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Achievement of a Circular Economy

Contributing to achievement of a circular economy

  • Image: SDGs icon: 12.Responsible Production and Consumption

Policy/Basic Concept

The depletion of resources due to population growth globally and the issues of marine plastic waste have focused people's attention on the “Circular Economy.” Companies are now expected to work with stakeholders to promote transformation to a business model that does not depend on resource consumption.

The Ricoh Group's concept of a sustainable society is expressed in the “Three Ps Balance,” which describes a society that maintains a balance among the three Ps: economy (Prosperity), society (People), and the global environment (Planet).

Three Ps Balance

Under the Ricoh Group Environmental Declaration, “We proactively reduce environmental impact and strive to improve the Earth’s self-recovery capabilities to achieve a zero-carbon society and a circular economy through business.” We have also positioned the realization of a circular economy as one of the materiality features in the global environment field and set medium- to long-term targets, which the entire group is working toward.

The Ricoh Group established the Comet Circle™ in 1994 as a concept to achieve a circular economy. Based on the concept of the Comet Circle, we have been promoting the reduction of environmental impact throughout the entire life cycle of our products. In consideration of the recent social circumstances, we have established the “Resource Conservation Policy” and “Plastics Policy” to promote more specific initiatives.

The Comet Circle

Activity Policy

  1. Contribute to realizing a circular economy by promoting the efficient use and circulation of natural resources.
  2. Offer recycled products and promote further use of / conversion to sustainable resources with low environmental impact.

Ricoh Group Plastic Policy for Products

Ricoh group has set targets and goals for plastic usage of our products and packaging under consideration of social issues such as “Shifting to a circular economy,” and “Tackling ocean micro-plastic pollution”

  1. Breakaway from dependence on virgin plastic derived from fossil resources
  2. Material recyclable design

For details of Ricoh's climate change activities, please refer to the Ricoh Group Circular Economy Report.


To continuously discuss mid- to long-term issues of the Ricoh Group in the areas of environment, society, and governance at the management level, the ESG Committee, chaired by the CEO, was established in May 2018. The committee meets once every quarter with the participation of Senior Management to discuss the status of initiatives, issues, and investment decisions related to ESG themes, such as zero carbonization, as important themes for management. Its deliberations are regularly reported to the Board of Directors, which then supervises the execution of ESG activities at a high level.

In 2020, in addition to our existing collaboration with procurement, design, production, QA, and sales, we established and activated a cross-functional working group with the participation of members from the ESG department to create a mechanism to integrate indicators and measures into our business and product strategies in line with our environmental targets (in resource conservation).
To achieve a circular economy, we will continue to promote activities that integrate management level and on-site activities in order to accelerate actions such as the reduction of new resource use in products, substitution and reduction of virgin plastic derived from fossil resources, and effective use of used products.

Image: Global Network for our reuse and recycling activities

Furthermore, we are promoting collection, reuse, and recycling initiatives globally at our own sites in Europe, Japan, the Americas, Asia, and China. Each Group company has established criteria for selecting industrial waste disposal companies (ISO 14001, 9001, R2, e-Stewards certification, etc.) in accordance with the circumstances of each country, and company manages waste to ensure that it is handled reliably and appropriately by a reliable partner.

Targets and Performance

The Ricoh Group is promoting thorough resource conservation activities and active utilization of recycled materials with the aim of reducing the new resource usage rate of products to 12% or less by 2050.

Image: Targets and Performance

  FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Virgin material usage ratio of products 90.6% 90.1% 90.7% 88.5%
Amount of virgin materials used in products (kt) 103.7 92.4 77.7 76.8

Tap to see the table

Ricoh Group Plastic Policy for Products

Ricoh group has set targets and goals for plastic usage of our products and packaging under consideration of social issues such as “Shifting to a circular economy” and “Tackling ocean micro-plastic pollution”

Specific Targets and Goals for Plastic

  • Use of post-consumer recycled plastics for imaging products Goals for 2030: Post-consumer recycled plastic content rate of 50% or more
  • Reduction in packaging materials for virgin plastic derived from fossil resources Goals for 2030: 50% or more reduction compared to 2020 level.
  • Display resin identification code and single material use Goals for 2025: Clearly indicated on all parts and all packaging materials

Chart: Ricoh Group Plastic Policy for Products

End-of-life Recycled Product Disposal Targets

To achieve a circular economy, it is also important to increase the number of end-of-life products to be recycled. To this end, we have set new targets for the reuse/recycling rate and simple incineration/landfill rate targets for end-of-life recycled products in 2023.

End-of-life Recycled Product Disposal Targets

  • Reuse/Recycle ratio Target for 2030: more than 87.5% Target for 2050: more than 93.5%
  • Incineration/Landfill ratio Target for 2030: less than 0.5% Target for 2050:0%
FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Collection (t) 57,498 51,948 47,843 47,705
Reuse・Recycle・Energy Recovery (t) 56,224 50,806 46,627 46,221
Reuse・Recycle ratio 83.9% 84.0% 84.4% 84.1%
Energy Recovery ratio 13.9% 13.8% 13.1% 12.8%
Incineration・Landfill ratio 2.2% 2.2% 2.5% 3.1%

Tap to see the table

For other achievements related to realizing a Cercular Economy, please click here.


For details of Ricoh’s achievements and initiatives of a Zero-Carbon Society, please refer to the link;

Reduce the use of new resources and recycling initiatives

Design for Environment, 3Rs and Long-Term Usage

  1. Design for Environment
  2. Use of compatible labels
  3. Labeling the position of hidden screws and claws

Reduce Product Sizes and Weights

  1. Reduce Product Sizes and Weights (MFPs and Printers)
  2. Staple reduction with “Internal Staple-less Finisher”

Reduction of packaging materials

  1. New Returnable Eco Packaging for MFPs (Japan)
  2. Factory kitting service using resource-recirculating eco packaging
  3. Reduction of plastic packaging
  4. Using recycled materials for packaging tape

Expanding the scope of material recycling

  1. Using Recycled Plastic
  2. Using Electric Furnace Steel Plates

New business products that reduce environmental impact

  1. Foamed PLA sheets 『PLAiR』 - A New Material Made from Plants and Air
  2. Reducing Paper Consumption with Eco-Friendly Silicone-Top Linerless Label
  3. Resource reduction using label-less thermal technology
  4. Developing Label-Less Bottle Printing Using Transparent Resin Laser Marking Technology
  5. Developing Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (as Environment Sensor)

Initiatives for End of Life products

Reuse and Recycling Program and Network

  1. Program
  2. Global network for reuse and recycling
  3. Network utilization

Reuse and Recycling Businesses

  1. Key Commercialization Initiatives
  2. Reuse of full-color toner bottles without disassembly

Audit of Industrial waste disposal company in Japan

  1. Using the system to check the vendor