14 Apr 2024

Ricoh’s long-term plan for a sustainable future

Ricoh practices environmental management and aims to virtually eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Sustainability has been a major buzzword in the print industry for a number of years now as print service providers (PSPs) adapt the way they operate in order to reduce their impact on the environment and satisfy the rising customer demand for greener print.

‘Going green’ can mean a number of things to print businesses. It may be switching to a more planet friendly printer, increasing the number of recyclable materials you work with, or even investing in hybrid or electric vehicles to reduce your emissions.

As a forward-thinking manufacturer and print solutions supplier, Ricoh is very much in tune with the changing attitude of printing companies and is constantly working to become a more sustainable business that can provide ever-greener products and services to the industry.

The Ricoh Group Integrated Report 2022, published in September, sets out in detail the steps Ricoh is taking to achieve these long-term goals as part of its 2036 vision of Fulfilment through Work. Ricoh intends to do this by basing its efforts on a management vision that promotes corporate growth and environmental, social, and corporate governance.

Ricoh is endeavouring to become a digital service company that connects workplaces and furthers the creativity of working people, with part of this being a focus on becoming a more sustainable business that can supply the high quality, reliable and planet friendly solutions that PSPs around the world desire.

Simply put, Ricoh sees it as essential to simultaneously protect the environment while generating profits. Ricoh accordingly practices environmental management and materialises social sustainability by tackling material issues of contributing to carbon neutrality and a circular economy.

Zero carbon strategy

As set out in the Integrated Report, Ricoh has two primary environmental goals for 2030 and 2050, with both of these being set around achieving zero carbon.

By 2050, Ricoh aims to virtually eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the value chain by 2050. By the year 2030, Ricoh intends to cut Scope 1 (direct emissions from owned or controlled sources) and Scope 2 (emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy) GHGs by 63% from fiscal 2015 levels.

This ambitious target satisfies the criteria of the Science Based Target Initiatives, a global initiative for limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Adding to this, by 2030, Ricoh hopes to have cut Scope 3 supply chain GHG emissions by 40% from fiscal 2015 levels and to obtain 50% of electricity from renewable sources.

But how will Ricoh do this? Ricoh is pursuing its goals through a sustainability-linked loan agreement with Mizuho Bank, under the Mizuho Eco Finance program. The manufacturer has also commenced a series of programs with the idea of drastically cutting carbon emissions.

These include conserved energy and tapped renewables at domestic and overseas sites. Ricoh has also deployed highly efficient, energy-saving equipment, acquired Net Zero Energy Building certification at domestic business sites, purchased electric corporate fleet vehicles, and reviewed its logistics processes.

Ricoh is also striving to increase renewables in the energy mix by strategically deploying measures that match local circumstances. For example, Ricoh has augmented its solar power facilities by employing Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) models at four sites in Japan and abroad.

In addition, Ricoh maintains renewable power contracts with retail electricity providers and procures renewable power certificates and plans to switch to entirely renewable energy at overseas sites by 2030.

Comet Circle vision

The Integrated Report represents just part of Ricoh’s green goals, with the Ricoh Group Circular Economy Report 2022, now available to download for free, also setting out group-wide plans to achieve greater sustainability.

The Circular Economy Report was issued in March 2022 as the first of its kind by a Japanese company. It has been re-issued as the Ricoh Group Circular Economy Report 2022 after being updated to reflect the group’s business performance in fiscal 2021.

The report outlines the different circular business opportunities Ricoh is taking to plan its future. It presents them through the perspective of the challenges Ricoh faces in turning those opportunities into commercial ventures as well as the many technologies and extensive know-how that Ricoh gained through these initiatives.

Once again, a core part of this is a focus on sustainability, with reference to the long-running Comet Circle vision. Established in 1994 by Ricoh as a concept for bringing about a circular economy, Comet Circle has been used as the foundation for Ricoh’s green strategy, promoting the effective use of resources throughout the entire product lifecycle and the initiatives needed for bringing about a circular economy. Through such efforts and more, Ricoh has been transforming the recycling and reuse of products and parts into commercial ventures.

Using the Comet Circle concept, Ricoh has established four key action guidelines to strengthen its environmental image, the first of these being to Identify and Reduce Environmental Impact from Lifecycle Perspectives.

Efforts across the entire product lifecycle are pivotal to reducing environmental impacts and it is therefore necessary to understand not only Ricoh’s environmental impact, but also that of business process participants. Therefore, Ricoh strives to reduce the total amount of environmental load by grasping the environmental impact of the entire life cycle.

The second action guideline is to Deploy Reuse and Recycle Practices with Lower Environmental Impacts. When a product is no longer usable, it is important to restore high economic value with minimal environmental impact. Ricoh prioritises product and parts reuse loops in the Comet Circle to engineer as much reusage as possible, and when usage becomes impossible, recycle materials and chemicals.

Next, Establish a Circular Business Model. Resource recycling must be economically viable to progress. Instead of treating used products as waste, it is important to make them valuable again through innovation. Ricoh enhances the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – design from manufacturing stages to develop reusable products and parts, thus enabling long-term use.

Finally, Partner with Stakeholders. Exchanging information and working closely with partners are vital to lowering environmental impact effectively. Customers are Ricoh’s chief partners for product and services usage, while there is also a need to collaborate with trade associations and other entities to formulate standards and create social frameworks. Such stakeholder partnerships will help to shrink the eco footprints of offices, workplaces and the economy.

Ricoh’s commitment to becoming a more sustainable business is long-term; the group is constantly looking for ways to further enhance its environmental company and become the leading brand in the print industry when it comes to planet friendly operations.

Authored by Stewart Cobby, Inkjet Sales Manager, at Ricoh UK.

To download the Ricoh Group Integrated Report 2022 for free, please click here.

To download the Ricoh Group Circular Economy Report 2022 for free, please click here.

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