Carbon Offset Project in Forests in Noshiro City, Akita Prefecture, Japan, Utilizing the J-Credit System

Sep. 05, 2023
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”), together with Noshiro City, Akita Prefecture and Shirakami Forest Union have agreed to collaborate on a carbon offset project using the J-Credit System (hereinafter, the “Project”) in city-owned forests in Noshiro City and forests managed by Shirakami Forest Union. The Project is being undertaken as a means to actively work towards achieving the SDGs and carbon neutrality by the year 2050.

Scene from one of the forests that will be part of the Project Scene from one of the forests that will be part of the Project

The J-Credit System, the purpose of which is to circulate funds for mitigating global climate change through the free trading of government certified credits, involves the awarding of credits (J-Credits) equivalent to the amounts of carbon dioxide and other emissions reductions achieved through the introduction of energy-saving equipment and the use of renewable energy. It also awards credits for the amounts of carbon dioxide and other relevant substances absorbed through appropriate forest management. As part of the Project, J-Credits will be registered and certified by conducting operations and implementing appropriate forest management based on a forest management plan for the target forest area of approximately 2,200 ha (approximately 200 ha of forest owned by Noshiro City and approximately 2,000 ha of forest land managed by the Shirakami Forest Union). Each company will play the following roles while jointly promoting the Project.

Respective roles of each company
Marubeni: Application for J-Credit registration
Monitoring support in J-Credit registered forests
Market research and provision of information on J-Credits 
Noshiro City: Formulation of forest management plans for the municipal forests
Implementation of forest operations in the municipal forests
Monitoring in J-Credit registered forests
Shirakami Forest Union: Formulation of forest management plans for the forests under management
Implementation of forest operations in the forests under management
Monitoring in J-Credit registered forests

Currently, Japan's forestry industry faces many problems, exemplified by the dispersed nature of small-scale forest land; the lack of clarity regarding forest boundaries; the dearth of reforestation initiatives following logging operations; and the failure to return profits to forest owners. By addressing these issues through the Project, Marubeni, Noshiro City, and Shirakami Forest Union will contribute to the future revitalization of the forest industry, including the improvement of forest operations and the utilization of timber.

Marubeni’s efforts in this area align with the company’s long-term vision for climate change (formulated in March 2021) and its Green Strategy, one of the basic policies to enhance corporate value in the company’s Mid-Term Management Strategy “GC2024.” Marubeni aims to enhance the environmental and economic value of forest resources in Japan and abroad and to open the way to a sustainable future through the power of people and forests.