The manager of Coventry City FC, which offered the event venue (left), RUK CEO David Mills (right), and RUK employee volunteers
Employees completing the last few laps, commenting "Tired but happy!"
In addition to encouraging employees' social contribution activities, contributing to environmental conservation was another objective of the event. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) was held in Copenhagen in December 2009, aiming to agree on a post-Kyoto Protocol framework. To promote Ricoh's corporate support for the conference beyond the company, the event participants walked 5,350 laps and RUK pledged to plant 5,350 trees in the Forest of Marston Vale, a symbol of the distance from Kyoto to Copenhagen: 5,350 miles. As the next step, RUK will develop an inventory of volunteer programs aligned with its three major social contribution themes (environment, education, and local community) to encourage employees' engagement.
All the participants enjoyed themselves and were able to see about how much of a difference we can make to the local community by doing such a simple thing as a sponsored walk. This was our first experience of organizing such an event and we believe that the successful outcome will encourage further employee volunteering during work-time.
Computer class in Uganda
Ricoh's sales subsidiary, formerly part of NRG Benelux B.V., provided eager support and cooperation in establishing "Close the Gap," an organization with the mission of closing the digital divide gap in developing countries by donating personal computers and other IT equipment and offering related education. Since May 2004, NRG Benelux has been an avid supporter of Close the Gap, offering a range of ITbased educational programs primarily to schools and hospitals in Africa (see table below). These activities aim to enable local community members, particularly young people, to access information online and thereby help them to build a brighter future. This partnership has subsequently expanded from our Benelux companies to France. In 2008, Ricoh Europe, the regional headquarters, established a CSR Steering Group to coordinate social contribution projects across all Ricoh sales subsidiaries in Europe. One of the focus areas agreed for these activities is "closing the digital divide", both in developing countries and within disadvantages communities in Europe. In line with this, Ricoh Belgium teamed up with PC Solidarity, a Belgium-based daughter project of Close the Gap, and donated Ricoh's multifunctional digital copiers to an organization supporting people with disabilities, as the first initiative under this partnership.
|April 2005||Established the Digital Education Center in the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Donated 200 PCs with HIV/AIDS education program installed and 15 printers.
|October 2005||Provided a computer class in a hospital for children suffering chronic illness in South Africa.
Donated 21 desktop computers and eight laptop computers.
|May 2006||Established the Digital Education Center in Kenya. Provided computer skill training for young people to help them find employment. Donated ten PC units, developed network systems, and supported the purchase of necessary equipment and supplies in the Center and payment of teachers' salaries.|
|2007-2008||Donated 200+ PCs, MFPs, and printers to African nations such as Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Niger, and Zambia. Assisted computer training, support for people with disabilities, and local community's information collection.|
Ricoh Industrie France S.A.S. (RIF), a manufacturing subsidiary, is promoting the Vie & Couleurs [Life & Colors] project to conserve biodiversity in Alsace, together with RIF employee volunteers and a local environmental association. The project aims to help develop a "green network" in Alsace—a region active in environmental conservation and education and the location of RIF's factory. By creating a pond and planting plants, flowers, and fruit trees, employee volunteers transformed 12 hectares of land on the factory premises into a biotope where indigenous plants, birds, insects, and other species are conserved in a natural way. The company is also considering the future installation of beehives there. In addition to this biotope creation, RIF has been conducting a variety of programs to raise awareness among its employees and the wider public of environmental conservation. Sample efforts during 2009 include external seminars and presentations to help other corporations conduct similar biodiversity conservation initiatives, as well as the production of a video presenting how a corporation works for biodiversity on its site and provides related employee education. As an exemplary case of environmental education, the video was shown at French conferences on environmental education and sustainable development.
British academic institutions are enthusiastically educating students about the concept of environmental management and sustainability. However, there aren't many opportunities to learn from actual cases. Bucking this trend, Ricoh UK Products Ltd. (RPL) – a manufacturing-related arm of Ricoh – is giving local youngsters and children with a chance to learn from its own actual cases. This is part of RPL's efforts to provide young people with sound values.
In 2009, RPL gave presentations to students at Hampton University and Harper Adams University College
Supporting high-level environmental education at universities
RPL staff in charge of environmental activities visit nearby universities, and introduce Ricoh's social contribution activities such as green procurement, CO2 reduction, Zero-Waste-to-Landfill activities, which have been very successful. In addition, they invite students to Ricoh's plants or offices to show them exactly how corporate environmental activities are being implemented on site. Through these experiences – which are much more than just sitting in a classroom and listening to lectures – students' understanding of environmental activities has deepened.
RPL actively supports education at elementary schools and junior high schools. For example, we supported recycling of greenhouses at elementary schools. In addition, RPL's officials in charge of environment explain sustainability in a way that is easy for children to understand, and train 10 environmental leaders who are elementary school students in order to further promote environmental activities.
At junior high schools, we introduce ways to reduce environmental impact and improve sustainability through RPL's activities. We also held a contest where students give presentations on ideas for environmental business. Through these activities, RPL contributes to the development of a sustainable society by supporting the education of local children through its mainstay business.
RPL employees support the activities and
environmental education of children at local
We held a contest where Junior high school
students give presentations on ideas for