Panel Exhibition in Branch Lobbies Nationwide

In fiscal 2019 a panel exhibition was on display in the lobbies of 43 branches nationwide. The theme of the exhibition was the National Trust, a nature conservation movement that traces its origins to England.

A forest cemetery called Mori-no-boen was opened by the Ecosystem Conservation Society-Japan in February 2016 in the town of Chonan in Chiba Prefecture. In order to naturally regenerate the land on which the forest was destroyed by sand excavation, the National Trust method is being used to turn the land into a cemetery by planting native tree saplings as grave markers. No man-made items such as gravestones are used in the cemetery, so for this reason it is attracting attention as a new type of cemetery business where a natural forest is expected to cover the entirety of the burial grounds in the future. After starting with six branches in Chiba Prefecture (where the cemetery is located) in fiscal 2017, a panel exhibition featuring this business has been circulating other branch lobbies. In fiscal 2019, 28 branches hosted the exhibition.

In September 2020 during an online in-house study session featuring Director Sayama from the Ecosystem Conservation Society-Japan, sustainability officers from branch offices all over Japan learned about the circumstances and issues regarding the cemetery’s end-of-life procedures conducted the previous year, as well as information that will likely prove useful when discussing end-of-life and inheritance services with clients.

Display in the lobby of the Chiba Branch & Chiba-Ekimae Branch
Study sessions about the Mori-no-boen cemetery were also held at branches and departments

Supporting National Trusts’ Activities through Donations for Acquiring Land

Land is the foundation of natural capital in terrestrial ecosystems. While development has destroyed nature, another problem in recent years is that those lands whose succession rights have been relinquished or unregistered have grown sharply due to Japan’s shrinking population. We believe that preventing the spread of mountain forests and farmland whose owner is unknown, while putting more land under management to sustain its nature, is an effective approach to arrest the degradation of Japan’s natural capital.

SuMi TRUST Bank supports those groups, including the Association of National Trusts in Japan, which promote the activities to acquire high-value sites and land with bountiful nature through contributions from citizens and corporations. The Bank has donated funds to purchase those lands where endangered species live and of academically important. In 2014, the Bank donated funds toward the acquisition of forest land (equivalent to about 8,000 m2) in Amami Oshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, to conserve habitat for the endangered Amami rabbit. In 2015, the Bank donated funds toward the acquisition of the Utasai bog (equivalent to about 1,500 m2 of the site), located within Kuromatsunai town, Hokkaido, to conserve the high-elevation wetland, one of the oldest in Hokkaido.

In addition, "social contribution vending machines" that donate a percentage of their sales to the Association of National Trusts in Japan have been installed in the Nakano Branch, the Tokorozawa Branch, the Tokorozawa-Ekimae Branch, and the Omori Branch. By October 2020, they had donated funds equating to the acquisition cost of 3,190 m2 of forest land in Chichibu, a source region for water supply to the greater Tokyo metropolitan area.

A "social contribution vending machine" at the Nakano Branch

Activities to Support the Environment and Living Things

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank works on sustainability activities (we call them "With You activities") at our branches nationwide. Based on the idea that "our lives are affluent because we are blessed with natural capital," we have set "Activities to Support the Environment and Living Things" as one of the themes of our diverse With You activities, which we do with the participation of our employees. As part of that effort, some branches are working on activities to conserve Japan’s unique organisms. In August 2016, our Ichinomiya branch received approval from the Ministry of the Environment, and started the first private-sector exhibition of the Itasenpara bitterling (Acheilognathus longipinnis), an endangered species. From September 2020, we have taken on the challenge of breeding the Itasenpara bitterling for the fifth time. The conservation activities are spreading in the region, with our collaborator Ichinomiya Shogyo High School being added to the "Kiso San River Basin Eco-Net Support Group," a group to which the Ichinomiya branch belongs.

Since August 2005, the Yao branch has been continuously involved in the breeding of the endangered Rosy Bitterling. In August 2020, we installed a new information panel in the show window to raise awareness of this initiative.

Raising Itasenpara in our Ichinomiya branch
* Gene differentiation has been confirmed for medaka rice fishes depending on the water area of their habitats, and preservation activities of indigenous medaka rice fishes have been promoted in each respective region using systems such as foster care. SuMi TRUST Fish Project

Natural Capital Products and Services

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