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Japan Forestry Firm Establishes Fund to Boost Decarbonization

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The logo of Sumitomo Forestry Co.

Sumitomo Forestry Co. has established a fund to invest in U.S. forestry operations.

The company and nine other Japanese firms, including Eneos Corp., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Osaka Gas Co., will invest a total of ¥60 billion in the fund. In addition to selling timber, the fund will also trade carbon dioxide credits related to the forests to generate revenue.

The fund plans to purchase about 130,000 hectares of woodland in the northeastern United States by 2027. By utilizing forest management, including afforestation and thinning, the fund aims to generate credits equivalent to 1 million tons of CO2 reductions each year. The investing companies will use the credits to achieve their own decarbonization goals.

An increasing number of firms are striving to achieve virtually zero CO2 emissions, though this is deemed to be a difficult goal. Demand for forest-based credits is expected to rise in the future, and Sumitomo Forestry is reported to be considering establishing funds for forestry projects outside the U.S., too.