Main content Main content

Themes being Engaged at the Center

Ricoh promotes active "open innovation" by creating new businesses in the environment and energy fields with the aim of realizing a zero-carbon society and a circular economy. We are looking forward to working with companies and research institutes considering collaborative creation and businesses, as well as organizations interested in our products. Please feel free to contact us.

Realizing a zero-carbon society

Ricoh has established the “Group’s Environmental Goals” for 2050 based on the Paris Agreement, international agreement adopted at COP 21 to address the issue of global warming, and conducts business activities to be able to achieve the goals. Also, Ricoh has joined RE100*, a global initiative network of companies committed to use 100% renewable electricity, marking a first for Japan. Aiming for a zero-carbon society, the Center operates experimental research projects on energy management that concurrently enable comfortable business spaces and energy saving.

image:RE100

* RE100:Companies collaborating in this global initiative seek to source 100% renewable electricity.

image:Affordable and Clean Energy image:Climate Action

Monitoring people movements and indoor environments to optimize lighting and air-conditioning

We created a system that draws on light, occupancy, and ambient temperature sensors to manage information in the cloud and optimize lighting and air-conditioning controls. This setup effortlessly enhances energy efficiency and savings without compromising comfort and convenience.

image:Lighting and air-conditioning control systems
image:Climate Action

Advanced solar cells employing material technology for organic photoreceptors

Advanced solar cells eliminate the need for power from outlets and coin cell batteries, resolving power problems in various usage environments. Solid-state dye sensitized solar cells are highly efficient, even under indoor light. Organic thin-film solar cells are light and flexible. Perovskite solar cells can generate electricity, even in space. Our clean, smart, and independent devices will contribute to the emerging Internet of Things.

Complete Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell

image:Energy-harvesting Lighting Devices
image:Affordable and Clean Energy image:Responsible Consumption and Production image:Climate Action

Employing lithium-ion batteries

An absence of hybrid vehicle lithium-ion battery recycling and reuse techniques has fueled concerns about disposing of numerous such batteries in the years ahead. In view of a shift to electric vehicles and decentralized energy sources, we are developing ways to reuse lithium-ion batteries from these vehicles as assistive power sources at electric vehicle charging stations and in stationary power storage systems.

image:Reuse of HEV Batteries
image:Affordable and Clean Energy image:Climate Action

Local production and consumption model encompasses everything from forest harvesting to energy utilization

We collaborate with local governments and forestry professionals in striving to conserve forests, cut carbon dioxide emissions, and create energy. We aim to contribute to regional development through the Gotemba Model, a woody biomass energy circulation system that we developed to use thinned lumber and create jobs nationwide.

image:Employing wood biomass

Realization of a Circular Economy

In order to achieve a sustainable society in the future without depleting the earth’s limited resources, it is necessary to realize a “recycling-oriented society” where the greatest effects are generated with the least amount of resources and energy.
Ricoh supports the realization of a recycling-oriented society through our efforts to efficiently circulate resources at each of the three stages: when products are manufactured, when products and services are used by customers, and after products are used.

The Comet Circle is a conceptual representation of Ricoh’s approach to materializing a sustainable economy. We aim to reduce the environmental impacts of products throughout entire lifecycles. As the figure below shows, smaller loops closer to users reduce environmental impacts and increase er economic efficiency. We develop reuse and recycling technologies to make these loops as small and close as possible to customers.

Read more

Goal of achieving a “circular economy“ Efficient use of resources at the product manufacturing stage (examples)

Goal of achieving a “circular economy.” Contributing to achievement of a recycling-oriented society Examples

image:Responsible Consumption and Production image:Climate Action

Replacing conventional plastics

Our proprietary polylactic acid (PLA) foam technology helps reduce global warming and marine pollution stemming from conventional plastic waste disposal. Incinerating PLA foam does not increase carbon dioxide emissions. Another benefit is that it decomposes into water and carbon dioxide even if it ends up in landfills or the ocean.

image:Foamed PLA sheets
image:Responsible Consumption and Production image:Climate Action

Helping streamline plastic recycling

Japan disposes of around nine million metric tons of plastic waste every year. Most waste plastic that companies would have shipped overseas for processing is building up in Japan owing to importation restrictions in China and other countries. There is an urgent need to develop plastic waste treatment facilities in Japan. It is difficult to recycle waste incorporating varying types of plastic. Ricoh identifies materials in plastics to add waste sorting and recycling, thus helping to create a circular economy.

image:Sorting plastics