Ricoh Electronics Inc. (REI, headquarters in Tustin, California), a manufacturing subsidiary in the U.S., has completed the installation of a rooftop solar power generation system which will annually supply up to 10% (about 350,000 kWh) of electricity used by the headquarters facility. Using the system, the company will be able to reduce its CO2 emissions by 98.1 tons and its electricity costs by at least 56,000 dollars per year.
REI is located in sunny Southern California, a highly suitable place for the installation of a solar power generation system, so on the rooftop of the headquarters, about 1,000 panels are now installed. The cost of installation is about 60% covered by incentives offered by the federal and state governments, and the company aims to recoup the remaining cost within six years.
Many people participated in the completion ceremony held on February 9, 2011, including the Mayor of Tustin, Jerry Amante, Consul General Junichi Ihara of the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles, and employees of REI and SPG Solar Inc., which cooperated with REI in the installation of the system. Several of Ricoh’s customers and suppliers also attended the ceremony to celebrate the completion of the installation.
Comment from then President Yoshinori Yamashita of REI
As for the introduction of a solar power generation system in this time of economic stagnation, there were criticisms and objections both within and outside the company. I, however, said to opponents, “This is the right time for us to do it,” for the following three reasons:
(1)Ricoh should show its commitment to the environment as a leading environmental companyall the more because it is difficult to do so now.
(2)Because other companies are refraining from making environmental investments,the price of solar panels, the production of which has been increased by manufacturers, is decreasing.
(3)By making investments in the system while the federal and state governments areoffering generous subsidies, we can shorten the time required to recover our costs.
For me, the introduction of the system was a very strategic decision for both the environment and our business.
The production plant of Ricoh Manufacturing (Thailand) Ltd. (RMT), a new manufacturing subsidiary which started operation in September 2009, boasts a number of environmentally friendly designs and facilities in various parts of the building, including in the manufacturing area, the warehouse, the administrative office, and the cafeteria. Examples of the green equipment installed include natural lighting and ventilation systems, a highly efficient air-conditioning system utilizing water-cooling freezers, an insulated roof, heat-reflective glass panels, highly efficient ballast for HF lamps, and occupancy sensors. The annual CO2 emissions reduction is expected to exceed 250 tons.