Technologies for a Sustainable Society
We have been engaged in activities that accommodate public requests, address environmental issues and social challenges and help foster the next generation through innovation, which leads to create new technologies and business models.
Ricoh conducts R&D activities that will reduce the environmental impact of its products at all stages of their lifecycle. At the product technology development stage, we focus on LCA-based design and energy-saving technology and have been making an effort to develop products with lower environmental impact. Regarding technology development at the production stage, we are developing new production processes and recycling technology that can further lower environmental impact while retaining high quality. In addition to technology development that is directly related to its products, Ricoh has been dealing with R&D themes that contribute to reducing negative impacts across society.
Major achievements in fiscal 2012(ended March 31, 2012)
Technologies aimed at reducing the use of virgin resources
- Closed water recycling system based on the application of ozone micro/nano bubble technology
- Electric furnace steel sheets used for MFP
Technology aimed at reducing environmental impact during production
Technology with which users can reduce environmental impact
Technologies that contribute to solve social challenges
The Ricoh Group is developing products and services that "simplify your life and work" under the Ricoh Brand Benefits, taking into consideration social challenges and increasing diversity. Information devices have been further sophisticated with higher and wider functionality and have been used by increasingly more people in various situations in recent years, which are even leading to changes in customer lifestyles. At the same time, in many cases a higher level of literacy in freely using such devices is expected. For instance, as MFPs become more convenient and useful with the addition of many extra functions, they become more difficult for some users to operate since much time is required to learn how to use them. To address this problem, Ricoh has been conducting technology development that allows as many customers as possible to feel comfortable with using its products and to recognize good usability regardless of physical disabilities or age, and has been incorporating such technologies into many of its products and services.
Major achievements in fiscal 2012 ended March 31, 2012
Improving accessibility of MFP
MP C5002 series (released in 2012) designed to improve accessibility and usability
- The scanner unit is detachable so that it can be placed on a desk where everyone, including wheelchair-bound users, can comfortably operate the machine.
- The angle of the control panel is adjustable so that users can easily access various functions even when they are seated in a chair.
- With CUD (color universal design)-incorporated printer functions, users can easily select a type of printing that utilizes colors that are easier to see for those with impaired color vision.
Ricoh's technology-based nurturing programs of the next generation
The Ricoh Group has conducted a variety of programs related to various technologies, which are designed to inspire youth to inquire into technology and science. For instance, the application programming competition targeting university students, launched in 2008. The Ricoh Science Caravan, which was designed to let children have hands-on experience with the wonders of science with the aim of inspiring them to become more interested in science, have both been attracting an increasing number of participants every year. In particular, the Ricoh Science Caravan is positioned as a program unique to the Ricoh Group that leverages the group's resources as well as collaboration with local communities in Japan.