Harmony with Society
- Contributing to Solving Social Challenges
- Global Policy for Social Contribution Activities
- Collaboration with the Social Sector
- Value-Creating CSR
- Commitment to and responsibility for social contribution
- Activities Record and Employee Participation Activities
The Ricoh Group focuses on promoting “value-creating CSR” as part of its growth strategy. We therefore work to accurately understand factors involving social issues and conduct collaborative activities with a wide range of stakeholders to become part of the solutions for social issues, while at the same time growing our business by, for instance, building new markets, attracting new customers and generating innovation. To facilitate these efforts, we provide workshops and other opportunities to promote value-creating CSR. Through these programs, we intend to help individual employees raise awareness and sensitivity toward social issues and to encourage them to take action, thereby fostering a corporate culture that can contribute to solving social challenges. We strongly believe that with its integrated strengths and capabilities, the Ricoh Group, a global company with 110,000 employees worldwide, will be able to play an even more active role in solving social problems.
An employee's concern and a company's sympathetic response result in the donation of copiers to Afghanistan.
At Ricoh Netherlands, then known as NRG Benelux B.V., an Afghan employee expressed concern about the worsening social situation in his native country, even after the regime collapse of 2001. He suggested that the company could do something to help rebuild his country and benefit its future. Under the Taliban regime, education was a privilege granted only to elites and thus was not accessible to many Afghan people. Rebuilding educational infrastructure is a pressing issue for Afghanistan, as almost all school facilities and equipment were destroyed over many long war-torn years.
In response, the company explored various possibilities for social contributions in line with their business, and decided to help Afghanistan by improving educational opportunities for children. Accordingly, the company donated 75 recycled copiers for duplicating learning materials, most of which were lost during the war. For the next 18 months, the company made careful preparations, selecting appropriate devices for use in rugged conditions, selecting schools to receive the donated devices, and establishing a repair and maintenance system. Finally, in September 2003, Ricoh copiers started operation at schools in Kabul.
A problem-solving effort leads to a new business.
In 2005, it was decided that an additional 75 recycled copiers would be donated. Furthermore, rather than stopping at the donation of copiers, this project opened new possibilities. The establishment of a company to handle machine repair and maintenance generated employment opportunities, contributing to economic independence. This new initiative was highly evaluated by governmental agencies, the United Nations, and NGOs, which also acquired some copiers. By 2007, Ricoh's business share grew to 60% in Kabul, and the number of the company's employees increased to 36.
In 2010, Ricoh Netherlands replaced the analog copiers with digital ones as its continuous support initiative. The company also donated PCs in collaboration with an NGO in order to promote ICT education. The current focus is to promote sustainable completion of the program. In 2012, a local company became an official sales agent of Ricoh, and the project is also aiming to develop into a local, self-sustaining business — a transformation from something that started as a social contribution into a successful business endeavor.