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.
|Mibugawa Power Station No. 3||Ina City,
|Mibugawa Power Station No. 4||Ina City,
|Tateshina Power Station &
Tateshina Power Station No.2
|Hokuto City - Murayamarokkamuraseki - Waterfarm||Hokuto City,
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. Sustainable forest management is of the utmost importance as it helps ensure that forests can continue to provide these functions.
The Marubeni Group is currently developing sustainable forest plantation businesses* in three countries: Australia, Indonesia, and China. 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 fast-growing species; eucalyptus, acacia, and other broadleaf trees. Through this procedure, we maintain 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.
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*1 and Chain of Custody certification*2 by the independent forest certification bodies.
Going forward, the Marubeni Group will continue to manage the supply chain for manufacturing pulp and paper in a sustainable manner.
*1. 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.
*2. 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.
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.
Based on local surveys, there are already alternative means of livelihood being conducted, such as weaving, woodworking, breeding of livestock, and other forms of agriculture, like paddy cultivation and cultivation of coffee. 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 Phabang province through FY 2015 was limited to the village cluster of Houaykhing. There is a total of about 2 million hectares of forest in the Luang Phabang 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
Marubeni and the Palace Hotel used green power at the venue of Marubeni's 92nd Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders at the Palace Hotel Tokyo on June 24, 2016. 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 seventh 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.