Social Contribution Activities
We work to resolve environmental issues and aim to create an eco-friendly society.
Mitsui & Co. owns forests in 74 locations in Japan which cover a total area of approximately 44,000 hectares, or 0.1% of Japan.
We are giving back to society by properly protecting and nurturing the wide range of benefits and functions provided by forests through forest management and operations that treat all company owned forests as sustainable forests. This involves carrying out appropriate forestry operations as needed with a long-term perspective.
Responding to Climate Change
In our environmental policy, we have committed to advancing business that contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
We have also positioned climate change and sustainability management as one of the key themes of our Medium-term Management Plan 2023.
Mitsui's Forests provide various public benefits and contribute to the accumulation and absorption of carbon dioxide. Additionally, approximately 30% of the total forested area has been designated as Water Conservation and Water Safety Forests that help to secure water resources and mitigate flood damage.
At Mitsui's Forests, we use a unique "zoning" management method in which areas are divided into categories based on various characteristics, such as topography and tree species, and then managed according to these categories. Categories include "Harvest-oriented Sustainable Cycle Forests," "Naturally Regenerated Forests," and "Biodiversity Conservation Forests" and each type of forest is managed appropriately based on a management policy for each category. "Biodiversity Conservation Forests" in particular have been identified as forests with high conservation value, so we have further divided them into the four sub-categories of "Special Conservation Forests," "Water and Soil Conservation Forests," "Environmental Conservation Forests," and "Cultural Conservation Forests," with forest management and operations carried out in a manner that fully takes into account their biodiversity. We evaluate the effects of our actions on biodiversity and work to ensure that the biodiversity of Mitsui's Forests is conserved in line with Mitsui policy.
Yatsuda Regeneration Project
Since 2007, we have been working together with the Asaza Fund (NPO) on the "Yatsuda Regeneration Project," a project for regenerating deteriorated yatsuda paddies (a rice paddy in the valley of a low, hilly area) in Ushiku City, Ibaraki Prefecture, by growing agrochemical-free rice, and through other activities. Employees from Mitsui and its group companies, together with their families, participate in this year-long program, in which rice planting, weeding, and harvesting are done by hand, and the collected agrochemical-free rice is used to brew sake. At the same time as growing rice, Mitsui also conducts biological studies of the area. The program is designed to help revive the ecosystem of the yatsuda, including insects like fireflies, and give participants the chance to experience the cycle of nature, firsthand.
Tree Planting Activities in Colombia
Mitsui & Co. (Colombia) is working together with Toyota to plant trees in the Encenillo Biological Reserve, located in La Trinidad, a village in Guasca, Cundinamarca Department, close to Bogota, and covers an area of approximately 206 hectares. The reserve was established in 2007 to protect the local ecosystem and is now home to plants (mosses, lichens, ferns, and trees) and animals (armadillos, Páramo foxes, and over 78 species of bird). The Natura Colombia Foundation is responsible for the preservation and protection of this area and has greatly contributed to the conservation of Colombia's biodiversity for 36 years. To contribute to the restoration and conservation of this ecosystem, and with the long-term aim of mitigating climate change, Mitsui & Co. (Colombia) donated 2,500 native trees including prunus annularis and laurel for planting on 0.56 hectares of land, with 10 people from Mitsui & Co. (Colombia) participating in the tree planting activities. A monument was placed in the reserve to commemorate these activities and Mitsui & Co. (Colombia)'s contribution to environmental conservation.
Support for Conservation Research on Green Turtles on the Ogasawara Islands
The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund supports research into the conservation of green turtles through a grant to the NPO Everlasting Nature of Asia (ELNA). ELNA is conducting research to determine the optimum number of sea turtles that can be safely harvested while achieving the dual goals of preserving traditional Ogasawara Island food culture and ensuring sufficient protection of this endangered animal. The turtle population has experienced a serious decline due to excessive harvesting by humans worldwide – a situation said to be caused by overfishing to meet market demand without consideration of its impact on ecology. Further, in recent years, global warming and other forms of climate change have been impacting the survival of animal populations, and sea turtles are particularly susceptible to climate change due to the fact that the temperature of the beach where eggs are laid plays a critical role in determining the sex of hatchlings. Through this research, ELSA is conducting an ecological survey of sea turtles in the Ogasawara Islands with a focus on protecting both the livelihoods of local residents and local sea turtle stocks and with the aim of ascertaining the optimal approach in the use of the local sea turtle population that will allow them to prosper despite climate change.