Creating Value from Forests
With Mitsui's Forests, we aim to properly protect and nurture the wide range of benefits and functions provided by forests while also making these forests economically sustainable. We do this by maximizing each forest's diverse benefits so that they can be used by both Mitsui & Co., and society, and then reinvesting any profits back into forest management. We will leverage the network and functions we can provide as a general trading company through a unique approach to raise the diverse values of forests and strive to create new value.
Applying Digital Transformation (DX)
In order to realize efficient smart forestry, in September 2019 we launched an initiative to collect geographical information through aerial surveys. The data collected is analyzed and used together with technology to visualize CO2 absorption. This facilitates the creation of forestry-derived carbon credits under Japan's J-Credit Scheme.
We also interviewed people involved in the forestry section of the J-Credit Scheme to identify issues hindering the creation of J-Credits using forests. Under the hypothesis that the effective application of digital technology is one way to solve these issues, we verified the data acquired from the aerial survey of parts of Mitsui's Forests and explained our ideas to various parties involved. As a result, in August 2021, we were able to realize a change in the scheme's rules which will benefit many companies looking to create J-Credits through forestry. Now it is possible to apply for J-Credits for digital survey data collected using aircraft or drones.
The creation of J-Credits from appropriately managed Japanese forests will expand supply to meet demand for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, and the profits gained from selling these credits will be reinvested back into the forests, leading to sustainable forest management. In the future, we aim to expand this kind of initiative for advancing smart forestry and making forest management more efficient not only at Mitsui's company owned forests, but also other forests across Japan.
Switching to Carbon Neutral Electricity at Business Locations in Japan
We have made our Head Office, as well as other offices and training centers in Japan, carbon neutral by offsetting all indirect CO2 emissions associated with hot water and electricity usage through the appropriate use of forestry-derived credits generated by Mitsui's Forests and renewable energy-derived credits generated by the biomass power generation of our affiliate company Konan Utility Co., Ltd.
Strategic Use of the Benefits of Mitsui's Forest
Here we introduce the strategic ways we leverage our capabilities as a general trading company to use the various benefits and materials provided by Mitsui's Forests.
Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation
Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Co., Ltd., an affiliate company, is using unused wood thinned from forests in Hokkaido as fuel for biomass power generation in order to supply carbon neutral energy that is locally produced and consumed. In addition to investing in the company, we provide it with unused wood from company owned forests in Hokkaido, as well as collecting and supplying wood from forests owned by other companies, to contribute to the stable supply of carbon neutral energy.
Aroma oils and furniture
We are collaborating with our business partner Tsuji Oil Mills Co., Ltd. and our affiliate company Soda Aromatic Co., Ltd. to create original aroma oils made using oils derived from hinoki cypress trimmings sourced from Mitsui's Forests. This hinoki cypress oil is also used to make anti-bacterial sprays. We are leveraging the soothing effects of the hinoki cypress aroma by using the aroma oils on the visitor meeting rooms floor at Head Office as part of our hospitality efforts and by placing the anti-bacterial sprays in various places throughout our business locations.
We also actively use timber from Mitsui's Forests to create the furniture and art that decorates our Head Office, including in the first-floor lobby and the visitor meeting rooms floor, filling each space with the warmth of wood.
Mitsui's Forests Craft Gin
The Hokkaido Office came up with the idea for a craft gin that has been flavored by adding Sakhalin spruce leaves gathered from nearby company owned forests during the distillation process. This gin is now being distilled by Shakotan Spirit and features a design that invokes a forest at dawn. We plan to present the gin to customers as a corporate gift to help communicate our aspirations regarding Mitsui's Forests and sustainable approach to forest management.