Under a forest certification program, an independent third-party organization certifies forests that fulfill the criteria for sustainable forest management as well as processors and distributors who sort out wood products produced in certified forests and manage their labeling. The logo of a certification body attached to certified wood products enables consumers to select products that originate from sustainable forests. To be certified, a forest must fulfill strict screening criteria including compliance with domestic laws and international conventions on forest management, protection and preservation of forestry ecosystems such as biodiversity, water, and soil, protection of the rights of indigenous people and workers, and a harmonious co-existence with local communities.
Forest certification consists of Forest Management (FM) certification, which shows that forests are managed in a responsible way, and Chain of Custody (CoC) certification regarding the distribution and processing of products from certified forests. Forest certification programs that are known globally include the FSC™ Certification*1, the PEFC Certification*2, and SGEC Certification*3 which is a unique program in Japan.
*1 FSC™ ： Forest Stewardship Council
*2 PEFC： Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme
*3 SGEC： Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council
Forest Certifications Acquired by the Oji Group
As of the end of 2017, 170,000 hectares of our forests in Japan, excluding profit-sharing forests, have acquired SGEC forest certification. Overseas, 180,000 of 260,000 hectares of our forest plantations have acquired FSCTM and other forest certifications (rate of acquisition: 69%). We will continue to promote forest recycling and forest certification acquisition with the aim of increasing the acquisition rate.
FSC™ Certified Products: Provision of Eco-Friendly Products
The Oji Group has acquired FSC™-FM certification*1 for its overseas forest plantations and FSC™-CoC certification*2 for the Group’s manufacturing and processing operations.
The advantage of these certifications for forests and converting plants is that they enable us to offer a wide range of FSC™ certified products, from primary-processed products such as log, woodchip, and lumber products, to secondary products such as pulp, as well as end products such as photocopying paper, paper for household use, and corrugated containers. In addition, end products are recycled as waste paper.
*1 FM certification: Confirmation of forest management
*2 CoC certification: Confirmation of management on processing and distribution of produced wood
SGEC Forest Certification
The Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) is a forest certification program that is unique to Japan. The Oji Group has already acquired SGEC-FM certification for all of its domestic forests excluding profit-sharing forests (whose owners are external organizations). In addition, Oji Forest & Products, the company in charge of Oji Group’s domestic forests and related activities, has acquired SGEC-CoC certification.
In fiscal 2016, SGEC signed a mutual recognition agreement with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), an international organization that promotes the mutual endorsement of certification standards in various countries and regions. This has enabled SGEC certified products to enter overseas markets as internationally certified products. We also expect that the use of certified wood for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will raise awareness of and promote the spread of forest certification programs in Japan.