Introducing J-Credit Sales for the Agricultural Use of Biochar,
Including its Application in the Production of “edish” Upcycling Tableware

Aug. 09, 2022
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) is pleased to announce an exclusive sales partnership with Japan Cool Vege Association for a biochar*1-based J-credit*2 (hereinafter, “this credit”).

Biochar is a solid produced by heating (carbonizing) biomass. Though CO2 absorbed by plants is emitted when plants are disposed of or decompose, these emissions into the atmosphere can be prevented if the CO2 is fixed into the soil via carbonization (such as by the use of biochar).

Based on the reduction of CO2 emissions achieved by the agricultural use of biochar, the J-credit committee accredited this credit on June 30, 2022. Accreditation based on this purpose was the first of its kind in Japan. Going forward, Marubeni will connect creators of this credit with those who wish to purchase it in not only Japan but also the global market.

Biochar before it is spread over soil Biochar before it is spread over soil

“edish” upcycling tableware “edish” upcycling tableware

Marubeni will also use this credit (purchased as of August 2022) to offset the CO2 emissions from the procurement and manufacturing processes of “edish” upcycling tableware*3 to create “edish carbon neutral” tableware products.

The use of biochar to sequestrate CO2 has been receiving increased global attention from corporations, both as a means to help fulfill their ESG (Environment, Society ad Governance) and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) pledges and to proactively contribute to a carbon-negative society. What makes the biochar carbon sequestration methodology unique is its inclusiveness of agricultural producers, who can simply use biochar as a soil amendment and create carbon credits from which they can generate extra income to sustain their livelihoods. Furthermore, biochar itself can be made from local biomass that would otherwise be wasted or incinerated (e.g., wood materials from forest management practices and rice husks left over from rice production).

One of Marubeni’s areas of focus under its Mid-Term Management Strategy GC 2024 is aspiring to become a forerunner in green business within the next few years. In line with this Mid-Term Management Strategy, Marubeni plans to become a bridge between sellers and buyers of this credit to contribute to solving key societal issues such as wasted biomass (e.g., overgrown bamboo and food waste), accelerating the adoption of regenerative farming practices, engaging in sales of regeneratively grown farm products, and creating a circular local economy.

*1: Biochar is a solid material generated by heating biomass to a temperature over 350°C under controlled oxygen concentrations at non-combustion levels (IPCC, 2019).
IPCC paper : https://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2019rf/pdf/4_Volume4/19R_V4_Ch02_Ap4_Biochar.pdf
*2: MAFF press release, dated June 30, 2022 (available only in Japanese):
*3 “edish” is a sustainable and circulatory tableware company born from the 2019 Marubeni Business Plan Contest. Through edish, Marubeni uses unique technology to upcycle food waste materials such as food peels (until now a rarely utilized piece of food waste) into tableware. edish aims to further upcycle their products by collecting and composting used edish tableware and kitchen waste to nourish soil and put these items back into the dining cycle as vegetables and flowers. Website (available only in Japanese): https://edish-jp.com/

■ Marubeni  
Company name Marubeni Corporation
Head office 4-2, Ohtemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8088, Japan
Incorporated 1949
President and CEO Masumi Kakinoki
Main business Marubeni Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries use their broad business networks,
both within Japan and overseas, to conduct importing and exporting (including third country trading),
as well as domestic business, encompassing a diverse range of business activities across
wide-ranging fields including lifestyle, ICT business & logistics, food, agri business, forest products,
chemicals, metals & mineral resources, energy, power, infrastructure project, aerospace & ship,
finance, leasing & real estate business, construction, industrial machinery & mobility,
next generation business development and next generation corporate development.
Additionally, the Marubeni Group offers a variety of services, makes internal and external investments,
and is involved in resource development throughout all of the above industries.
Website https://www.marubeni.com/en/
■ Japan Cool Vegetable Association
Name Japan Cool Vegetable Association
Head office 2-8-13 Hozumi, Ibaragi, Osaka
Founded 2015
Representative Akira Shibata (Professor at Ritsumeikan University)
Areas of expertise Contributing to environmental protection and climate change mitigation and adoption as follows
(1) Research and development on biochar production and its byproducts
(2) Research and development on agricultural produces, sales, and branding
(3) Research and development on renewable energy and its usage
(4) Other matters related to the above
Website https://coolvege.com/index.html