Environmental Functions of the Forests
The forests not only provide lumber but fulfil a whole range of socially beneficial functions vital to human life.
In order to make sure that the forests adequately fulfill these functions, Mitsui carries out appropriate upkeep and maintenance in an ongoing fashion.
Socially Beneficial Functions of the Forests
By putting down roots, trees preserve the soil and prevent landslides.
Leaf mulch stores rainwater, reducing the risk of floods, purifies water, and feeds the groundwater supply.
Approximately 130 km2 (13,000 hectares) of Mitsui's forests are officially designated as Water Conservation and Water Safety Forests, important for safeguarding the water supply and preventing floods and landslides.
Air Purification and Global Warming Prevention
The forest stocks and flows carbon dioxide (CO2) and gives out oxygen. Mitsui's Forests stocks and flows approximately 160,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year (This calculation is based on Tier 2 approach in the Chapter 4 Forest Land in "2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories".).
Carbon Neutral Fuel
Because trees fix atmospheric carbon dioxide, when they are used as fuel, the accompanying carbon dioxide emission is equivalent to the release of the previously fixed amount. Unlike fossil fuels, wood fuels therefore do not increase the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.
The forests provide a habitat for living organisms, helping to preserve genes, species, and ecosystems.
Foundation for Human Culture
Mankind creates distinctive regional cultures by passing on essential knowledge and crafts related to forest and mountain environments.
Places of Recreation
Contact with the forests promotes recreation and relaxation.
* Estimate based exclusively on travel for the purpose of viewing natural scenery
Place of Education
Contact with forests provides opportunities to think about our relationship with the environment.
To encourage these functions, Mitsui engages in the initiatives listed below in addition to ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the forests.
Conversion of unused wood fiber to wood biomass for use as fuel for thermal power generation and boilers.
Registration under the J-VER system to obtain certification of the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed and fixed by Mitsui's forests and to permit sale of offset credits.
To contribute to the preservation of regional cultures and traditions, Mitsui signed an agreement with Kyoto Model Forest Association and Kyoto Prefecture on the use of the Kiyotaki Forest in Kyoto Prefecture to help in the preservation of Kyoto traditions. Meanwhile, an agreement was concluded with the Biratori Branch of the Hokkaido Ainu Association regarding the use of the Saru Forest in Hokkaido to preserve and foster the Ainu culture.
Organization of Forest Environmental Programs for children that utilize the educational and relaxation functions of the forest.