Certified forests’ vital contribution to award winning wooden car

Looking for a little roadster made from wood? Your wait is over, with the award-winning Setsuna concept car by Toyota.

Built almost entirely from Japanese cedar, which came exclusively from an SGEC-certified forest owned and managed by Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd., the car will last for generations. SGEC – the Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council – is the PEFC endorsed national forest certification system for Japan.

Local, certified timber
“The use of wood is particularly special, as the car will change its color and texture to eventually become the car which is special to the family,” said Mr. Tsuji from Toyota.

“For us at Sumitomo Forestry, it was extremely important to use local, certified timber for the construction of this unique car. We want the forests that produced the wood to be around for generations, just like the car,” said Mr. Sano from Sumitomo Forestry.

Award winning
Following its debut at Milan Design Week earlier in 2016, Setsuna won the top prize (the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Award) at the Japan Wood Design Award 2016, which was announced at EcoPro2016 in Tokyo, Japan. The car then went on display near the entrance of the venue, surprising over 170,000 visitors to the show.

The Japan Wood Design Award started in 2015 as a government-subsidized initiative to promote the use of wood and is granted to any wood-related goods and events that are considered to enrich and improve society, livelihood and health.

The evaluation is done by 16 assessors, representing the relevant industry sectors such as architecture, space, building materials, woodcraft, communications, technology and researches.

Environmental credentials
“It is wonderful to see such a beautifully designed car with serious environmental credentials, and we are delighted with their choice to use wood from an SGEC-certified forest,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

“The use of wood in construction is becoming increasingly relevant. Wood materials not only offer unique construction solutions, but if sourced sustainably from a certified forest, can also help prevent the overexploitation and degradation of the world’s forests.”

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