Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenichi Hori) announced that it had invested in a forestry carbon offset fund in Australia, jointly developed with and managed by New Forests Pty Limited ("New Forests", Head Office: Sydney, CEO: David Brand), leveraging Mitsui's experience in the plantation and pulp wood sectors over three decades in the country. The total investment will be approximately AUD 50 million in the initial phase, and the total estimated volume of carbon offset contribution to be generated through plantation activities will be around 4 million tCO2e, which will be further scaled up to over 10 million tCO2e depending on the market demand. Mitsui aims to combine this low carbon investment with its forestry expertise and contribute to achieving net zero emissions of Mitsui group and its business partners by 2050.
Recently, the market demand for carbon credits derived from forest assets has been growing with heightened global awareness of the importance of climate change response as well as ESG-related investment. Such forestry carbon credits now account for the majority of credits currently available in the market and have been becoming one of the most popular methodologies to offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally.
The Australian government has promoted GHG emission reduction and removal projects including plantation activities to accomplish the national net zero emission target by 2050. Through its Emission Reduction Fund, the nation introduced a domestic carbon offset mechanism using Australian Carbon Credit Units ("ACCUs") to be issued for the said GHG emission reduction and removal projects.
Since the 1990s Mitsui has been investing in forestry business in Australia to supply woodchips to the Asian pulp and paper industries. The company has also invested in New Forests to contribute to sustainable plantation wood supply to worldwide markets. New Forests is the second largest forestry investment manager in the world and the largest in the growing timber markets and plantation sectors of the Asia-Pacific region.
Leveraging its forestry business expertise, Mitsui envisions creating environmental values as an additional advantage of forestry assets by way of industrial approaches and contributing to solving global climate issues in collaboration with business partners who are interested in investing in ESG and low carbon businesses. Under this strategy, Mitsui will aim to develop forestry business in Australia with other parties and generate ACCUs through afforestation activities.
In the future, Mitsui will look to establish forestry carbon projects in other countries in addition to Australia by using Mitsui's global business network and partnership with local partners and will contribute to global GHG reduction and the realization of sustainable society.
About New Forests
New Forests is a global investment manager offering high-impact strategies in sustainable forestry and related sectors, with AUD 7.7 billion in assets under management across over 1 million hectares of investments. New Forests' investment portfolio consists of sustainable forest plantations, areas of natural forest conservation, carbon projects, rural land and row-cropping, and timber processing.
New Forests' vision is to see the forest and land sectors as key in the transition to a sustainable future. To achieve this vision, New Forests' investment strategies support the role of forests as nature-based climate solutions, provide sustainable timber for the growing circular bioeconomy, and contribute to the sustainable development of regional economies and rural communities. New Forests is a Certified B Corp and operates in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and the United States. To learn more please visit: www.newforests.com.au.
“Build brighter futures, everywhere” as our corporate mission, and to gain the trust and expectations of our stakeholders to realize a better tomorrow for earth and for people around the world, we have identified five material issues (“Materiality”) for Mitsui’s sustainable growth. We anticipate this particular project/ business to contribute especially to the realization of “Create an eco-friendly society”
Secure sustainable supply of essential products
Enhance quality of life
Create an eco-friendly society
Develop talent leading to value creation
Build an organization with integrity