Ricoh Industrie France S.A.S. (RIF) launched and is promoting the Vie & Couleurs (Life & Colors) project in fiscal 2009, with the aim of achieving environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development. Through this biodiversity conservation project, the European manufacturing subsidiary is working to create a comfortable environment not only for its employees but also for plants, birds, and other animals in the vicinity. In cooperation with a local environmental organization called the Regional Association for Initiation into the Environment and Nature in Alsace, employee volunteers plant trees and clear land on the factory premises. The project has the following three objectives:
(1) Increasing the biodiversity in the 120,000 square-meter area of RIF’s premises and thereby contributing to the development of a “green network” in Alsace;
(2) Protecting indigenous species in Alsace and conserving the wild flora and fauna of the surrounding areas; and
(3) Promoting awareness of environmental conservation to RIF employees, partner companies, and the broader public.
Under the Vie & Couleurs project, RIF volunteers have created a biotope pond, a pasture, and a flower field of some 1,400 m2 with various kinds of flowers in all four seasons; installed birdhouses; and developed the inventory list of flora and bird species inhabiting the factory premises. During fiscal 2010, the project participants also created hedgerows and planted fruit trees, and conducted a feasibility study regarding the possible launch of sustainable beekeeping on the site. In addition to implementing the activity, RIF has been focusing on communicating its biodiversity conservation efforts to the public. For instance, the company provided related employee education programs, and produced a video introducing its green activities which it showed in external seminars and lecture events. Such communication activities were praised as an exemplary case of environmental education at a host of related conferences in France.
Ricoh UK Products Ltd. (“RPL”) began their Eco-Ninja biodiversity conservation activities in fiscal 2009. In this program, the manufacturing subsidiary in Europe carries out conservation projects on the company’s premises, at the local Wrekin Forest, and other neighboring areas, working closely with experts from local NGO’s.
The conduction of these surveys involves building nest boxes for birds and mammals, Live mammal trapping surveys are completed, which is permitted only for those who have obtained a regulatory permit after receiving appropriate training. RPL volunteers (Eco-Ninjas) had received the necessary training, which was provided in collaboration with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and the Shropshire Mammal Society, and obtained the permit. The data from these projects is collected and used for the region’s Biodiversity Action Plan as part of the Eco-Ninjas “local-physical-targeted” philosophy.
In June, which is Japan’s Environmental Month, these green volunteers surveyed hedges on the RPL premises and found evidence that they serve as habitats for many kinds of small mammals as well as moths, birds, lichens, fungi, and other species that contribute to maintaining the ecosystems in the local community.
In addition to these types of survey activities, RPL installed nest boxes to conserve the habitats of robins and other birds in Telford where the company is located, at the request of the Granville Local Nature Reserve. The local ecosystem in Telford is threatened due to increased development of land and the conversion of wild forests into residential areas. As part of Ricoh’s Social Contribution policy priorities (Global Environmental Conservation – Community Development – Raising the Next Generation) the Eco-Ninjas involve the local community and other business organizations to raise awareness of sustainability issues and the Ricoh Way.
Recognized for these activities, RPL received the Business Commitment to the Environment Award 2011. The company will continue its Eco-Ninja activities to conserve biodiversity in and around its site.
left) Ricoh Eco Ninja’s and community volunteers build and install small mammal nest boxes for the Wrekin Forest and Ercall SSSI
right) Eco Ninja surveys are used to educate the next generation on local biodiversity issues.
On November 27, 2010, Ricoh (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (RSP) and Ricoh Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (RA) organized a tree planting event in Istana Park, Singapore. More than 300 volunteers, including RSP and RA employees and their families, as well as some customers of the two companies participated. On that day, a Butterfly Trail was also opened in the park. The creation of the trail, including tree and greenery planting to make the park a better habitat for butterflies, was a national project, aiming at creating a place where local citizens, students, and tourists could relax in the beautiful natural environment and gain a better understanding of the local ecosystem. As keen supporters of the project, RA and RSP worked closely with the National Parks Board and the Singapore Nature Society, a non-governmental organization, to create the nature trail in Istana Park.
(Left) Nobuaki Majima, Managing Director, RA (left) and Vincent Lim, Managing Director, RSP, holding the sign for the Butterfly Trail
(Right) Participants, including children, planting seedlings
Activity Name (Company Name)