Our assessment of the impact of our products on global warming shows that more greenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted from energy consumption and paper use as a result of product use by customers than by Ricoh Group manufacturing operations. Therefore it is essential that we help our customers to efficiently control paper use and reduce electricity consumption of equipment while it is in use.
The sales and service divisions of the Ricoh Group share their experience in sustainable environmental management activities with customers around the world to help them establish their own systems. They do this at points of customer contact, such as when making sales proposals and when negotiating or closing sales contracts.
These activities are organized into the Total Green Office Solution (TGOS), under which the environmental impact of customers’ actions related to the use of our office equipment is assessed in three phases—purchase, use and return for recycling—and the assessment data is used to support customer efforts to reduce their environmental impact. TGOS aims to simultaneously achieve an improved workflow and lower cost at customer sites.
CO2 emissions over the lifecycle of Ricoh products
The Ricoh Group supports customers in their reduction of environmental impact through its sales activities in three key areas:
(1) offering products/services with less environmental impact, such as recycled copiers, and kitting products in plants in Japan (“purchasing”);
(2) visualizing CO2 emissions and proposing ways to reduce the environmental impact of the use of Ricoh products as well as offering, through sales subsidiaries, our know-how for environmental impact reduction based on our Group’s internal efforts and experience (“use”); and
(3) offering an end-of-life product and packaging recovery service to achieve effective use of resources and reduce environmental impact (“returning for recycling”).
Products and services that support customers in their effortsto reduce environmental impact (TGOS1)
Pursuing business growth while conserving the environment is a key objective of enterprises today. With competition intensifying globally, customers are seeking greater management efficiency to balance improved businesses performance with environmental sustainability.
Ricoh Europe PLC (RE), our European sales headquarters, is responding to these needs by offering a Sustainability Optimization Program (SOP) that visualizes the environmental impact and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) associated with the printing environments of Ricoh customers. RE also monitors the effects of Ricoh services after implementation so that we can provide support for continuous improvements.
The SOP process first analyzes a customer’s printing environment in detail and makes the costs and environmental footprint visible. It then suggests the optimal equipment arrangement and helps set specific goals for reducing the environmental impact.
After implementation, RE supports the customer to promote employee education and awareness on sustainability through collaborative activities that raise the environmental cognizance of everyone at the company. RE also provides training to help the customer make the most of our products’ energy-saving modes, double-sided printing and other functions. And by monitoring variances in goals and actual figures, the SOP program runs and manages the system toward continuous improvements.
In addition, the process offers Carbon Balanced Printing to further contribute to a reduction in the customer’s environmental impact. This takes advantage of carbon credits*1 offered by the Ricoh Group to offset the CO2 that remains from equipment power and paper used in office printing, even after the customer has reduced their environmental impact with SOP. Through this program, customers are able to achieve their environmental goals in costeffective ways.
Customers who have implemented SOP respond with high praise, noting, “It is an outstanding program that has helped us to achieve both optimal business management and sustainability,” and, “The program helps us to fully achieve our environmental goals.” The effectiveness of the program has also been certified by the U.K. business standards company BSI*2.
These trends have led us to propose more environmental impact-reducing SOP in FY 2012 than any of our other TCO programs aimed at achieving efficient printing and reducing costs. The CO2 emission levels of our customers have reduced by 36% compared to those prior to SOP implementation.
The program was also launched in Australia in May 2013 in line with our policy of meeting customer needs on a global scale.
The Sustainability Optimization Program
The Swiss branch of the insurance company Generali was the first business in Europe to receive the Ricoh Group’s Certificate of Carbon Offset, and the second in Europe to achieve complete carbon offsetting.
Generali introduced Ricoh’s Managed Document Service (MDS) four years ago, and decided to implement carbon offsetting in its office printing environment in order to further promote its environmental conservation activities.
Generali’s CO2 reduction initially began by switching to new models, but Ricoh Europe PLC (RE) took it further and proposed solutions that restrict resource consumption. These included the use of Ricoh eco technologies such as Quick Start-Up (QSU), which “wakes” a printer to full readiness in a few seconds from stand-by, reducing power consumption. Setting the default output to doublesided printing also reduces paper use, and monochrome rather than color printing cuts toner consumption. The company also used high-quality, energy-saving PxP toners, and Ricoh suggested a program for collecting used toner cartridges.
Finally, purchasing carbon credits offset the remaining unavoidable CO2 emission. With this, Generali achieved a fully carbon-neutral document environment.
The Ricoh Group is undertaking activities to reduce the environment impact of printed materials in the commercial printing market, especially Print on Demand (POD). The Group has found that a three-step process―visualizing CO2 emissions, reducing those emissions and then offsetting the remaining emissions―is effective in cutting CO2 emissions in publishing. Based on this approach, Ricoh in July 2013 organized the Green POD Study Group featuring participation by parties ordering printed materials, publishing company clients, industry groups, and government ministries/agencies. This Study Group determined the issues that need to be addressed and considered measures to popularize carbon footprint (CFP) labeling and carbon offsetting for publishing. Thanks to the activities of this Study Group, two of the participating corporate customers applied to be part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s 2013 Pilot Project for the “Carbon Offset Products Making Use of Carbon Footprint” Program, and were approved in October 2013 as the first and second companies to take part in this project. Ricoh assisted in this application by calculating CO2 emissions and preparing the application forms using tools it developed independently, and the corresponding offsets were redeemed with the national government from the credits*3 held by Ricoh.
In addition, the Ricoh Group is using carbon offsetting for CO2 emitted by production sites and catalog publishing as well as for CO2 emitted in publishing by in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Such pro-active efforts to popularize and promote CFP labeling and carbon offsetting have earned high regard, and Ricoh even received the “Excellence Award” in the 3rd Carbon Offset Award hosted by the Carbon Offset Promotion Network.