Forests have various functions such as watershed protection, prevention of natural disasters, provision of recreation places, protection of animals and plants as well as wood production. However, the maintenance of forests in Japan is facing a critical situation due to growing imported wood, slumping wood prices, and decreasing and aging population in mountainous areas.
The national and local governments are seeking effective measures to manage and to conserve forests together with the promotion of wide public participation. Private enterprises have been engaged in CSR-related activities such as contribution to local societies, exchange between farming villages and cities, recreational activities and so on. At the same time, the growing concern about global warming and the emergence of carbon dioxide emissions trading system are drawing companies' attention to forests as carbon sinks.
This paper aims to examine changing attitudes of major Japanese companies towards the maintenance of forests under recent establishment of provisional carbon dioxide emissions trading system. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 437 companies which participate in the above-mentioned trading system, and received 116 respondents. The analysis of questionnaire survey has identifies that environmental awareness of employees and CSR are still principal purposes of forest maintenance activities. Generally, companies show limited interest in the maintenance of forests as a measure against global warming as well as forests as carbon sinks. The finding also suggests the importance of appropriate evaluation system for forest maintenance activities and the public announcement system to promote participation of companies.