- Environmental Management
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We took the initiative in the 1990s to make sustainability the heart of the Ricoh Group’s corporate vision. Our efforts to solve such issues as global warming, natural resource depletion and ecosystem degradation begin with long-term perspectives, followed by mid- and short-term targets serving as mileposts. We then form action plans to hit those targets, carefully choosing our engagements not only by their impact on the environment but also by the risks and opportunities they present to our business according to the needs of customers who use Ricoh products, our future business growth, international environmental standards, our reputation and ratings for socially responsible investments.
Our vision for a sustainable society
The Ricoh Group sees a sustainable society as one that balances Planet (environment), People (society), and Profit (economic activities), reduces the environmental impact and maintains it at a level that the Earth’s self-recovery capabilities can manage. To realize this vision, we strive to minimize our environmental impact from resource extraction, energy consumption, chemical discharges, emissions and other activities, and to conserve the Earth’s precious resources. We are building a business model that minimizes the footprint of our activities while maximizing our economic value and contribution to society. We strongly believe that any enterprise without such a model will find it impossible to earn the support of its stakeholders and survive, let alone thrive, in the future.
Society with balanced relationship between Planet, People and Profit (Three Ps Balance)
Creating corporate value through sustainability
Our environmental conservation activities date
back to 1976, when we established our Environmental Promotion Office. Those activities evolved
into the Ricoh Group’s “sustainable environmental management” concept, which we pioneered 15 years ago in 1998. The concept is often interpreted solely as a business strategy that seeks to balance activities that generate profit with greener practices. But our vision for sustainable environmental management goes deeper. We make organization-wide, continuous environmental conservation efforts integral to our business model.
We also recognize that we must carry out solid, continuous efforts toward the long-term objective of ensuring that our environmental performance is effective enough to make a difference . Our conservation activities will produce limited benefits if we conduct them only during prosperous times and neglect them to pursue profits in difficult times.
Sustainable environmental management from very long-term perspectives
At the Ricoh Group, we formulate our goals for sustainable environmental management activities using the back-casting method, developing ultimate goals first and then determining target values as mileposts on the journey toward these goals. Our initial step was to create our Year 2050 Long-Term Environmental Vision to realize an ideal society, the “Three Ps Balance,” followed by our Mid- and Long-Term Environmental Impact Reduction Goals and detailed environmental action plans. We believe this approach delivers a higher success rate than the conventional buildup method.
Setting goals using the back-casting methodRicoh Group Mid- and Long-term Environmental Impact Reduction Goals
|Energy conservation and prevention of global warming||Reduce the total lifecycle CO2 emissions by the Ricoh Group by 30% by 2020 and by 87.5% by 2050 from the 2000 level|
|Resource conservation and recycling||
1. Reduce the new input of resources by 25% by 2020 and by 87.5% by 2050 from the 2007 level
|Pollution prevention||Minimize risks of chemical substances throughout the product lifecycle by 2020 in compliance with the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
If a corporation deals only with the environmental impact of its own business activities, its practices will never reduce the impact it has on society as a whole. Recognizing this, the Ricoh Group established the Comet Circle™ in 1994. This holistic framework is built upon an awareness that the greatest contribution to reducing the environmental burden of products can be made by those who themselves manufacture those products.
Manufacturers are therefore responsible for reducing environmental impact across the entire product life cycle, as well as in upstream and downstream development. The Comet Circle™ provides us with a guide to reducing the environmental impact of our products and operations, maximizing the value of resources across the lifecycle of our products, and substantially limiting the consumption of new resources.
Flow of the Comet Circle™
Each circle in the chart above represents Ricoh partners that can help develop a sustainable society. Moving from right to left along the upper path, natural resources provided by a supplier (upper right) are turned into products, and finally reach the users (customers). Used products travel in reverse, following the path below from left to right. The Ricoh Group emphasizes the reuse and recycling of products and parts, expressed as the inner loops of the Comet Circle™.
At the Ricoh Group, our sustainability efforts revolve around priority issues identified in our materiality analysis.
To determine those issues, we first measure how much environmental impact our processes have. We then display the results in an Eco Balance* format and compile an inventory of possible environmental conservation issues. Then we estimate the impact — i.e., the risks and opportunities — of those issues on the global environment, society and our business, analyzing them from various aspects including the viewpoint of our customers, future business growth potential, global trends in environmental standards, and evaluation of companies by rating organizations and socially responsible investment funds. Finally, we select and prioritize findings and develop a detailed action plan.
Among the priority material issues identified, we see reducing the environmental impact from customers using our products and services as crucial. Accordingly, we are taking strategic actions to reduce CO2 emissions our products generate and to promote product recovery and recycling.
The Ricoh Group's 17th Environmental Action Plan (FY 2012-2014)
New value creation and innovation for a sustainable society
Our longstanding, continuous work in sustainable environmental management leading to new value creation has been recognized around the world.
Ricoh is included in leading stock indices for sustainability investment such as the FTSE4Good Global Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices. In addition, Corporate Knights Inc. of Canada has listed us in their Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World for nine straight years, and oekom research AG, a leading German SRI rating agency, has awarded us their highest CSR ranking, Prime Status.
The Ricoh Group will continue to conduct and upgrade its sustainable environmental management and actively disclose related information. In this way, we can meet our social responsibility to create a sustainable world.