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Wood Procurement Guidelines of Sekisui House

In April 2007, Sekisui House completed the development of the wood procurement guidelines called "10 Sustainability-based procurement guidelines". In order to facilitate sustainable utilization of timber resources, Sekisui House is trying to implement the procurement of FairWood, in which environmental responsibility and social fairness are key elements.

The Steady Progress of FairWood Procurement
The company's procurement guidelines contains 10 principles, which take into consideration a wide range of environmental and social issues, from biodiversity conservation to the life of local residents at the end source. Wood products are evaluated against each principle and categorized into four groups (S, A, B, C), according to the total score in the evaluation. The procurement of FairWood is facilitated by reducing the procurement of wood products in Group C, which comes at the bottom in the evaluation ranking, and increasing those in Group S, which comes at the top.

Sekisui House's "10 Sustainability-Based Procurement Guidelines"
Sekisui House evaluates and awards ranking points to guide the procurement of wood products, with the aim of identifying and prioritizing:

1. Wood products that are sourced from areas where there is low risk of illegal logging.
2. Wood products that are sourced from areas that do not form part of ecosystems recognized as having outstanding value.
3. Wood products that are not sourced from ecosystems that are severely damaged or areas where large-scale logging of natural forests has occurred.
4. Wood products that are not sourced from endangered species.
5. Wood products that are sourced from areas close to where they will be used.
6. Wood products that are not sourced from areas subject to conflict or hostility with regard to wood production.
7. Wood products that are not sourced from areas where the amount of logging does not exceed the recovery rate of the forest.
8. Wood products that are sourced from domestic forests in Japan.
9. Wood products that are sourced from plantation forests that are managed according to methods that encourage the preservation and generation of a natural ecosystem.
10. Wood products that are made from previously used wood.

In 2007, out of the total volume of wood procured, which was 374,000m3, the total volume in Groups S and A was as high as nearly 60%. Fairwood procurement is steadily progressing.

Why Adopt Fairwood Procurement?
There are important questions to ask: Against what standard do we measure the sustainability of our procurement of wood, which is vital material for our business of manufacturing houses? How do we make sure that the way we procure our wood is appreciated by the society? Is our procurement in line with the general direction we must take in order to create sustainable society? Are we able to evaluate our timber from these viewpoints ourselves? These are the important elements of Sekisui House's wood procurement", explains Mr. Masaaki Sasaki, Senior Manager of the Environment Improving Department.

Furthermore, with the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity to be hosted in Nagoya taking place in October 2010, how to implement biodiversity conservation within the framework of a company's core business is an important environmental theme along with the global climate change. Sekisui House's effort to implement Fairwood procurement can be recognized as effort to implement biodiversity conservation as a housing manufacturer in relation with its core business.

"European Union (EU) has already started enclosing the timber resources that comply with high environmental and social standards. With regard to the sustainable wood procurement, we believe that the sooner a company begins it, the better it will be positioned within the industry", says Mr. Sasaki above. Fairwood Procurement is part of the CSR procurement that can be positioned as "part of the management strategies in order to differentiate the company from its competitors and strengthen its existence".

Facilitating FairWood Procurement Together
The partnership between FairWood and Sekisui House began in February 2006, when FairWood Seminar for the Construction Industry was held in Osaka. Sekisui House attended this seminar, and since then, FairWood (now "FairWood Partners") have been working with Sekisui House by helping the company develop and implement the 2007 procurement policy.

FairWood Partners find Sekisui House's steady implementation of its guidelines highly valuable and continue to be impressed with the company's leading role in the industry, which was demonstrated through the ripple effect it had on its suppliers, as well as the whole industry itself. The potential next steps for Sekisui House in its FairWood Procurement (that Fairwood Partners would recommend) include the utilization of (Japanese) domestic and certified timber. Furthermore, we have high expectation for the company's influence over general consumers, as the housing manufacturer that interacts with them on a daily basis. We will continue to fully support Sekisui House's effort.

Fairwood Procrement by Sekisui House is described in detail in their annual Sustainability Report.

  • Sekisui House Sustainability Report 2010 in English
       (PDF/1.89MB, excerpts from the full report)
  • Sekisui House Sustainability Report 2009 in English (PDF, page 27, 28)
  • Sekisui House Sustainability Report 2008 in English (PDF, page.29, 30)

  • *For all the reports, Kenichi Nakazawa of Fairwood Partners gives Third-party comment.

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