Communication:Communication with Stakeholders
–Communication with Local Communities–
Interactive Environmental Communication between the Company and the Community
Giving back to the community what we learned at the company.
We feel the importance of environmental communication every day
Receiving the Minori Award* for contribution to local and administrative environmental activities
At the request of Fukui Prefecture and Sakai City, where Ricoh’s Fukui Plant is located, the plant has been cooperating with the environmental promotion activities of the local governments. In 2007 and 2008, I served as the head of Sakai City’s committee for drafting an environmental action plan and took on the immense challenge of summarizing the opinion of citizens, the local administration, and environmental experts. Day after day, after work, I conducted hearings attended by many stakeholders including Sakai residents and corporations to hear a wide range of opinions on the challenges and problems related to regional environmental preservation. At the end, we were able to draft Sakai City’s basic environmental plan for the next ten years. I was very happy because I was able to use the experience and knowledge I gained as the officer in charge of the environment at the Fukui Plant to contribute to local policy and assist the community. I also appreciate from the bottom of my heart the understanding and support I received from my colleagues as well as Ricoh for acknowledging my work through the Minori Award.
- *Ricoh Group President’s Award
Using the knowledge and experience from working with insects to develop an original environmental message
I became the officer in charge of the environment in 2001. I was very happy to be appointed to this post, because my predecessor had created a biotope within the plant. For me – a big insect fan – that was great news. I had always gone to the mountains to collect insects and had noticed the effects of climate change from the fact that butterflies now live in habitats that did not exist when I was a child. To be totally honest, though, I had no interest in environmental issues when I was first appointed. I loved insects more than I loved people and – though I love to talk – I wasn't very good at talking to strangers or speaking in public. Communication was not one of my strengths. But as I studied about CO2 and waste, I realized that the environment directly affects insects and the eco system including all species. That’s when I started becoming interested in environmental activities. My communication skills were gradually developed as I gave presentations concerning improvement activities at company plants and as I hosted nature classes and created biotopes for elementary school children using my strengths. That’s what initiated communication with the local community. I was so happy when participants enjoyed my programs that it made me want to add more features to these programs. Soon, I was invited to speak at local government offices, universities and other firms. The themes covered in my lectures and program also expanded to include zero-waste and energy-saving measures.
I believe that the company trained me to become the person I am today. I gained from Ricoh everything I do now including learning about the environment and communicating with people. My actions are based on giving back to the community what I learned from Ricoh and giving back to the company what I gained from the community.
Communication is a cycle of asking, cooperating, explaining and understanding
These past few years, we have been conducting the “Family Strategy to Prevent Global Warming” within the Fukui Plant. Each household can save energy just by being slightly more environmentally conscious. Therefore, we ask not only our employees but also their parents and children as well to be more considerate of the environment in their daily lives, and to monitor their electricity consumption to see if those efforts produce results. In the first year, every household is motivated because their electricity bills are reduced. After three years, these energy-saving measures become a habit, and participants begin to think spontaneously about their environmental impact. This is the goal of this strategy.
I can understand the feelings of people who aren’t interested in environmental activities because I was once like that. Communication is a cycle of asking, cooperating, explaining and understanding. Each environmental activity can be cumbersome. But we have reached a point where we have to conduct these cumbersome things together or else we will not make it in time to save the earth. I am not an expert on ants, but even in the world of ants, we see everyone working together toward one goal and taking on individual roles to achieve the group’s goal. If we humans are to meet environmental goals set for 2020 and 2050, we have no choice but to communicate with each other and take action seriously.
Tetsuo Ito’s main community activities
|2008 to present||Fukui Prefecture committee for promoting and preparing action plans for natural regeneration|
|2008 to present||Committee for managing the Fukui City Museum of Natural History
Instructor for nature observation sessions for members of the public
|2005 to present||Sakai City waste reduction promotion and deliberation committee|
|2007 to 2008||Chairman, Sakai City environmental action plan drafting committee|
|2006 to 2008||Fukui Prefecture committee for promoting the prevention of global warming|
|2004 to 2006||Member of Fukui Prefecture’s project to boost environmental protection|
In addition, he has given lectures at corporations, universities and in the community concerning nature and the environment; nature classes and nature observation sessions for students and the general public; sessions for creating biotopes, etc.
Creating a Butterfly Trail
- Singapore/Ricoh (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., Ricoh Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
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.
Supporting young scientists and technical innovation for sustainable development
- Global/Ricoh Americas Corporation
Ricoh Americas Corporation (RAC), the Group's regional headquarters for the Americas, is a special prize sponsor at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest pre-college science and technology competition. Since its launch in 2005, RAC has annually presented the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award, along with scholarship, to impressive research projects for potential contribution to Triple Bottom Line (economic, environmental and social) development that will help build a sustainable society. RAC also offers imaging equipment used by contestants and award presenters during the six-day international competition.
At the 2012 Intel ISEF, the eighth Ricoh award was provided to two high school students who were selected out of more than 1,550 finalists representing 68 countries and territories. The two recipients, Cory Nicholson Owan and Austin Kingsley Russell, were recognized for their outstanding technical innovations in "Solar Powered Compression Air Stirling Engine" and "Far-Field Wireless Power Transmission," respectively. The winners were honored at the award presentation ceremony held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA on May 17, 2012.
Since 2005 Ricoh has recognized 20 students and presented scholarship to them.
- Thailand/Ricoh (Thailand) Ltd.
Ricoh (Thailand) Ltd. (RTH), a sales subsidiary, organized a “Three- In-One Program”* to support environmental activities in elementary schools. In the program, participating elementary schools selected their own themes and engaged in environmental communication activities under the chosen themes, with the involvement of local communities. The top-performing participants were awarded a grant for their activities. Environmentally concerned local citizens cooperated in the program by serving as judges.
Seven elementary schools in Bangkok and inland areas, bringing together over 9,800 students, participated in the program with a wide variety of activities. One of these activities was a waterway cleanup project where students and local citizens cleaned up waterways near the school using microbiological water purifying pellets that the students had created. Other projects included collecting and sorting recyclable waste and donating the proceeds from the sales to temples; an exhibition for local citizens of art works made from waste materials; and making organic fertilizer for use in the school. These projects were subject to periodic progress evaluation by the program judges. Based on the results of the final review in December 2009, Klongmakarmted School received the first prize for two activities: an exhibition of craft works made from waste paper and its community awareness raising activities. A total of 65,000 baht was awarded to the top four prize winners.