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Growing with Society
- Group Policy
- Global policy and major programs
- Social contribution activities and achievements
- Value-creating CSR
- Commitment to and responsibility for social contribution
In "value-creating CSR," the Ricoh Group conducts collaborative activities with stakeholders to become part of the solutions for social issues. In doing so, we are able to simultaneously build new markets, attract new customers and introduce innovations. We make the best use of our technologies, products and services, and human resources in our value-creating CSR activities.
While various emerging and developing countries are enjoying rapid economic growth, many of their citizens are still living in poverty. Often referred to as the "base of the pyramid" or BOP, these people face a wide range of social challenges. We believe we can contribute to the sustainable development of their communities only after understanding their cultures and customs, identifying their problems and making a concerted effort to find solutions. To make this work, Ricoh staff members stayed within a local community to experience life there and built trusting relationships.
The first BOP activity took place in 2010 in a rural village in Bihar state in the northeast of India. While living in the village, Ricoh employees worked together with Drishtee, our project partner, and local people to generate sustainable business ideas. Two projects were selected to be run by local entrepreneurs: Photo Print Shop, which utilized Ricoh's resources, and Women's Shop, designed to empower and create jobs for women.
At the end of August 2013, two Photo PrintShops and 12 Women's Shops were operating in Bihar state and Uttar Pradesh state. Ricoh supports the operation of the shops and develops ideas for Ricoh products and services that can contribute to these businesses. In this way we aim to build new business models in rural areas.
A message from our partner, Drishtee
"The capability of the community to sustain itself is key"
Drishtee envisions a world where all communities are empowered to achieve shared prosperity. The focus is on helping rural communities become sustainable and empowered. We measure our impact on broadly two parameters — new income and increased savings for the rural community. Activities resulting out of our partnership with Ricoh measure high on both these parameters. The model of Women’s Shops not only brings in new income to the village but also increases savings for the villagers. To top it all, the new income comes to the woman of the family. She is spending this money for educating kids and for the well-being of her family members.
Moving forward, we would like to continue our innovative journey with Ricoh. Providing solutions for the community would remain the theme while the focus would be on sustainable income for all stakeholders: Community, Ricoh as well as Drishtee. The future innovations would continue under the motto of 'Think and Imagine' where the solutions revolve around the basic needs of communities, such as agriculture and textiles. The partnership of Ricoh and Drishtee is now going to be extended to a Ricoh-Drishtee-Community partnership with the aim of win-win-win for all three of us.
Ricoh is working with the NGO Save the Children on rectifying this situation. As digital duplicators can be used to print teaching materials as well as letters and notices for parents and community members — and to share information between teachers, schools and the authorities — we donated Ricoh digital duplicators to schools in India.
In May 2011, we began an education support program in Andhra Pradesh state, situated in the southern part of India. We donated digital duplicators to schools, authorities and NGOs working in education, and conducted workshops to teach effective ways of using digital duplicators to enhance class quality and share information.
Ricoh is also helping to build the educational infrastructure in a variety of other ways, including awareness and expertise enhancement, children's clubs and development of a network of people involved in education. Our ultimate goal is to enable communities to evolve their educational environment on their own.
As the program progresses, we are obtaining valuable information vital to conducting business in these localities. For example, we have learned the challenges that face rural areas located far from cities, such as damage done by rats to equipment installed at facilities and poor supply channels for paper refills.
The relationships we have built with educators and government organizations represent another achievement, as these connections can become a conduit for product promotion and public relations activities.
Ricoh is using the knowhow we gained in India to upgrade our educational offerings. And we are widening the scope of our collaboration with Save the Children, with teacher training in the use of projectors and development and use of digital content in class.