Oji Group companies engaged in the forest plantation business outsource external consultants to conduct regular investigations on soil and water quality to check and continue monitoring the impact of their forest plantations and harvesting work on the ecosystem and water systems. In addition, the Oji Group conducts assessment on risks on laws and regulations related to forest management, vegetation risks, and biodiversity risks in the planning phase of new business or M&A.
The Oji Group strives to acquire FSC™ and PEFC forest certifications to support sustainable forest management. For example, Principle 6 of the FSC™ forest management, which is about Environmental Values and Impacts, stipulates that environmental values inside and outside the Forest Management Unit shall be assessed and monitored, and if negative environmental impacts are assumed, such impacts shall be avoided, mitigated, repaired, or otherwise addressed. The principle also makes stipulations about the maintenance, preservation, recovery, etc. of biodiversity.
To date, we have acquired FSC™ certification* in Brazil, New Zealand, and Vietnam, and SGEC certification in Japan. The rate of acquisition of forest certification is 100% (excluding profit-sharing forests) in Japan and 69% in overseas forest plantations. We will continue striving to achieve the rate of 100% forest certification acquisition.
The forest certifications acquired by the Oji Group include audit items related to biodiversity. We formulate plans for the reforestation, protection and nurturing of endangered species, as well as ecosystem investigations (including those on water quality and soil), and manage their progress. The results are regularly submitted to third-party forest certification bodies for audits.
In fiscal 2019, the forest certification acquisition rate was 94% for overseas forest plantations and 100% for domestic company-owned forests.
The climate change problem and the emission of environmentally hazardous substances have a substantial impact on the ecosystem. Oji Group’s business sites with ISO 14001 certification have set targets of reducing GHG emissions and managing environmentally hazardous substances in the effluent and exhaust air. They undergo internal audits by the Group or external audits by third-party organizations about the progress toward achieving the targets as well as remedies and improvements that have been made.