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Creating an environment that encourages employee contribution to society

  • U.K.Ricoh UK / U.K.

The manager of Coventry City FC, which offered the event venue (left), RUK CEO David Mills (right), and RUK employee volunteers The manager of Coventry City FC, which offered the event venue (left), RUK CEO David Mills (right), and RUK employee volunteers

Employees completing the last few laps, commenting
Employees completing the last few laps, commenting "Tired but happy!"

Ricoh UK Ltd. (RUK), a sales subsidiary, held a fund-raising walk event on December 17, 2009. In organizing this event, RUK enhanced its in-house system that supports and enables employee volunteering— even during normal working hours—to encourage employees' voluntary activities for society. Despite a heavy snowfall the night before, 187 employees gathered at the Ricoh Arena soccer stadium. On a bitterly cold day, with a maximum temperature of just 3°C, the volunteers walked around the soccer pitch, listening to Christmas music played in the venue. These employees also raised personal sponsorships in advance from their own salary, friends, families, colleagues, and customers. A total of approximately 3,900 pounds (about 560,000 yen) was raised, which was donated to the following three organizations:
  • School Governors One Stop Shop: Recruiting volunteers to become school governors
  • Forest of Marston Vale: Planting trees to restore biodiversity in the local area
  • Shaftesbury Young People: Working to improve the lives of children

In addition to encouraging employees' social contribution activities, contributing to environmental conservation was another objective of the event. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) was held in Copenhagen in December 2009, aiming to agree on a post-Kyoto Protocol framework. To promote Ricoh's corporate support for the conference beyond the company, the event participants walked 5,350 laps and RUK pledged to plant 5,350 trees in the Forest of Marston Vale, a symbol of the distance from Kyoto to Copenhagen: 5,350 miles. As the next step, RUK will develop an inventory of volunteer programs aligned with its three major social contribution themes (environment, education, and local community) to encourage employees' engagement.

Comments from employee participants in the walk event
  • A brilliant event and very enjoyable!
  • Nice to meet so many colleagues from other parts of the company.
  • So nice to do something for a good cause during work-time.
  • Good to hear about these charities. I'm now considering becoming a school governor.

Coordinator of the walk event
Ms. Charlene Withall, CSR Advisor, Ricoh UK

Ms.Charlene Withall, CSR Advisor, Ricoh UK

All the participants enjoyed themselves and were able to see about how much of a difference we can make to the local community by doing such a simple thing as a sponsored walk. This was our first experience of organizing such an event and we believe that the successful outcome will encourage further employee volunteering during work-time.

Bridging the digital divide

  • EuropeRicoh Europe, Ricoh Belgium / Europe

Computer class in Uganda
Computer class in Uganda

Ricoh's sales subsidiary, formerly part of NRG Benelux B.V., provided eager support and cooperation in establishing "Close the Gap," an organization with the mission of closing the digital divide gap in developing countries by donating personal computers and other IT equipment and offering related education. Since May 2004, NRG Benelux has been an avid supporter of Close the Gap, offering a range of ITbased educational programs primarily to schools and hospitals in Africa (see table below). These activities aim to enable local community members, particularly young people, to access information online and thereby help them to build a brighter future. This partnership has subsequently expanded from our Benelux companies to France. In 2008, Ricoh Europe, the regional headquarters, established a CSR Steering Group to coordinate social contribution projects across all Ricoh sales subsidiaries in Europe. One of the focus areas agreed for these activities is "closing the digital divide", both in developing countries and within disadvantages communities in Europe. In line with this, Ricoh Belgium teamed up with PC Solidarity, a Belgium-based daughter project of Close the Gap, and donated Ricoh's multifunctional digital copiers to an organization supporting people with disabilities, as the first initiative under this partnership.

Major activities in Africa
April 2005 Established the Digital Education Center in the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Donated 200 PCs with HIV/AIDS education program installed and 15 printers.
October 2005 Provided a computer class in a hospital for children suffering chronic illness in South Africa.
Donated 21 desktop computers and eight laptop computers.
May 2006 Established the Digital Education Center in Kenya. Provided computer skill training for young people to help them find employment. Donated ten PC units, developed network systems, and supported the purchase of necessary equipment and supplies in the Center and payment of teachers' salaries.
2007-2008 Donated 200+ PCs, MFPs, and printers to African nations such as Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Niger, and Zambia. Assisted computer training, support for people with disabilities, and local community's information collection.

Conserving biodiversity in Alsace

  • FranceRicoh Industrie France / France

Ricoh Industrie France

Ricoh Industrie France S.A.S. (RIF), a manufacturing subsidiary, is promoting the Vie & Couleurs [Life & Colors] project to conserve biodiversity in Alsace, together with RIF employee volunteers and a local environmental association. The project aims to help develop a "green network" in Alsace—a region active in environmental conservation and education and the location of RIF's factory. By creating a pond and planting plants, flowers, and fruit trees, employee volunteers transformed 12 hectares of land on the factory premises into a biotope where indigenous plants, birds, insects, and other species are conserved in a natural way. The company is also considering the future installation of beehives there. In addition to this biotope creation, RIF has been conducting a variety of programs to raise awareness among its employees and the wider public of environmental conservation. Sample efforts during 2009 include external seminars and presentations to help other corporations conduct similar biodiversity conservation initiatives, as well as the production of a video presenting how a corporation works for biodiversity on its site and provides related employee education. As an exemplary case of environmental education, the video was shown at French conferences on environmental education and sustainable development.

Ricoh Industrie France

Providing universities and schools opportunities to learn about corporate sustainability activities through actual cases

  • UKRicoh UK Products Ltd. / U.K.

British academic institutions are enthusiastically educating students about the concept of environmental management and sustainability. However, there aren't many opportunities to learn from actual cases. Bucking this trend, Ricoh UK Products Ltd. (RPL) – a manufacturing-related arm of Ricoh – is giving local youngsters and children with a chance to learn from its own actual cases. This is part of RPL's efforts to provide young people with sound values.

In 2009, RPL gave presentations to students at Hampton University and Harper Adams University College
In 2009, RPL gave presentations to students at Hampton University and Harper Adams University College

Supporting high-level environmental education at universities
RPL staff in charge of environmental activities visit nearby universities, and introduce Ricoh's social contribution activities such as green procurement, CO2 reduction, Zero-Waste-to-Landfill activities, which have been very successful. In addition, they invite students to Ricoh's plants or offices to show them exactly how corporate environmental activities are being implemented on site. Through these experiences – which are much more than just sitting in a classroom and listening to lectures – students' understanding of environmental activities has deepened.

Supporting pro-active learning at elementary schools and junior high schools

RPL actively supports education at elementary schools and junior high schools. For example, we supported recycling of greenhouses at elementary schools. In addition, RPL's officials in charge of environment explain sustainability in a way that is easy for children to understand, and train 10 environmental leaders who are elementary school students in order to further promote environmental activities.

At junior high schools, we introduce ways to reduce environmental impact and improve sustainability through RPL's activities. We also held a contest where students give presentations on ideas for environmental business. Through these activities, RPL contributes to the development of a sustainable society by supporting the education of local children through its mainstay business.

RPL employees support the activities and environmental education of children at local elementary schools.
RPL employees support the activities and
environmental education of children at local
elementary schools.

We held a contest where Junior high school students give presentations on ideas for environmental business.
We held a contest where Junior high school
students give presentations on ideas for
environmental business.