Since procurement is integral to the Ricoh strategies of “intensive production” and “local production for local consumption,” we have implemented a global online procurement system that optimizes costs, suppliers and other factors. Our environmentally and socially responsible methods of procurement are given further support by the strong, cooperative ties we have with our suppliers.
We work closely with suppliers to ensure our purchasing is socially responsible throughout the supply chain. Ricoh’s policy focuses on: 1) establishing long-term, cooperative, reliable relationships with suppliers that emphasize mutual benefit; 2) fairness of transactions (comprehensive evaluations of suppliers based on their participation in economically rational corporate social responsibility activities); 3) devising an environmental management system and reducing our environmental burden through the purchase of eco-friendly products; 4) compliance with the law; and 5) respect for ethics.
Our suppliers are expected to comply with The Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct, which contains rules related to environmental conservation and human rights, such as the prohibition of child labor.
The Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct Guidebook is distributed to all our suppliers, and in 2009 we invited all major suppliers to a meeting at which they were presented the Ricoh Group’s CSR activities. Our aim was to have them share our values by raising their awareness of the importance of CSR and the Code of Conduct.
Also in 2009, we introduced a CSR Self-Assessment System that helps suppliers implement a “plan, do, check, act” (PDCA) cycle by themselves. The system was initially rolled out in Japan and has since been gradually extended to other countries. Company activities that require improvement are identified by these assessments, with the results fed back to the suppliers together with advice and support on ways to meet society’s needs and expectations. The CSR Self-Assessment System has been used by local suppliers in China since 2010, and in Thailand since 2013.
The Ricoh Group believes the Conflict Minerals Issue* is crucial. We are constantly working with our business partners to improve transparency in the supply chain to ensure responsible mineral sourcing practices. In 2013, we identified as best we could the parts and materials used in the products we make or outsource for production, and conducted a survey of all the suppliers around the world who provide these parts and materials. We received detailed responses from more than 90% of the targeted suppliers. Going forward, we will continue to ask for the understanding and cooperation of suppliers so that we can sustain responsible mineral sourcing practices.
* The “Conflict Minerals Issue” is a issue in which the profits from minerals mined or traded finance armed groups and foster conflicts, and often involves human rights abuses, labor issues and environmental destruction, etc. The Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted in July 2010, requires specified companies to report the use of conflict minerals—tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold—and any other minerals determined by the U.S. Department of State which originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo and/or an adjoining country.
In 2001, the Ricoh Group launched RaVenderNET, a network for sharing information on production and environmental impact caused by raw materials and parts. RaVenderNET was expanded in 2005 to include overseas vendors. The network, which is maintained jointly with our suppliers, has streamlined the process of confirming the compliance of purchase orders with Ricoh standards from two or three days to just half a day, substantially shortening production lead times. The system has also been used to share information on socially responsible procurement since 2010.