An outstanding feature of the Oji Group is the vast area of forests it owns.
We own a total of 570,000 hectares of forests in Japan and overseas, with 440,000 hectares of production forests and 130,000 hectares of conservation forests. The area is about 2.5 times larger than the area of Tokyo. Forests absorb CO2 in the atmosphere and perform photosynthesis, storing and fixing the carbon trunks, branches, and so on. Approximately 12 million tons of CO2 is absorbed each year in conjunction with the growth of the Group’s 440,000 ha of production forests in Japan and overseas, and timber equivalent to this absorption amount is sold inside and outside the Group and used internally for lumber products.
The Group’s forest in Japan and overseas currently hold a total of 120 million tons of CO2 . as of March 31th,2020.
The Oji Group believes that those who use trees have the responsibility to plant trees. Accordingly, we have long been working hard to achieve sustainable forest management by repeating the cycle of planting, growing, and harvesting trees. Through this initiative, sound, vigorously-growing forests are maintained, fulfilling their functions of fixing CO2 and conserving soil and water as well as being used for industrial purposes.
The paper and pulp business uses a large amount of water in the manufacturing process. Therefore, we have been working on the reuse of water according to quality (cascading: use in multiple stages) and the recycling of water without wasting water. As a result, the water recycling rate came to 93% in FY2019. We also purify water after recycling using strict self-management values compared with legal regulation values. In terms of COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) in wastewater, COD emissions of the Group in FY2019 were about half of COD emissions when they are controlled to a level on par with the regulation value.
The Oji Group also continues to recycle paper, aiming to achieve the rate of use of recovered paper of 65%. With the aim of further improving the rate, we will strengthen cooperation in the industry to expand the use of confidential documents and difficult-to-process waste paper and quality improvements.
The Basic Policy of the Oji Group Environmental Charter says, “The Oji Group Environmental Charter requires the Oji Group to help create a truly enriched and sustainable society by developing business activities that harmonize with the environment from a global perspective. The Charter calls for the Oji Group to make autonomous efforts to achieve further environmental improvement, and aggressively drive its sustainable forest management, paper recycling, and global warming countermeasures forward.” Based on this policy, we undertake a range of activities in a Group-wide manner for achieving “Limitless Challenge to Zero-environmental Burden,” “Responsible Raw Materials Procurement,” and “Sustainable Forest Management,” which constitute the Environmental Action Program for 2020.
For the “Limitless Challenge to Zero-environmental Burden,” we are striving to achieve zero environmental accidents and product liability accidents and a further reduction in the environmentally hazardous substances generated in our manufacturing process, such as wastewater, exhaust gas, and waste, by raising the environmental awareness of all officers and employees further and integrating our technological, operational, and planning capabilities.
For “Responsible Raw Materials Procurement,” we procure raw materials with environmental and social considerations by confirming their safety and legality in accordance with the Oji Group Partnership Procurement Policy and the Wood Raw Material Procurement Guidelines, which are based on the philosophies of the Oji Group Corporate Code of Conduct and the Oji Group Environmental Charter.
For “Sustainable Forest Management,” we are promoting the acquisition of forest certifications and the expansion of the lineup of environmentally-friendly products, including forest-certified products, to achieve the conservation of forest functions and the sustainable use of forest resources. We believe that these certifications and products support our sustainable forest management. To acquire forest certifications for all the forests we manage and own in the world, we will continue to manage our forests in a sustainable manner and promote the lumber processing business aggressively, thereby contributing to the revival of the domestic forestry industry and forest restoration.
In September 2020, the Oji Group established Environmental Vision 2050 with “Net-zero carbon” and “Harmony with nature and society” as the pillars and the Environment Action Program 2030 with FY2030 being the target achievement year as a milestone to achieve the Environmental Vision 2050.
In the Oji Group, every single employee, including management team members, will retain environmental awareness and address global environmental issues proactively, thereby contributing to achieving a sustainable society.