Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Masami Iijima) maintains approximately 44,000 hectares of company-owned forests in 73 locations throughout Japan.
On April 12, Japan's Ministry of the Environment, under its J-VER scheme concerning offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions ("J-VER"), provided certification for carbon offsetting credits for two project locations of Mitsui's company-owned forests located in Hokkaido.
Established by the Ministry of the Environment in November 2008, the J-VER scheme promotes forest carbon absorption programs that reduce carbon emissions in line with Kyoto Protocol targets requiring Japan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6%, out of which 3.8% is to be reduced through forest carbon absorption measures. J-VER helps achieve that goal by encouraging voluntary initiatives of companies, carbon offset providers and other entities aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To that end, it provides emission credit certification for programs that reduce or absorb emissions, and grants emission credits that can be circulated and traded on the open market. J-VER certification is given principally in regard to projects that develop forest carbon absorption through proper forest management practices within Japan, and also in regard to initiatives involving emission reductions achieved through the use of energy sources other than fossil fuels.
Mitsui implements carbon offset programs using company-owned forests in hopes of helping to develop a mechanism whereby a wider circulation of emission credits enables funds raised by those credits to be channeled back into improvement of Japanese forest management.
Under the J-VER scheme, Mitsui has been issued Forest Carbon Absorption Credits for this year amounting to 6,601 tons of carbon, thereby marking the largest single certified volume ever granted for one project of a private enterprise*. Mitsui Bussan Forest Co., Ltd., a Mitsui wholly-owned subsidiary that provides stewardship of Mitsui's company-owned forests, acquired the credits on Mitsui's behalf.
The credits granted this time around were issued in regard to some 480 hectares of managed Sakhalin fir woodland located in two of Mitsui's forests in Hokkaido, Japan: the 5,788 hectare Saru Forest of Biratori Town and the 1,094 hectare Shosanbetsu Forest of Tomamae-Gun Shosanbetsu Village. In addition, Mitsui is currently applying for carbon offsetting credit certification under the same category in regard to its 1,138 hectare Sando Forest located in Mie Prefecture. J-VER certification for that woodland is expected to come through sometime this summer.
Mitsui's stewardship of its company-owned forests involves active use of those lands as carbon emission absorptions. Moreover, Mitsui works to ensure sustainable management of its forests by reinvesting proceeds gained through sales of its carbon offset credits toward further improvement of forest management.
* According to certification results made public by the J-VER secretariat as of today's date
The J-VER Scheme Flowchart
Mitsui's Company-owned Forests in the Hokkaido Area
Sakhalin Fir (content from the Mitsui Bussan Forest website)
This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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