To reduce the environmental impact throughout the entire product lifecycle, we must identify the degree of impact at each stage, from business process to transportation, by all involved parties—the Ricoh Group, suppliers, customers and recycling companies. Using the Sustainable Environmental Management Information System, which covers all of these stages, we identify the environmental impact to promote development of environmental technology and reuse and recycling of our products, thus striving to reduce the total environmental impact.
Resources have the highest economic value when they are manufactured into products and used by customers. The Ricoh Group puts priority on reusing and recycling products and parts, expressed as the inner loops of the Comet Circle, to return used products to their highest economic value. When a part cannot be reused in a product, we will recycle it as a material. In such cases, we make every effort to recycle the part into a material with a quality as high as possible or to recycle it in the closed loop recycling system, or a system which allows the recycled material to be used within the Group, thereby achieving the highest possible economic value. We also repeat recycling as many times as possible under the "multitiered recycling system" to reduce the need to use new materials and ultimately reduce the volume of waste generated.
To effectively reduce the environmental impact, close communication and information-sharing among partners is critical. The Ricoh Group strives to reduce its environmental impact in all of its business areas through partnerships with parties at all stages of the product lifecycle. The initiatives include the reduction of environmentally sensitive substances in cooperation with materials and parts manufacturers, improved efficiency in transportation, and green marketing. We also offer solutions to our customers to reduce the environmental impact of their offices. By disclosing information and know-how garnered through these activities and working with local communities, the Ricoh Group helps reduce the environmental impact of society as a whole.