Sustainability Initiatives through our BusinessClimate Change Measures

Micro-hydro power generation facilities of Mibugawa Power Company

After the Great East Japan Earthquake, there was a rise in interest regarding the diversification of energy sources and renewable energy. Renewable energy sources, such as wind, geothermal, solar, and hydro power, are of particular interest as they emit minimal amounts of CO2, a cause of global warming, and do not deplete finite resources. For these reasons, renewable energy can make strong contributions to preserving the global environment.

The term “micro-hydro power generation” is used to refer to small-scale hydro power generation operations with output of less than 1,000kW. These operations do not require the use of dams or other facilities that entail large-scale construction projects, but rather generate power by utilizing streams or agricultural irrigation canals. The environmental impact of such operations is low. Moreover, micro-hydro power generation can help regional societies develop more independently as these technologies enable them to generate their own power using their own water resources.

Marubeni positions micro-hydro power generation as an important business area, and it thus began conducting operations in this area through Group company Mibugawa Power Company during 2006. We currently operate the following micro-hydro power generation facilities.

Marubeni is actively working to develop eco-friendly renewable energy sources throughout Japan. Accordingly, we have set the goal of creating approximately 30 micro-hydro power generation facilities within Japan by 2020.

  • Producing Power Locally: Mibugawa Power Company
  • Micro-hydro power station (Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture)
Facility Location Annual generation volume
Mibugawa Power Station No. 3 Ina City, Nagano Prefecture 1,500,000kWh
Mibugawa Power Station No. 4 Ina City, Nagano Prefecture 3,000,000kWh
Tateshina Power Station & Tateshina Power Station No.2 Chino City, Nagano Prefecture 3,000,000kWh
Hokuto City - Murayamarokkamuraseki
- Waterfarm
Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture 4,600,000kWh

Sustainable Forest Management

The forest area throughout the world began to decline rapidly in the 20th century. Forests provide a variety of functions, such as environmental conservation, biodiversity conservation, erosion control, and watershed conservation. These functions play important roles in our daily lives. We acknowledge that sustainable forest management is of the utmost importance as it helps ensure that forests can continue to provide these functions.

Afforestation site at WAPRES

The Marubeni Group (Marubeni Corporation and its subsidiaries) is currently developing sustainable forest plantation businesses*1 in two countries: Australia and Indonesia*2. Marubeni conducts these businesses not by harvesting natural forests but planting the sites not related to the violation of lives and livelihood of local communities. We adopt a cyclical planting system organized into rotation period with comparatively fast-growing species; eucalyptus, acacia, and other broadleaf trees. Through this procedure, we secure a stable supply of material of pulp and paper (woodchips), while at the same time practicing sustainable management.

  • Sustainable forest plantation businesses: To ensure forest plantation businesses are sustainable, we conduct successive rotations. For example, rotation period begins when a new forest stand is established and ends after eight years in case of species harvested at age eight. After the first year's establishment is harvested in the ninth year, its site will be reforested for a sustainable cycle.
  • In addition to those plantations in Australia and Indonesia, Marubeni's associate company operates sustainable natural forest management business in Canada.

Our commitments in sustainable forest management business are as follows:

  • We do not convert virgin forest into plantation
  • We aim to minimize the impact of logging roads
  • We protect our forest management units from any illegal activities
  • We aim to protect species of conservation concern under the IUCN list
  • We restrict the usage of alien species only where its impacts can be controlled
  • We manage soils by using the best management practices
  • We reduce the impact of logging
  • We do not use any pesticides listed under World Health Organization (WHO) Class 1A/1B, the Stockholm Convention and the Rotterdam Convention
  • We respect all workers' rights

WA Plantation Resources Pty. Ltd. (WAPRES) operates woodfibre production chain - its seed orchard, nursery, managed plantations and wood chipping facilities in Western Australia as Marubeni Group. WAPRES’s forest management and procedure in manufacturing and distribution are certified to Forest Management certification*3 and Chain of Custody certification*4 by the independent forest certification bodies. Going forward, the Marubeni Group will continue to manage the supply chain*5 for manufacturing pulp and paper in a sustainable manner.

  • Forest Management certification
    Forest Management certification is awarded to forest managers or owners whose management practices meet the requirements of the Principles and Criteria of the independent third-party organization.
  • Chain of Custody certification
    Chain of Custody certification applies to manufacturers, processors and traders of certified forest products. It verifies certified material and products along the production chain.
  • Marubeni Group has two pulp mills through our subsidiary PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper (PT TEL) in Indonesia and our associate company in Canada, two paper mills through our subsidiaries Koa Kogyo Co., Ltd. and Fukuyama Paper Co., Ltd., and the paper recycling operation through our subsidiary Marubeni Paper Recycle Co., Ltd.

(as of June 2018)

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+*. 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.

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

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Signed by Asset Management Company

Japan REIT Advisors Co., Ltd. (JRA), a Marubeni Group company in the real estate asset management business, has been conducting the investment management for United Urban Investment Corporation (UUR). In November 2018, JRA signed the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and became a PRI signatory.

Click here for details on PRI
News Release: Japan REIT Advisors Co., Ltd. Recognized as a Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Signatory

As a comprehensive J-REIT, UUR aims to reduce various risks and secure mid to long-term stable earnings by making real estate investments spanning diverse uses and locations. URR is also working to improve sustainability through environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations for sound management that can coexist with society and the environment. When considering real estate investments, JRA carefully examines the impact on the environment (asbestos, soil contamination, etc.), tenants (antisocial forces, work environment, etc.), and neighborhood (relationship with community, traffic congestion, etc.), in addition to the profitability of the relevant property. JRA has earned comprehensive environmental performance evaluations such as CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency) by acquiring real estate with high environmental value, and also making efforts to improve the environmental performance after acquisition. Additionally, as of 2018, JRA has earned the Green Star for four consecutive years in the survey for the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), the annual benchmark that assesses sustainability practices in the real estate sector.

UUR and JRA will continue to make further efforts to achieve asset management that considers ESG in the future.

Click here to view the “United Urban Investment Corporation” web site.
Click here to view the policies and specific approaches regarding environment, Initiatives for external ESG recognition

Click here to view the “Japan REIT Advisors Co., Ltd.” web site.

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 94th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders at the Palace Hotel Tokyo on June 22, 2018. 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 ninth 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 curbs the production of CO2.

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