The company with no regrets

Ricoh has its eyes fixed on 2050. The Japanese electronics and imaging company has based its sustainability strategy on a vision of the world in 35 years’ time: a world that is on track to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Ricoh has set a goal to cut its total lifecycle CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2020 and by 87.5 percent by 2050, compared with emissions in its 2000 financial year. [1]  This target is in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, which says that to have a good chance of staying within the two-degree Celsius threshold of warming, greenhouse gas emissions must be 40-to-70 percent lower globally by 2050 than in 2010—and that by the end of this century, they should be near zero. [2]

Ricoh has now signed up to the WE MEAN BUSINESS and CDP Science Based Targets Initiative, giving the company the chance to build on its already ambitious targets and become a leader in sustainable business.

No regrets

Ricoh has embraced sustainability since the 1990s. Even back in 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol came about—and without a scientific consensus on climate change—Ricoh decided to include environmental conservation in management targets. The company’s sustainability philosophy is “no regrets.” Ricoh is determined that it will never regret its business actions, applying a precautionary principle to its activities to make sure they don’t harm the environment. [3]  

Impressive results

Ricoh first set final goals all the way up to 2050 and then set milestones to hit along the way. The interim goal is to reduce total lifecycle emissions from the group by 30 percent by 2020, compared to 2000.

Over the course of its 17th Environmental Action Plan covering the 2011-2013 financial years, Ricoh cut emissions from its energy use to 297,000 tons of CO2, beating its target by 1,000 tons. That means the company’s emissions are now less than they were in 2010. [4]

It also reduced its CO2 emissions from energy use in sales and maintenance to just 31,000 tons—equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 6,500 passenger vehicles. This far exceeded its target of 38,000 tons. [5]

Now in its 18th Environmental Action Plan, the company is finding more incremental ways to conserve energy and resources, do more recycling and prevent pollution. It is changing manufacturing processes to cut emissions, reducing product sizes, making those products last longer and using more renewable energy. And it’s making sure it has accurate information about the environmental impact of its distribution methods globally, so it can keep emissions to a minimum. [6]

Going above and beyond

June 2015 was the Ricoh Global Eco Action Month. Ricoh employees, their family members and friends, local communities and residents, and business partners took part, showing their commitment to the environment. That included turning off the lights in Ricoh advertising towers and signboards for one day and sharing energy saving tips with customers. [7]  

And this year, Ricoh is launching an Eco Business Development Center in Gotemba City, Shizuoka. It will test environmental technology, develop reuse and recycling technology, and use this to create new businesses outside of its core operations. [8]

The company’s No Regrets Policy is reflected in all these progressive actions on climate change and it continues to move from strength to strength.


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