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Be A 2021 Sustainability Goal Getter

25 February 2021: This time of year is traditionally associated with reflection followed by action. Of course 2020 gave us a lot to think about and much of 2021 will be focused on how to manage next steps as vaccination programmes roll out across Europe. Strategic reviews, fresh targets and assertive action will remain important over the coming months, but they will all be tempered by continuing pandemic related challenges. They will also be shaped by how accelerated practices continue to drive operational goals.

Sustainability is one such practice with 99% of global CEOs saying it is important to the future success of their businesses. That is according to The Decade to Deliver: A Call to Business Action report from Accenture and UN Global Compact.

We couldn’t agree more and that’s why in 2020 we revised our global environmental goals to improve our processes, systems and infrastructures – committing to a zero carbon society and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Following a comprehensive assessment, we placed 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of our business strategy and set 14 Environmental, Sustainable and Governance (ESG) priority targets.

Reduce, reuse and recycle :

To help achieve these goals, our manufacturing facility in Japan operates a zero waste to landfill strategy and always considers new ways to reduce waste and energy use with lean manufacturing techniques that ultimately increase efficiency. The team at our European Customer Experience Centre (CEC) in Telford, Central England, runs a printer re-manufacturing service too. It uses fewer resources, energy and raw materials of new products and allows us to recycle, reuse and reduce all in one process.

With plastic pollution becoming one of the most pressing environmental issues, we have committed to eliminating more than 50% of single-use plastic packaging by 2030 with our Plastic Policy, finding efficient use of resources at the product manufacturing stage and ensuring effective water use.

We believe that the circular economy plays a key role in building a sustainable future for all. The Comet Circle is our own model for reusing parts and recycling materials – aiming to reduce our environmental impact, promote a multi-tiered recycling system and build strong partnerships.

We also care about our clients’ carbon footprint. With our Carbon Balanced Printing Programme, we can help analyse, optimise and neutralise their carbon emissions.

Celebrating our achievements : 

In 2019, we reduced carbon emissions by 23% through energy conservation and the increased use of renewables. In fact, 57% of Ricoh sites across EMEA have switched to 100% renewable energy. The great news is that we are on track to source 100% of our global energy requirements from renewables well before our target of 2050.

In March 2020, we revised our 2030 direct greenhouse gas emissions target from 30% to 63% compared to our 2015 baseline year. In June, we signed the Uniting Business and Governments to Recover Better pledge that ensures Coronsvirus recovery plans align to the latest climate change science. And in November, we endorsed the Business for Inclusive Growth’s (B4IG) roadmap to inclusive recovery. We will use our expertise to help bridge the digital divide by providing vulnerable communities with access to digital infrastructure, tools, training and skills.

Our approach is winning recognition. We have :

# Been included in The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) 2020. It was the first global sustainability index to assess a company’s corporate sustainability from its economic, environmental, and social performance. The DJSI Asia/Pacific Index has also included Ricoh for the last three consecutive years,

# Won the prestigious Grand Prix award at the 2nd Annual Nikkei SDGs Management Grand Prix for our work towards solving social, economic, and environmental issues by integrating the SDGs into our management efforts,

# Been included in the 2020 Climate Change “A list” which is run by CDP, a global non-profit charity that drives reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, safeguards water resources and protects forests, for our global leadership in corporate sustainability.

By Eef de Ridder, Vice President, Commercial and Industrial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe.

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