Eco Billboard in Tokyo

In September 2014, Ricoh changed the power source for the advertisements on the roof of the San-ai building in the historical Ginza 4-chome crossing to 100% renewable energy. As with environmental neon signs set up in New York, London and Sydney, we use wind turbines and solar panels set up on top of the advertisements, and are able to provide illumination without relying on outside electricity.
The advertisements still light up at night or during bad weather because we use a storage battery, but the light can fade if bad weather continues. However, we believe that the true significance lies in not just promoting the company name but spreading the word about consideration of the environment, and that is why we switched to have an advertising tower that uses renewable energy.

We at the Ricoh Group have set ourselves the high goal of reducing our environmental footprint to one-eighth its current size by 2050, and we have launched many strategies over more than 30 years. Our attitude has been recognized - we are the only Japanese company to be recognized as one of the world's 100 most sustainable companies at the Davos Meeting for ten years in a row. By switching the advertising tower, known to be a major landmark in Ginza, to an eco billboard powered by 100% renewable energy, we hope that we can convey the importance of reducing energy consumption to a larger audience.


Size of the billboard 14.54m(H) x26.55m(W)
Solar panels 78 panels
Small wind turbines 4 units
Output If annual total output is 14,362kWh, total output for one day is 39.3kWh, billboard illumination for approx. 1.5 h.
CO2 emissions reduction Based on a total of 14,362kWh generated per year, we estimate that we can cut carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 7.5 tons.*
Location of the billboard Roof of San-ai Dream Center Building
5-7-2 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

* Power consumption calculated based on the standard rate of carbon dioxide emission published by the Tokyo Electric Power Company for 2013, 0.521kg- CO2/kWh

The Ricoh advertisement tower on the roof of the San-ai Dream Center

The Ricoh advertisement tower in the San-ai Dream Center in Ginza, Tokyo was first lit up on the evening of Friday December 22, 2006. The San-ai Dream Center was established in January 1963 as a symbol of the Ricoh San-ai group by Kiyoshi Ichimura, the founder of Ricoh. The building has since become one of Ginza’s premier landmarks.
The design theme of the new advertisement tower is birth and growth. It displays an image of sprouting plant shoots and blossoming flowers to create a feeling of life. It is a symbol and a physical landmark for the area. We aimed to make a billboard that displays powerful creativity but does not cross the line to eccentricity. The tower was designed with an overall white color, which makes the red of Ricoh stands out, and the viewer gets a feeling of motion (life) from overlapping three-dimensional curves.

Creating the advertising towers (installed in 2006)

Ricoh's advertisement tower set on the roof of the San-ai Dream Center was made in our factory in Yamanaka, Hiroshima.
It was made so that it was exactly the same dimensions as the steel frame of the San-ai Dream Center building.
The factory recreated the same steel frame as the San-ai Dream Center building. Because the billboard was comprised of multiple pieces, it was necessary to do a test assembly before erecting it in Ginza, and to verify that all of the pieces fit together properly.
To achieve beautiful curves, the tower was built by recreating the detailed curvature of the steel frame. In this fashion the tower was put together once, and then disassembled before being shipped all the way to Ginza, Tokyo.

It was made so that it was exactly the same dimensions as the steel frame of the San-ai Dream Center building.
The factory ceiling is 11 meters.? The photograph is of a portion approximately seven meters tall.? When put together the tower reached 14.54 meters. It is gigantic when compared to a person.
The work to put together each of the pieces shipped from Hiroshima could only be done in the early morning from 2AM to 6AM so as not to interfere with traffic.
Attaching the panels one-by-one using a crane took six days.
Inside of the billboard tower after the panels had been attached, different kinds of work was done each day, such as attaching neon tubes and electrical work. The advertisement tower didn't have the white panels shine light, but the plan was for illumination to leak from between the three layers of panels.
We visited the site while work was underway.
The backs of the panels for the advertisement tower were supported by the steel.
Finally the day of illumination, December 22, arrived. A ceremony to mark the completion was held at night in the work area we had visited previously.
The ceremony to mark completion was held on the roof of the building.
Support work to hold the neon tubes
Then, at 7:37PM the Mitsukoshi Altavision, the video display for the San-ai Dream Center, showed a Ricoh commercial and then a countdown video before the new advertisement tower was illuminated.

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