Sustainable Forest Management

Sustainable Forest Management

Contributing to the Resolution of Global Environmental Problems through the Maintenance and Preservation of Woodland Resources

History and Purpose

In 1906, Nitta acquired a large tract of woodland in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido after searching for oak trees as a source of tannin raw material needed in the production of its products. While making effective use of those abundant resources, we’ve also worked actively to maintain and preserve woodlands since that time by, for example, planting fast-growing larch trees.
Today, we own about 6,700 hectares of forest, and we’re actively and continuously developing forests as an important global resource, including by supplying timber, providing seedlings for planting, and planting and thinning trees.

Enacting Woodland Management Policies and Earning SGEC Certification

Beyond providing timber as a natural resource, woodlands have a variety of beneficial functions, including protecting the Earth’s environment by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide and preserving biodiversity.
Reflecting our belief that continuing to maintain and preserve our company-owned forest is an important social responsibility, we’ve established a management policy to guide that process. We continue to undertake initiatives to contribute to “Life on Land,” one of the SDGs, while managing our forest in accordance with the certification standards and guidelines of the SGEC* (Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council), which administers forest certification systems.
* The SGEC aims to improve forest management in Japan against the backdrop of a worldwide decline in the quantity and quality of forests and rising interest in green consumerism. As of June 3, 2016, SGEC certification was recognized as being equivalent to PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) international certification.

Company Forest Management Policy

The Nitta Group (“the Group”) is committed to contributing to the protection of the global environment and preserving biodiversity by maximizing the multifaceted functionality of forests through the enactment and implementation of a Woodland Management Plan based on the Hokkaido Woodland Development Ordinance and the Hokkaido Woodland Development Basic Plan. To that end, we manage our company-owned forests based on the basic approach described below.

  • 1.To reliably implement the Woodland Management Plan in an effort to maintain and increase our woodland resources into the future, we develop structures to facilitate sustainable company-owned forest management.
  • 2.In keeping with the Hokkaido Woodland Development Basic Plan, we classify company-owned forests as watershed protection forest, mountain disaster prevention forest, living environment protection forest, and timber production forest; develop a vision for each type; and undertake development and other operations as defined below while taking into account biodiversity.
    • ①Watershed protection forest
      In addition to carrying out appropriate growing and thinning from the perspective of ensuring a stable supply of high-quality water, we undertake operations so as to foster the development of understory vegetation and tree roots and to reduce and disperse bare land resulting from logging.
    • ②Mountain disaster prevention forest
      We undertake operations so as to reduce and avoid bare land on the forest floor while considering conditions such as topography and geology from the perspective of fostering the formation of a regional environment that is resilient to natural disasters.
    • ③Living environment protection forest
      We undertake operations founded on the development and maintenance of forests that are effective in protecting against wind, noise, and other disruptive phenomena and in purifying air from the perspective of protecting a pleasant living environment in the surrounding area.
    • ④Timber production forest
      We undertake appropriate afforestation, fostering of growth, thinning, and other operations in a planned and systematic manner to foster the growth of trees with a mix of species and diameters that suit market demand from the perspective of creating a consistent, stable, and efficient supply of forest products such as timber.
      In implementing the plan, we pursue efficient development through mechanization and work aggressively to ensure the cyclical use of forest resources by ensuring that clear-cut areas are subsequently replanted.
  • 3.To contribute to Hokkaido’s “tree education” initiative and foster stakeholders’ understanding of the Group’s woodlands business, we create places where visitors can view and encounter woodlands and timber.
  • 4.In our development and other forest operations, we give sufficient consideration to the need to ensure workers’ occupational health and safety while working to harmonize our efforts with regional and governmental activities and to protect the environment.

The website of Hokkaido Nitta Co., Ltd., introduces Nitta’s forest development efforts. Please visit to find out more.

Initiatives for the next generation
Clean Larch (Elite Tree) Seed Orchard
Clean Larch (Elite Tree) Seed Orchard

As a component of our Group’s forestry business, we grow the seedings necessary for tree planting. Amid a significant decline in the number of sapling producers, we will contribute to the local communities by stably providing saplings and engaging in efficient sapling production in Hokkaido.
We have also created a Clean Larch (Elite Tree) Seed Orchard as an initiative aimed at the next generation. These trees grow significantly faster than ordinary trees. They show promise not only for meeting building material demand but also as a future CO2 sink.
Although production of full-scale saplings will still require over a decade, we plan to continue steadily carrying out this work.

Communication with the community

Hokkaido, where our company-owned forest is located, is home to unique “tree education” activities carried out in many regions to develop human resources capable of independently considering the relationship between forests and people. We are cooperating with there tree education activities as a part of our measures to strengthen relationships with local communities, enacting our own unique measures. The following are some specific activities we have carried out in the past few years.
In addition to the following activities, we are carrying out a number of activities in cooperation with relevant regions to build interest in forests among local communities. We will continue to actively roll out such activities in our efforts to raise interest in forests as a main feature of the natural environment in as many people as possible.

  • Cooperation with training grounds for tree planting and pruning
    Cooperation with training grounds for tree planting and pruning
    Provision of grounds for tree planting and pruning training by volunteers involved in lumbering, construction, etc.
  • Provision of tree bark to Ainu people
    Provision of tree bark to Ainu people
    Provision of tree bark for use as a material in costumes worn by indigenous Ainu people in rituals
  • Provision of a location for study by young forestry workers
    Provision of a location for study by young forestry workers
    Provision of company-owned forest for on-site training hosted by Hokkaido
  • Cooperation in Hokkaido research
    Cooperation in Hokkaido research
    Provision of company-owned forest as a testing and research ground for new technologies researched by Hokkaido
  • Cooperation with labor-sabing technology testing
    Cooperation with labor-sabing technology testing
    Provision of company-owned land for on-site testing of mechanization, undertaken by various company groups, and other organizations as a measure for labor-saving technology
  • Social studies class at a local elementary school
    Social studies class at a local elementary school
    Implementing forest management education as part of social studies classes

Creating Environments That Consider Biodiversity

Conducting Biodiversity Surveys in Company-owned Forests

In fiscal 2021, we began conducting biodiversity surveys at two broad-leaved forest locations.
Some photographs from the surveys are shown below.

Survey Methodology

A local consultant conducts three site surveys each year, in the spring, summer, and fall, while noting and photographing observed species. Birds are recorded using the fixed-point method, in which the consultant watches established points for a certain amount of time and notes species when they are observed visually or heard. Animal life is surveyed using a combination of the trace method and trail cameras. Results are listed by year.

Survey Timing

We plan to continue the survey until 2023 at the latest while varying the target.

Fiscal 2021 Plant Life Survey

Precious species representing 13 families and 18 species listed on the Ministry of the Environment’s Red List and the Hokkaido Red List were observed.

Precious species and large trees found by the survey (excerpt)
Fiscal 2022 Animal and Bird Life Survey

A survey of animal and bird life that was carried out during fiscal 2022 found animals representing two families and two species, and birds representing three families and six species. One species of bird, the black woodpecker, has been designated a nationally protected species by the Japanese government.

Animals found by the survey, including precious species (excerpt)
Birds found by the survey, including precious species (excerpt)