Sustainability Initiatives through our BusinessClimate Change Measures

Sustainable Forest Management

Forest area throughout the world began to decline rapidly in the 20th century. Forests fulfill a variety of environmental functions, including biodiversity conservation, erosion control, and watershed conservation. The wood resources we obtain from forests also play important roles in our daily lives. Marubeni recognizes that sustainable forest management is of the utmost importance because of the social and economic value that forests provide.

WA Plantation Resources Pty. Ltd.(WAPRES)
WA Plantation Resources Pty. Ltd.(WAPRES)

The Marubeni Group*1 currently holds 140,000 hectares of tree plantations in Australia and Indonesia (total gross project area is 320,000 hectares). Focusing on eucalyptus, a fast-growing broadleaf tree that matures in six to ten years, and through a controlled cycle of planting, cultivation, management and harvesting, we provide a stable and sustainable supply of wood resources used for pulp and paper. Because we plant on sites that do not threaten the lives and livelihood of local inhabitants and do not harvest natural forests, our forest plantation business is sustainable and demonstrates consideration for the environment and regional communities.

  • The Marubeni Group’s forest plantation business is conducted by two consolidated subsidiaries: WA Plantation Resources Pty. Ltd. (WAPRES) in Australia and PT Musi Hutan Persada (PT-MHP) in Indonesia.

The Marubeni Group’s forest management is operated in accordance with standards established by forest certification systems. WAPRES, which operates the forest plantation and wood chip production business in Australia, has obtained Forest Management certification (FSC? C016260)*2 and Chain of Custody certification*3 from the Forest Stewardship Council*4 (FSC), and Sustainable Forest Management certification from Responsible Wood*5.

PT-MHP, which operates the forest plantation business in Indonesia, has obtained Forest Management certification from the Indonesian Forestry Certification Corporation*6. Wood harvested from the plantations of both WAPRES and PT-MHP is supplied as 100% certified wood as of March 31, 2019.

The Marubeni Group will continue to manage the supply chain*7 for manufacturing pulp and paper in a sustainable manner.

  • Forest Management certification/Sustainable Forest Management certification: Certification that a forest owner or management organization conducts sustainable forest management based on certain criteria established by an independent third party.
  • Chain of Custody certification: A certification of manufacturers, processors and distributors that manage wood and wood products from certified forests separately from other materials based on certain criteria established by an independent third party.
  • Forest Stewardship Council: An international organization that provides systems of forest certification.
  • Responsible Wood (Certification Scheme): A forest certification system in Australia endorsed and mutually recognized under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), an international forest certification system for the endorsement and mutual recognition of forest certification systems of various countries.
  • Indonesian Forestry Certification Corporation: A forest certification system in Indonesia endorsed and mutually recognized under the PEFC.
  • The Marubeni Group has businesses that span the pulp and paper supply chain, with a pulp mill at PT Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper, a consolidated subsidiary in Indonesia, the two paper mills of consolidated subsidiaries Koa Kogyo Co., Ltd. and Fukuyama Paper Co., Ltd., and a paper recycling business at Marubeni Paper Recycle Co., Ltd.

(As of April 2020)

Sustainable Forest Management (REDD+)

  • REDD Center sign. Marubeni appears as a co-collaborator
  • Seedlings cultivated in the nursery
  • Slashed-and-burned forest

Luang Phabang province in northern Laos is covered in lush forests; but, the decline in forests due to slash-and-burn farming methods is becoming serious. In this province, there is a mechanism being implemented to preserve the forests in developing countries called REDD+*8. Marubeni is participating in a project, along with Waseda University, Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., Ltd., Japan Forest Technology Association and the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute of Laos.

REDD+ is a mechanism for the international community to provide economic support when a developing country takes measures to prevent deforestation and forest degradation, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions or increasing the amount of carbon stocks by the forest. The aim of this project is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by introducing alternative means of livelihood that do not rely excessively on slash-and-burn farming methods. To facilitate the smooth implementation of the project, an important theme is building a system based on collaboration with the neighboring communities. Also, in terms of biodiversity conservation, projects are carried out in accordance with the Laos government’s plans and strategies based on the Convention on Biological Diversity, while also considering the validity of the wildlife conservation methods.

In addition to the traditional paddy field cultivation and the cultivation of coffee, since the 2017 fiscal year efforts are being made to grow high-added-value fruits like strawberries and blueberries, as well as introducing alternative means of livelihood , such as weaving, woodworking, and breeding of livestock. There are also plans to establish technical stations in various villages and village clusters to provide technical support for forest preservation, and creating the base for continuous project implementation.

The implementation of REDD+ in Luang Prabang province involves about 30,000 hectares in the Phonxay district near the village cluster of Houaykhing, achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions of approximately 130,000 tons annually. There is a total of about 2 million hectares of forest in the Luang Prabang province in total. If the activities of the REDD+ project are expanded to quasi-national basis in the future, there is the potential to achieve a 3-million ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions annually. This project is included in the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) framework between Japan and Laos, and Japan’s contribution to suppressing climate change is also expected.

