About Mitsui's Forests
- Outline of Our Forests
- Forest Management Policy
- How We Cultivate Forests at Mitsui
- FSC® Certification
- Tree Cultivated in Our Forests
- Forest Data
Why is Mitsui involved in forests, and what are Mitsui's forests?
Location of Our Forests
Mitsui owns forests at 74 locations throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Kyushu, which together total approximately 440 km2 (44,000 hectares). Mitsui's forests thus cover an area equal to approximately 70% of the 23 wards of Tokyo, or 0.1% of Japan's land area. Mitsui's has cultivated them carefully over the many intervening years.
- Number of forests owned: 74 (in Japan)
- Total area: approximately 440 km2 (44,000 hectares)
Social Value of Forests
Mitsui gives its forests the status of "assets with a high degree of public use that benefits the whole of society." As well as providing the reusable natural resource of lumber, forests can fulfill a range of other socially beneficial functions if properly managed and enhanced on a consistent basis: for instance, they can purify the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide to produce oxygen, they can act as a reservoir that stores and purifies rainwater, they can help to prevent natural disasters through their ability to retain water, and they can conserve the ecosystem. Everyone can enjoy a wealth of benefits from forests.
Aware of the social value of our forests, we see it as an important social responsibility to maintain the forests we own in a healthy condition over the long term.
Mitsui's forests currently absorb and fix approximately 160,000 tons of carbon dioxide absorbed per year (Mitsui estimate). A quantification of the monetary value of this function based on Forestry Agency data indicates a yearly figure of 120 billion yen. Moreover, approximately 130 km2 (13,000 hectares) of our forests have been officially designated as "Water Conservation and Water Replenishing Forests," important for safeguarding the water supply and preventing floods and landslides.
In December 2009, Mitsui obtained certification for all of its forests under the FSC® system of forest certification based on international standards. This was done with the aim of obtaining certification based on an objective evaluation of whether the company was conducting appropriate forest management; that is, whether it was carrying out its forestry operations in a way that factored in biodiversity. Mitsui thus became the largest private corporation with a forest holding in Japan of 100 km2 (10,000 hectares) or more to acquire this certification.
Preserving and Utilizing Forests to Benefit the Future
Not content with merely managing our forests appropriately, we have begun initiatives to utilize them for a range of beneficial purposes. As part of our activities to contribute to society and local communities, we utilize our forests as the environmental education. We also take advantage of our forests to support aspects of the culture and traditions of the surrounding area that make use of forest resources.
Additionally, we are considering recycling unused wood fiber from Mitsui's forests into biomass, which would be put to use locally in generating electric power and as fuel for boilers. In this way we are developing new uses of our forests.
Our wealth of forest resources does not belong to the current generation alone. Mindful of our corporate mission "Strive to contribute to the creation of a future where the aspirations of the people can be fulfilled," we are committed to working closely with the staff of our subsidiary Mitsui Bussan Forest Co., Ltd., which undertakes the management of Mitsui's forests, to carefully nurture our forests and utilize them for future benefit so as to pass them on to future generations.