Giving back to the community what we learned at the company We feel the importance of environmental communication every day
Receiving the Minori Award * for contribution to local and administrative environmental activities
Using the knowledge and experience from working with insects to develop an original environmental message
Communication is a cycle of asking, cooperating, explaining and understanding
Fukui Plant General Affairs Group
Senior Specialist (in charge of environment, safety and sanitation/TPM) Tetsuo Ito At the request of Fukui Prefecture and Sakai City, where Ricoh’s Fukui Plant is located, the plant has been cooperating with the environmental promotion activities of the local governments. In 2007 and 2008, I served as the head of Sakai City’s committee for drafting an environmental action plan and took on the immense challenge of summarizing the opinion of citizens, the local administration, and environmental experts. Day after day, after work, I conducted hearings attended by many stakeholders including Sakai residents and corporations to hear a wide range of opinions on the challenges and problems related to regional environmental preservation. At the end, we were able to draft Sakai City’s basic environmental plan for the next ten years. I was very happy because I was able to use the experience and knowledge I gained as the officer in charge of the environment at the Fukui Plant to contribute to local policy and assist the community. I also appreciate from the bottom of my heart the understanding and support I received from my colleagues as well as Ricoh for acknowledging my work through the Minori Award.
- * Ricoh Group President’s Award
Ito teaches nature classes I became the officer in charge of the environment in 2001. I was very happy to be appointed to this post, because my predecessor had created a biotope within the plant. For me – a big insect fan – that was great news. I had always gone to the mountains to collect insects and had noticed the effects of climate change from the fact that butterflies now live in habitats that did not exist when I was a child. To be totally honest, though, I had no interest in environmental issues when I was first appointed. I loved insects more than I loved people and – though I love to talk – I wasn't very good at talking to strangers or speaking in public. Communication was not one of my strengths. But as I studied about CO 2 and waste, I realized that the environment directly affects insects and the eco system including all species. That’s when I started becoming interested in environmental activities. My communication skills were gradually developed as I gave presentations concerning improvement activities at company plants and as I hosted nature classes and created biotopes for elementary school children using my strengths. That’s what initiated communication with the local community. I was so happy when participants enjoyed my programs that it made me want to add more features to these programs. Soon, I was invited to speak at local government offices, universities and other firms. The themes covered in my lectures and program also expanded to include zero-waste and energy-saving measures.
I believe that the company trained me to become the person I am today. I gained from Ricoh everything I do now including learning about the environment and communicating with people. My actions are based on giving back to the community what I learned from Ricoh and giving back to the company what I gained from the community. These past few years, we have been conducting the “Family Strategy to Prevent Global Warming” within the Fukui Plant. Each household can save energy just by being slightly more environmentally conscious. Therefore, we ask not only our employees but also their parents and children as well to be more considerate of the environment in their daily lives, and to monitor their electricity consumption to see if those efforts produce results. In the first year, every household is motivated because their electricity bills are reduced. After three years, these energy-saving measures become a habit, and participants begin to think spontaneously about their environmental impact. This is the goal of this strategy.
I can understand the feelings of people who aren’t interested in environmental activities because I was once like that. Communication is a cycle of asking, cooperating, explaining and understanding. Each environmental activity can be cumbersome. But we have reached a point where we have to conduct these cumbersome things together or else we will not make it in time to save the earth. I am not an expert on ants, but even in the world of ants, we see everyone working together toward one goal and taking on individual roles to achieve the group’s goal. If we humans are to meet environmental goals set for 2020 and 2050, we have no choice but to communicate with each other and take action seriously. Tetsuo Ito’s main community activities 2008 to present Fukui Prefecture committee for promoting and preparing action plans for natural regeneration 2005 to present Committee for managing the Fukui City Museum of Natural History
Instructor for nature observation sessions for members of the public 2008 to present Sakai City waste reduction promotion and deliberation committee 2007 to 2008 Chairman, Sakai City environmental action plan drafting committee 2006 to 2008 Fukui Prefecture committee for promoting the prevention of global warming 2004 to 2006 Member of Fukui Prefecture’s project to boost environmental protection In addition, he has given lectures at corporations, universities and in the community concerning nature and the environment; nature classes and nature observation sessions for students and the general public; sessions for creating biotopes, etc.