8 REDD+:Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries

Initiatives for Renewable Energy Power Projects

In order to work toward a low-carbon society that mitigates the effects of climate change as part of sustainable development goals, Marubeni is actively pursuing and expanding renewable energy power projects.※9

9 Renewable energy power generation currently accounts for approximately 10% of our net generation capacity. We will increase this to approximately 20% by 2023.


Initiatives for Reducing Environmental Impact (Koa Kogyo)

As a resource conservation measure, Marubeni’s consolidated subsidiary Koa Kogyo Co., Ltd. is working to reduce the amount of water resources it uses in the production process.

Since large quantities of water are needed in papermaking operations, Koa Kogyo secures the necessary water from both industrial and well water sources and recycles water in the manufacturing process. In waste water, strict water quality standards are met by using activated sludge tanks to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and by purifying water.

Koa Kogyo is also working to reduce waste volume. By pulping waste paper using a high-consistency pulper, Koa Kogyo can recycle paper that was previously incinerated because it could not be processed. Furthermore, all combustible garbage is disposed of utilizing high-temperature incinerators, and the thermal energy is recovered and used for thermal recycling. Because it processes waste at high temperatures of 900–1,000°C, this incinerator emits virtually no toxic dioxins and meets environmental standards for NOx, SOx and CO2 emissions.

In addition, Koa Kogyo collects waste paper and office waste to be recycled and reused as paperboard. By doing so, the company has established a closed recycling system with customers and is reducing the burden on the environment.

Click here to view Koa Kogyo’s environmental initiatives (Japanese only)

Adaptation to Climate Change in Feed Material Procurement

Climate change has significant impact on the procurement of raw materials for the feed mixtures for livestock and fisheries, and Marubeni acknowledges that adaptation to climate change is a priority issue in our risk management.
If the ways of agriculture and fishery change along with climate change, it may also reduce the production of the farm and marine products that are the protein sources of formula feed, or affect the formula ratio, quality, and other aspects.
Marubeni monitors climate patterns, temperature, and other factors by product and region to mitigate climate change risks, while also considering the potential influences of climate change as part of our management strategy.
Additionally, as part of our countermeasures for climate change risks, we are actively working on research and innovations in developing substitutes for animal protein material derived from fish and livestock.

Utilization of Life-Cycle Assessment

Marubeni utilizes life-cycle assessment (LCA) in the beef cattle rearing project at its consolidated subsidiary in Australia, Rangers Valley Cattle Station PTY. LTD. (hereinafter “Rangers Valley”), and quantitatively analyzes and assesses the social and environmental impact of our business. Rangers Valley promotes effective operation through research such as optimal feed and methods for feeding and fattening. By utilizing the analysis results of LCA in our business, we are working on reducing the social and environmental impact of this project.

Click here to view Ranger Valley’s initiatives

Initiatives for the Sequestration, Capture, and Storage of Carbon Dioxide

Marubeni is an investor in Japan CCS Co., Ltd., which was established in May 2008, in response to the Japanese government’s call for the development of CCS*10 technologies as a countermeasure to global warming. It was founded by major private-sector firms with expertise in CCS-related fields joining forces to meet the new demands. As a private-sector corporation that brings together and integrates CCS technologies, the company conducts surveys on how to commercialize technologies for the separation, capture, transport, and geological storage of CO2, as well as R&D and testing in these fields.

10 CCS is an acronym for Carbon Capture and Storage and refers to the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). Specifically, it involves technologies for capturing CO2 emitted by factories, power plants and the like before it is released into the atmosphere, transporting it to underground geological strata suited to storing it, and storing it in a stable manner over long periods of time.

Large-Scale CCS Demonstration Project

Marubeni is working on a project to verify the establishment of an international supply chain to liquify hydrogen produced with unused lignite (i.e. “brown coal”) from Victoria, Australia, and transport it to Japan. For the future commercialization of liquified hydrogen made with this technology, it will be necessary to use CCS technologies to capture, and store the CO2 generated in the hydrogen production process. In part because of this, Marubeni regularly visits the Tomakomai CCS Demonstration Project Center, which is a facility in the city of Tomakomai, Hokkaido, operated by Japan CCS Co., Ltd., to observe the work done there. The demonstration project has been running for nine years, from FY2012 to FY2020, and is slated to store a cumulative total of 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide underground.

Japan CCS Co., Ltd.

Use of Green Power

Certificate of Green Power issued by Mibugawa Power Company
Certificate of Green Power issued by Mibugawa Power Company

Marubeni and the Palace Hotel used green power at the venue of Marubeni's 95th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders at the Palace Hotel Tokyo on June 21, 2019. By purchasing certified green power (1,500kWh) issued by Mibugawa Power Company, a green power operator and 100% Marubeni-owned subsidiary, the Palace Hotel used green power at the venue of the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders.

This is the tenth time that Marubeni has used green energy at its Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders.

Green power refers to electricity that is generated by natural energy such as hydropower, wind power, biomass, solar power, and geothermal power. Unlike power generated by fossil fuels such as oil and coal, green power has environmental value because it has low levels of CO2 emissions and a small impact on the environment.

Marubeni will continue promoting its environmental efforts in various forms going forward.