47,965 47,736 27,161 SGEC JAFTA-010 Japan Forest Technology Association(JAFTA) 0
Indonesia 171,776 124,890 32,493 - - - 9,896
  PT. Mayangkara Tanaman Industri (MTI) 104,664 74,870 10,534 PHPL*2 015.4/EQC-PHPL/IX/2018 PT. Equality Indonesia 0
  PT. Wana Subur Lestari (WSL) 40,750 40,750 11,451 PHPL*2 10-PHPL-006 PT Almasentra Sertifikasi 0
  PT. Kubu Mulia Forestry (KMF) 9,270 9,270 5,688 PHPL*2 IMS-SPHPL-009 PT Inti Multima Sertifikasi 0
  PT. BINA OVIVIPARI SEMESTA (BIOS) 9,738 0 0 - - - -
  PT. Kutai Timber Indonesia (KTI) 7,302 0 4,771 - - - 7,144
  Koperasi Serba Usaha Alas Mandiri KTI (KAM KTI) 0 0 0 - - - 1,005*4
  Koperasi Bromo Mandiri KTI (KBM KTI) 0 0 0 - - - 1,330*5
  PT. Rimba Partikel Indonesia (RPI) 52 0 49 - - - 417
Vietnam 0 0 0 - - - 827
  Vina Eco Board Co., Ltd. 0 0 0 - - - 827
Papua New Guinea 31,260 19,920 11,618 - - - 0
  Open Bay Timber Ltd. (OBT) 31,260 12,854 11,618 FSC® NC-FM/COC-005600 Preferred by Nature 0
7,066 FSC® NC-CW/FM-003093 Prefferd by Nature
New Zealand 36,565 36,565 28,144 - - - 0
  Tasman Pine Forests Ltd. (TPF) 36,565 36,565 28,144 FSC® SGS-FM/COC-010806 SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd 0
Total 287,590 229,111 99,416 - - - 10,723

*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, (4) maintenance and enhancement of forest productivity.

*2 Pengelolaan Hvtan Produksi Lestari (PHPL) is an Indonesian certification of sustainable production forest maintenance.

*3 Area of planted forest was calculated using the actual number of seedlings distributed and the number of seedlings planted per hectare. (The number of trees planted per hectare is planned annually for each tree species)

*4 [Forest certification system] FSC® [Certification number] SA-FM/COC-002083 [Certification body] Soil Association

*5 [Forest certification system] FSC® [Certification number] SA-FM/COC-005493 [Certification body] Soil Association

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. In Japan, in fiscal 2019, we opened our sixth production facility in Minamiaizu Town, Fukushima Prefecture, which is capable of producing 1.9 million seedlings per year and supplying them to our own company-owned forests as well as to national forests and privately-owned forests throughout Japan. Overseas, in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, we produce our own seedlings for planting. Our sustainable forest management garden vegetation, cultivates, harvests, and reforestation in New Zealand and every other region where we do business.

Cultivation: Preserving the Public Benefits 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 240,000 hectares of company-owned planted forest area overseas. We strive to maintain and improve the forest's public benefits by implementing appropriate management for forest growth in these forests, such as afforestation, clear underbush, pruning, and thinning.

Carbon stocks* of company-owned forests in Japan at the end of fiscal 2022 were 13.73 million t-CO2 (+120,000t-CO2 from the previous fiscal year). Carbon stocks at overseas planted forests were 52.64 million t-CO2 (+250,000t-CO2).

* Formula to Calculate Carbon Stock
Stem volume per hectare of forest × biomass expansion factor × (1 + ratio of underground area to aboveground area) × volume density × carbon content ×CO2 conversion factor
Parameters such as Stem volume and expansion factor are based on own plot data for domestic forests, WSL, and MTI, while OBT and TPF refer to standard values of each country, etc. For protected forests in overseas forests, carbon fixation is assumed to be zero for non-forested and low accumulation areas such as rivers, lakes, roads, etc., and degraded forests in WSLs and MTI.

Carbon Stock of Forests in Japan and Overseas

Carbon Stock of Forests in Japan and Overseas

Logging and Transport: Supplying Raw Materials for Wood Products Through Systematic Logging

The Sumitomo Forestry Group logged approximately 60,000 m³ of trees in Japan and approximately 970,000 m³ of trees overseas in fiscal 2022 in forests it owns or manages based on long-term logging plans. Harvested wood are milled and processed before finally reaching the market as products such as housing and furniture. In the case of wood 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 and wood 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 wood 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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Reforestation: Preparing for the Next Cycle

Harvesting and using wood alone will lead to a diminishing of forest resources that will be used to produce wood products. The Sumitomo Forestry Group therefore promotes sustainable forest management by always planting new trees after logging.

In fiscal 2022, we planted forests on 184 hectares in Japan, and on 5,818 hectares overseas. The newly planted trees will absorb CO2 during their growth and retain it as carbon.