Honoring the “Supply Chain CSR Action Guidelines” in our Lumber Business
〜Sojitz Wood Procurement Policy〜
Based on the “Sojitz Group Supply Chain CSR Action Guidelines,” Sojitz set a “Wood Procurement Policy” for responsible wood procurement in September 2015.
Wood Procurement Policy
This policy covers all roundwood; sawnwood and wood-based panels; paper manufacturing materials such as wood chips, particles, and pulp; paper products; and woody biomass handled by Sojitz and its consolidated subsidiaries (hereafter, “wood.”)
In honoring the Sojitz Group Statement, we are committed to do our best to cooperate with business partners to procure wood in line with the following policies, based on the Sojitz Group CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chains.
We will not handle wood obtained through illegal logging.
- 2.Environmental Consideration
We will not handle wood obtained through logging methods which are detrimental to high conservation value forests.
- 3.Social Consideration
In view of logging’s potential to adversely impact human rights, we will seek to mitigate any negative impact associated with wood procurement.
Sojitz endeavors to take not only the legality of the logging into consideration, but its impact on the environment and society at large. In promoting this Wood Procurement Policy, we launched an investigation into 1) wood traceability in the country of origin and 2) suitability of forest management. This led us to work towards the following goals in order to improve our wood-based operations.
From among Sojitz Group’s approximately 1,500 wood-related suppliers, we narrowed our scope (*1) to wood from countries with high country risk (*2) or from suppliers from whom Sojitz Group has purchased the most wood in terms of monetary value. This wood was then checked under the supervision of WWF Japan (*3) for 1) whether it could be traced back to its place of origin and 2) suitability of forest management (whether the forest is subject to environmentally/socially-conscious forest management).
- *1: Wood was omitted if it came from a country deemed to have low country risk. However, certain wood was included if deemed necessary according to our Wood Procurement Policy. Note that this survey included not only existing suppliers but new suppliers for that year.
- *2: Our country risk evaluation adopts the Corruption Perceptions Index made available by each year by Transparency International, an international, non-governmental organization working to prevent corruption around the world. This index ranks countries individually by comparing levels of corruption among public servants and politicians.
- *3: We have adopted use of WWF Japan’s “Responsible Purchasing Checklist for Forest Products” to confirm 1) wood traceability in the country of origin and 2) suitability of forest management. We also invited WWF to hold a briefing session to explain how to confirm whether forests with high conservational value in terms of biodiversity are being appropriately protected, as well as how to define human rights issues. Sojitz's lumber-related departments and subsidiaries attended the lecture. Furthermore, we referred to advice from WWF Japan in establishing the targets below.
1) Wood was evaluated for traceability back to the place of origin and 2) suitability of forest management, after which it was sorted into one of the following four levels.
- Level A: Wood confirmed to be certified wood (*4) or which is subject to strict management equivalent to that of certified wood.
- Level B: Wood which has not been certified, but for which we have verified both traceability and suitability of forest management (i.e. that the forest is subject to environmentally/socially conscious forest management)
- Level C: Traceable wood
- Level D: Wood lacking traceability
- *4: Wood certified under FSC, PEFC, etc. FSC-certified wood is given the highest score.
<Targets & Results>
In accordance with our Wood Procurement Policy, Sojitz Group is determined to ensure that 100% of the wood we handle is traceable by FY2020. In the future, we will also aim to ensure that 100% of the wood we handle is produced through suitable, environmentally/socially-conscious forest management.
=Results of 2017 Survey=
Our percentage of wood classified as Level B or above reached 65% for 2017. Percentage of wood for which only traceability can be confirmed (Level C) totaled 27%, whereas wood lacking traceability (Level D) comprised only 8%.
=Efforts to Improve=
If there was a problem in ensuring 1) traceability
in the country of origin, we not only conducted a survey based on
WWF Japan’s “Responsible Purchasing Checklist for Forest Products,”
but also confirmed whether they had local documentation proving traceability.
If traceability could not be confirmed using documentation alone,
we visited these suppliers directly.
If we were unable to confirm 2) suitability of forest management, we would introduce suppliers to certifications described by our Level A classification or examples of high-level forest management equivalent to these certifications, urging these suppliers to address their issues similarly. If they could not meet the standards of Level A, we asked them to amend the situation to where we could confirm that "even if the wood has not been certified, the supplier could be verified for both traceability and suitability of forest management" as stated in our description of Level B.
- 1) Conduct the survey every year, making the results public.
- 2) Endeavor to secure traceability for the wood we procure, and review procurement for wood lacking traceability.
- 3) Work to procure wood which we have confirmed is produced through suitable, environmentally/socially-conscious forest management.