Tokyo, October 13, 2009--Ricoh Company, Ltd. (President and CEO Shiro Kondo) is pleased to announce that it has decided on a policy to deal with new strains of influenza (including highly virulent strains of avian flu). The policy will be deployed across all 311 companies in Japan and overseas that make up the Ricoh Group (77 companies in Japan, 234 companies overseas, covering 108,500 employees; Note: figures as of March 31, 2009).
Since its outbreak in March 2009, an attenuated influenza virus (new variant of the Influenza A virus) which is still prevalent has become more contagious, produced infections on a worldwide scale and taken on a prolonged aspect. Moreover, in addition to attenuated influenza, there is also concern that the damage caused by outbreaks of highly virulent strains of influenza may spread globally. Additionally, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has requested that corporations promptly formulate Business Continuity Plans (BCP) from the perspective of contributing to the local community and ensuring business continuity with an emphasis on “preventing the spread of infection” and “reducing or suspending unnecessary or non-urgent work.”
To meet these societal demands in a proactive manner and address the spread of new strains of influenza, the Ricoh Group has set forth the following basic policy, which will be implemented in a unified fashion across all Ricoh Group businesses worldwide.
|1.||Give priority to the lives and ongoing health of employees and their families.|
|2.||Out of regard for the impact on society, do everything possible to prevent a rise in the number of infections.|
|3.||Strive to continuously provide those services and products in strong demand by society and our customers.|
|4.||Strive to maintain the management base.|
How Activities Will Be Deployed
|1.||Out of regard for the fact that multifunction machines, printers, fax products and the like play a key role in the execution of our customers’ work, even in a state of emergency, Ricoh will make every effort to deliver support to customers, such as through the ongoing provision of service and consumables. Ricoh will build a priority response system to deal especially with medical institutions, public institutions and operations designated by governments as vital to infrastructure.|
|2.||As a common standard for determining conditions with the Ricoh Group, a set of independent “Alert Levels” will be established.|
|3.||Response action plans that correspond to these alert levels will be formulated for each business process.|
|4.||The Ricoh Group worldwide will be divided into 5 different regions, namely Japan, the Americas (North, Central and South America), Europe (including Africa and the Near and Middle East), China and Asia Pacific. Ricoh global headquarters will determine the alert level on a per-region basis, and issue the corresponding alert level to the regional headquarters in each region.|
|5.||In line with the alert level they have been issued, each of the regional headquarters will carry out activities in accordance with the “Response Action Plan for New Strains of Influenza.”|
Ricoh’s Original “Alert Levels”
|A five-point scale for determining conditions, has been originally developed by Ricoh. Each Group company implements response measures onsite in line with the corresponding level. While referencing the phases for pandemic alert announced by the WHO and other information, Headquarters will make specific determinations as to which level each region has reached based on (1) the degree to which infections have spread, (2) the virulence of the endemic virus and (3) the damage situation at group companies within each locality. An overview of the alert levels is given below.
|Level 1:||Phase of preparation in response to the latest outbreak of a new strain of influenza (preparation)|
|Level 2:||Response during the early stages of an outbreak of a new strain of influenza (consideration)|
|Level 3:||Stage where business/operations are carried out as usual, but some activities may be restricted (execution of work while exercising caution)|
|Level 4:||Stage where business/operations continue wherever possible, within a scope that seeks to minimize the damage to management (self-imposed restriction on business)|
|Level 5:||Stage where personnel are put on standby at home or asked to work from home, with the exception of those personnel dealing with business/operational continuity (general suspension of business)|