As a global citizen, the Ricoh Group is obligation-conscious of environmental conservation. In addition, we strive to honor our environmental responsibilities and concentrate group-wide efforts in environmental conservation activities, implementation of which we believe to be as significant as our business operations.
Based on its management philosophy, Ricoh established its Environmental Principles in 1992. The Principles clearly show the basic policy and action guidelines that the Group should follow for environmental conservation and represent the Group's commitment to sustainable environmental management, which makes environmental conservation and the creation of economic value compatible.
In the initial version of the Principles, we clearly stated our commitment to environmental conservation for the global environment as one of our priority corporate activities and promised to make efforts towards environmental conservation from the aspects of both business operations and products. In the subsequent revisions* made to reflect the globalization of environmental problems and the progress of our Group's environmental activities, we added our ideas on sustainable environmental management, which makes environmental conservation and business management compatible, and described our commitment to the creation of a sustainable society.
The Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 3) was held in Kyoto in 1997. Around that time, there was still no scientific consensus regarding the factors causing climate change and there were many who were skeptical about the impact of increased greenhouse gases on global warming. Against this background, Ricoh decided in 1998, led by then President Masamitsu Sakurai, that the Group would include environmental conservation as a priority management target. Behind this decision was its "no regrets" policy. "No regrets" represents a precautionary principle that states if an action has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that the action is harmful, protective approaches will be taken in order to avoid regret once scientific findings either validate these concerns or disprove them. Ricoh determined that it would never regret taking efforts to reduce environmental impact (mainly by reducing CO2 and other GHG emissions) even if scientific proof were to arise in the future proving that human activities were not major factors responsible for the climate change now facing us. Even with the above scenario, we at Ricoh believe that we can gain an adequate return on our investment in environmental conservation activities through the creation of new corporate and customer value arising from said activities.
Controversy over climate change has brewed among scientists for years and is unlikely to culminate in a conclusive theory that determines the primary cause any time soon; however, this menacing global phenomenon seems to be becoming increasingly intense. We cannot afford to wait for a confirmed scientific conclusion before taking action. If there are problems to be dealt with now, we must make efforts to take them on and create new value from our conservation activities. We will never regret what we do for the environment, regardless of what conclusion may be reached regarding the factors causing global warming. Such is Ricoh's "no regrets" policy.