As populations grow and economies develop, the world's energy demand is likely to increase dramatically. One source＊1 estimates that IT-related energy demand will increase by about a factor of 9 between 2006 and 2025. In view of this, companies and their workforces are now looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of their offices and establish smarter business practices. Ricoh's answer is the Total Green Office Solution, or TGOS. The TGOS strategy reduces the environmental footprint of printing devices themselves, and uses the same devices to make their own environmental impact visible to their users. Its overall effect is to reduce the need for people and goods to travel from one place to another, helping society in general to function more efficiently.
At the Ricoh Group, we've set ourselves a long-term goal: by the year 2050, we're going to achieve a reduction of one-eighth − on a baseline of the year 2000 − in the environmental impact of our economic activities group-wide. Working with our customers, our suppliers and all other trading partners, we're steadily reducing our environmental footprint. We've already won praise for our environmental management strategies, which include industry-leading technologies for energy-saving, and resource-saving technologies such as biomass toner and plant-based plastics. For seven years running, we've been selected by Global Knights Inc. as one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. Our sales network, which now covers more than 180 countries worldwide, helps our customers create people-friendly, environment-friendly offices that are easy to work in.
＊1 Estimate issued by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Green IT Promotion Council
TGOS is the Ricoh Group's new strategy for reducing environmental impact throughout the product life-cycle. Applying the expertise we've built up over the years, we're working with our customers to make their offices greener.
When purchasing printing devices, it makes sense to choose the greener option. Ricoh offers products featuring Quick Start-Up and other outstanding energy-saving technologies. Made with recycled parts, our range of refurbished printing devices reduces environmental impact throughout the product life-cycle.
Through printing on both sides of the paper and making use of energy-saving functions, environmental impact can be considerably reduced. Paperless fax machines and scan-to-email functions can also help bring paper wastage down to almost zero. Ricoh Group sales and service personnel help our customers optimize their devices to save on paper and energy without any sacrifice in convenience.
The Ricoh Group collects and recycles our customers' used toner cartridges, toner bottles and ink cartridges. We also operate a used products collection system which efficiently recycles used Ricoh Group products.
For each corporate customer, we start by collecting data on the print environment, along with consumption of electricity and paper. Having used this data to calculate the customer's costs and CO2 emissions, we then offer solutions designed to minimize both. When a customer adopts TGOS, we use our @Remote＊2 system to create performance reports tracking electricity consumption, CO2 emissions and other parameters. The number of sheets of paper output since the system was installed and the electricity consumed, are thereby made transparent, enabling paper and power usage to be optimized by using, for example, double-sided printing and energy-saving modes.
The Ricoh Group doesn't just supply the products: we also monitor what happens after the customer begins to use them, and we continue to suggest even more efficient means of operation. This is part of how we can help our customers make ongoing improvements in their print environment.
＊2 @Remote is a Ricoh support service delivering more efficient management of output devices by means of remote, real-time management over the Internet.
Ricoh's TGOS has been adopted by many global organizations, one of which is Kraft Foods Inc., the world's second-largest food manufacturer. Kraft's program of environmental projects includes a Sustainable Output Initiative designed to optimize efficiency and conserve resources in printing throughout the company. Within the framework of this initiative, Kraft worked with Ricoh, using Ricoh's Change Management＊3 program to consolidate output among fewer and faster centralized devices. This led to a reduction of more than 30% in Kraft's print costs.
At all seven of Kraft's U.S. headquarters, posters publicizing this environment-friendly alliance between Kraft and Ricoh were displayed in the cafeteria. By highlighting the environmental benefits of sustainable business practices, Ricoh helped motivate employees to change the way they thought about printing, and this in turn helped bring about change on a company-wide scale. Thanks to Ricoh, all printing devices at all Kraft's US offices now use double-sided output by default. In just one year, this has saved over 12 million sheets of paper, or 2,000 trees. The Sustainable Output Initiative was launched on Earth Day, so Ricoh continues to participate in Earth Day events every year, joining with Kraft in bringing home the green office message.
Another TGOS success story features a municipal government in The Netherlands which had committed itself to becoming carbon neutral＊4 by 2010. When replacing its office equipment, it decided to prioritize quality − defined in terms of its own vision of sustainability − over price or after-sales service. The solution it chose was the one offered by Ricoh's local sales affiliate. Implementing this solution, the municipal government replaced and consolidated its printing devices, enabling it to cut administrative staffing levels and reduce other costs. It was also able to reduce CO2 emissions and make other ongoing improvements to its printing environment. Introducing TGOS, this municipal government has consolidated its fleet of printing devices of to focus on certain models, an improvement over the previous unintegrated management by individual departments. The total number of devices has been reduced from 1970 to 735, resulting in a projected power saving of as much as 75.3%. Consumption of power and paper has been significantly reduced thanks to centralized management using @Remote, and CO2 emissions have been cut by over 100 tonnes a year.
Through the TGOS strategy it is implementing all over the world, the Ricoh Group is committed to creating people-friendly, environment-friendly offices that are easy to work in.
＊3 Change Management is a program provided by Ricoh to assist our client companies in achieving smooth-running transitions when adopting new internal systems and processes.
＊4 An organization is carbon neutral when the amount of CO2 emissions generated by its activities is equal to the amount they absorb.