Today, the world faces myriad challenges ranging from environmental degradation through poverty and human rights, to energy and resource supply issues. Our social responsibility policy focuses on using our capabilities as a business to improve lives and sustain our planet through contributions to local communities and society at large. In other words, to fully realize our potential as a global organization to make a better world through new value creation and innovation.
Our commitment to social responsibility is woven into our corporate DNA, as it has always been part of the RICOH Way — the foundation of all our business activities.
Our CSR model is broadly divided into two parts: activities that respond to our fundamental obligation to society, and value-creating activities that have synergy with our growth strategy. These two pillars support and strengthen our corporate value.
Although we strive to discharge our social responsibility in every aspect of our operations, we have identified four priority areas and specified action principles for them in the Ricoh Group CSR Charter, the Ricoh Group Code of Conduct, and other declarations.
■ CSR framework
■ Aspects of CSR
By embedding value-creating CSR activities into our core business processes, we make the most of our talents and resources — technologies, products, services and employees — to help solve social issues while simultaneously fostering the growth of the Ricoh Group.
We defined the key areas of value-creating CSR in 2008 and every year since then have engaged in various measures across these areas. Our valuecreating CSR concept has much in common with CSV (Creating Shared Value*), an idea that is drawing attention in the CSR movement.
*CSV stands for "creating shared value," a business concept introduced by Harvard professor Michael E. Porter, a leading authority on competitive strategy, and Mark Kramer in a 2006 Harvard Business Review article. The core concept of CSV is that the competitive strength of a company and the health of communities around it are inter-reliant. So by addressing social needs and challenges, corporations can create value for their businesses as well as society.
As economic globalization accelerates, so do the expectations of stakeholders concerning labor and human rights standards associated with a company's entire supply chain.
The Ricoh Group works closely with suppliers and sales partners to implement socially responsible procurement through a self-assessment system for suppliers, risk management and related activities.
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) was launched in 2000 as a private sector-driven framework for sustainability. Ricoh was among the first wave of Japanese companies to sign on to the UNGC in 2002. And we have joined other initiatives on a variety of issues including labor, human rights and the environment.
We have also implemented the principles of ISO26000 as well as other international environmental regulations and standards. By evaluating ourselves against these benchmarks, we are able to continuously improve our CSR activities.
Stakeholder engagement is an essential part of CSR management. We listen carefully to our customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders, take their feedback seriously and incorporate their input into our internal reform efforts. We also collaborate with NPOs, NGOs and other social sector organizations in planning ways to solve social issues.
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Our social responsibility efforts evolve in three stages: from assessing legal, regulatory and other external requirements; to mission- and responsibility-driven voluntary activities that proactively meet expectations from society; to the third stage, where we work to create shared value by solving social issues while concurrently accelerating our growth.
To govern and monitor Group-wide activity in each of the three stages, we deploy our CSR management cycle.
Under this system, the Head Office collects information and feedback from operating organizations on the ground to identify and provide necessary support. The Head Office and operating units also hold periodic opinion exchanges and discussion forums to improve the quality of their respective CSR activities.
The Ricoh Group is working to solve society's problems in two ways — "Contribution to resolution of social issues through business activities" and "Commitment to and responsibility for social contribution."
Our efforts to solve social issues through business activities is one pillar called "Valuecreating CSR," a strategy founded on the idea that corporate growth can come about by contributing to society. We study global issues to identify opportunities to provide effective solutions through our technology, products, services and human resources, as well as through collaborations with other stakeholders. These initiatives allow us to tap into new markets, find new customers and drive innovations that resolve or at least alleviate global concerns.
The other pillar, social contributions, refers to activities engaged by the Group or its employees in selected areas of focus. These may include support given to NPOs that are separate from our business functions.
To ensure continuing enthusiasm for both types of initiatives, we offer training to raise awareness of social issues among our employees and foster a corporate culture that is always ready to take on challenges.