Managing environmentally sensitive chemical substances
We actively control environmentally sensitive chemical substances used in our manufacturing and R&D processes — started in 1999 — by designating chemical substances that are frequently handled by the Group, including substances subject to Japan's PRTR Law, as environmentally sensitive chemical substances and taking into consideration trends in international cooperation for the control of chemical substances necessary for environmental preservation.
Achieved total elimination of chlorinated organic solvents*
Chlorinated organic solvents are substances with high health risks (possible carcinogenicity in humans) and environmental risks (cause of soil contamination and hazardous air pollutants), so the Ricoh Group has promoted activities to completely eliminate the use of chlorinated organic solvents in Group manufacturing and at outside contract manufacturing companies. We achieved this goal in fiscal 2005. Since then, we have been continuing our activities to eliminate the use of chlorinated organic solvents at all of our domestic and overseas production facilities, including all newly joined production affiliates.
*Covering specific hazardous substances based on Japan's Soil Contamination Control Law.
Management of Asbestos and PCBs
Asbestos used at business sites and facilities is subject to examination up to Level 3, but more detailed examinations up to Level 3 are being conducted at all Ricoh domestic business sites. We have taken measures to prevent dispersion of the substance and have confirmed that it is at a level that has no impact on human health among local residents and employees in the surrounding area.
We will continue to improve the conditions and remove the substance in a systematic manner.
We also investigate all our products containing PCBs and manage them in accordance with laws and regulations. Condensers, fluorescent light ballasts, and other electronic equipment containing PCBs that are stored at each business site are placed in sealed containers to prevent leakage, which will then be regularly inspected for proper management and storage. The Ricoh Group completed disposal of high-concentration PCB waste by fiscal 2021. We will also proceed with the disposal of low-concentration PCB waste in a planned manner.
Managing Risks Associated with Soil and Groundwater Pollution
The Ricoh Group addresses soil and groundwater contamination issues from the perspectives of social responsibility, environmental risk, and financial risk. The Ricoh Group's Risk Management Standard for Soil and Groundwater Contamination defines and operates a basic risk management policy for soil and groundwater contamination. We have been voluntarily addressing soil and groundwater contamination since the early 1990s and have been conducting surveys and restoration at all our sites globally, not only at Ricoh Group production sites but also at Ricoh Group's non-production sites. We have created risk management scenarios and are voluntarily promoting risk reduction, targeting the standards of each country.
Implementing Environmental Due Diligence (Environmental DD)
When acquiring land or buildings through M&A, we conduct environmental due diligence (Environmental DD) based on internal rules to assess, manage, and reduce the risk of soil and groundwater contamination. Environmental DD includes an investigation of the use history of the land to be acquired, the status of compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and the results of contamination surveys.
Environmental risk management for properties
When conducting real estate sales and leasing transactions, the Ricoh Group (consolidated companies) manages soil contamination, PCBs, asbestos, and other environmental risks according to environmental regulatory requirements.
We have established the "Standard for Environmental Risk Assessment of Land and Building Transactions and Leases" to minimize the impact on our business.
The main risk management policies are:
Reduction and management of chemical substances in products
Since 1993, Ricoh has been managing and reducing "environmentally impacting chemical substances potentially used in products" based on the Management System for Chemical Substances (MSC)*¹, which is the Ricoh Group's approach to risk management. Chemical substances to be managed and reduced are reviewed regularly, considering the latest regulatory trends and scientific observations. In addition, many of the parts used in Ricoh products are provided by supplier companies that procure raw materials and manufacture parts.
*¹ Management of chemical substances in products（MSC：Management System for Chemical）
To manage and reduce the environmental impact of chemical substances in Ricoh products, all divisions of the Ricoh Group involved in product manufacturing — including design, procurement, and production — are working together to establish a management system for chemicals in products (MSC). This management system eliminates all chemical substances that are prohibited from being in products, and it also establishes a flow for appropriate primary response, prevention of expansion (shipment of parts and products), and prevention of recurrence in the event of contamination. In addition, we have established a system to trace which parts of equipment products contain which chemical substances and how much they contain, and to manage the content individually. This system enables us to respond promptly if a chemical substance that is currently not prohibited may be prohibited in the future due to stricter regulations.
*² Ricoh group chemical substances management system（CMS：Chemical substances Management System）
We have established a chemical substance management system (CMS) on a global basis for supplier companies that deliver parts and materials used in Ricoh's products. We train and certify CMS auditors from supplier company employees. These certified auditors conduct not only their own internal audits, but they also conduct audits of second- and third-tier upstream supplier companies with critical processes that handle banned substances specified in the Ricoh Group Green Procurement Standards, and they assist them in establishing a CMS. By establishing such a chemical substance management system throughout the entire supply chain, we have established a production system that prevents prohibited substances specified in the Ricoh Group Green Procurement Standards from getting into Ricoh products.
Managing chemical substances in supply products
Various chemical substances are used in our supply products, such as toner and developer. At Ricoh Group, it is our principle that "product safety is a basic requirement for customer satisfaction." To this end, as well as working to ensure the safety of our supplies through appropriate chemical substance management, we have established strict internal standards that are compatible with laws and regulations globally. In addition, to ensure that our customers can use our supplies with safety, we disclose safety information on our supplies in the form of Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
Reduction and management of chemical emissions generated during product use
The Ricoh Group has established its own standard for chemical emissions*1 generated during the use of its copiers, printers, and other products to ensure that customers can use its products comfortably and that the products conform to the standard.
*1 Chemical substances emitted from products, such as ozone, dust, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).