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Environmental Articles

Environmental Impact (Global)

We grasp/analyze the environmental impact of overall business activity in our own viewpoint and reflect it in our action plan. We will talk about Ricoh's new method that was developed for realizing environmental business management.

Nikkei Ecology, December 2001

Eco Balance of Business Activities

Eco Balance of Business Activities We move from "the Passive Stage" to "the Proactive Stage" and to "the Responsible Stage". To be the company which is desired by society in the 21st century, "environment" is an indispensable keyword. But if economic efficiency is neglected, the company could not survive. Recollecting the Ricoh Group's environmental activities, at first we were in the era of "the Passive Stage" in which we responded to regulations or customers' needs. Then, we entered into the era of " the Proactive Stage" when we, as an earth citizen, strove voluntarily and continuously for reduction of environmental impact. And now, we grasp the environment and business management on the same axis and are conducting various activities to realize economically efficient " the Responsible Stage".

We have to precisely grasp the environmental impact of overall business activities.
In order to realize environmental business management, we have first to properly grasp the impact that business activities have on the environment. For such a purpose, the Ricoh Group utilizes "eco-balance *1" and "LCA *2" and analyzes/grasps the environmental impact of overall business activities, as well as the product itself. Furthermore in 2001, in order to analyze the significance of environmental impact of each activity within overall business activities, a unified evaluation method called EPS *3 is used. It is the method originally developed in Sweden. It can replace environmental impact with monetary value. There is an example of EPS used for product design in a motor company. Ricoh applies this method to grasping the environmental impact of overall business activities.

The result of environmental impact analysis is reflected in the environmental action plan. As the result of analysis by EPS, it was found that environmental impacts at the time of material and part production and of chemical substances contained in the products are large. Consequently, "Products are collected to be recycled as materials and parts." Moreover "We strive for reduction of chemical substances particularly, as lead has a large impact." We decided to reflect these ideas in the new environmental action plan to be implemented from the next year. The Ricoh Group has established usage of this environmental impact analysis for the action plan as a business model.

Environmental impact is converted to a monetary amount and combined to calculate environmental business management. Environment impact at the time of production is about 62 billion yen annually and the content of chemical substances in the products comes to about 19.7 billion yen. Ricoh has grasped these figures and will strive for reuse of products/parts for minimizing new resource input and for the reduction of content of chemical substances in the products. By converting environmental impact to a monetary amount, cost and effect of environmental investment can be confirmed and we can establish environmental targets.

Ricoh Group's environmental impact amount
  • *
  • The subject scope is domestic only except for a few cases and the amount is of trial calculation.(As of December 2001)
More details about Ricoh Group's environmental impact amount
New analysis method of environmental impact is linked to environmental accounting. In the future, Ricoh aims to have this method incorporated into its environmental accounting system and construct a system that can be used for management decision- making. Thus, effective environmental impact reduction and business management will be simultaneously promoted. Ricoh will continuously study various tools, improve their accuracy and raise corporate value. Also, as a business corporation and an earth citizen, we will actively disclose information on such tools and activities and contribute to environmental impact reduction of the whole society.
  • *1
  • Eco-Balance is to produce a list or the list itself of input/output data of environmental impact, as the means to quantitatively measure/grasp/report environmental impact that a company generates.
  • *2
  • LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) is to quantitatively grasp how much and what environmental impact is generated in the course of "from the cradle to the grave" of products, namely, from acquisition of resources for raw material manufacturing to production/transportation/use/maintenance/collection/recycle/disposal. Some of these systems can be picked up for use.
  • *3
  • EPS: Environmental Priority Strategies