In 2009, Ricoh released its first recycled full-color copier with high picture quality. This launch was made possible by the company’s tireless efforts since the 1990s to develop a rigorous quality control system across the entire process—from collection of end-of-life models to recycling. Since the introduction of our first recycled copier in 1997, Ricoh has continuously expanded the lineup of recycled models. With the addition of full-color models, Ricoh’s recycled copiers are now capable of meeting a variety of customer needs with a wide selection of monochrome and color models, all of which are marked by high quality and high environmental performance.
Recycling process for copiers
These days, the regional sales strategies for recycled products, which used to be sold individually by each of our local bases, are formulated by Ricoh Europe PLC (RE), our sales headquarters for the region. Under its leadership, we offer the GreenLine series of MFPs by collecting, sorting, and recycling used Ricoh MFPs in accordance with common standards shared by all bases. The number of countries where the GreenLine recycled MFPs are sold is increasing and the market is expanding across Europe. In order to supply models that meet the needs of each area, we have subdivided the European market into three segments: advanced countries where the recycled product market is established; advanced countries where the market is developing; and emerging countries. Moreover, by focusing on the differing customer acquisition opportunities in the markets for new and recycled products, we have classified customers into seven groups and conduct specific marketing activities targeting each group. As a result, we have been favorably increasing sales of our recycled products.
The GreenLine recycling process has been audited and certified by global business standards certification body BSI*. The process has also been highly rated by other organizations, including being recognized as a best practice for sustainable businesses as reported by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in its "Towards the Circular Economy" report.
We have also been fostering the supply of recycled products to emerging markets, where tremendous demand for these products is expected. Because we are able to recover large quantities of used products in advanced countries, we can optimize the supply-demand balance on a global scale by turning these recovered products into recycled products and selling them in emerging countries. We do, however, need to comply with the laws and regulations enforced in each country regarding the export and import of recovered and recycled products. To meet this requirement, we have been conducting comprehensive local activities to understand the market features and needs of each country since 2010. As a result of making these efforts, we became the first Japanese manufacturer to obtain approval from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of China for the import of used products into that country for the purpose of locally manufacturing recycled MFPs. Based on the approval, we have been sending used MFPs to our recycling base in Fuzhou, China since July 2015 for the local production of recycled MFPs. We began selling the products through Ricoh China (in Shanghai) in August. The used MFPs sent to the base include those recovered by the RICOH Eco Business Development Center newly opened in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture as well as those recovered in countries other than Japan. Going forward, we will establish a global, stable value chain for our recycled MFPs and optimize supply and demand.
When shredding or otherwise disposing of documents bound together by staples or clips, time must be taken to remove the staples/clips first. Ricoh has stolen the march on the rest of the industry by developing an “internal staple-less finisher” that utilizes a crimp-style double staple without conventional metal staples. This finisher is launched in December 2013.
This staple-free stapling binds documents (up to five standard papers) together with pressure instead of metal staples, reducing the time and effort needed to sort documents for disposal. The resources required to manufacture metal staples are thus conserved, making this an eco-friendly approach, and staple-free stapling is seen as enhancing safety at production sites for food products or precision instruments concerned about foreign objects in products, as well as at childcare facilities eager to prevent accidents such as children accidently swallowing small objects.
The internal staple-less finisher is not only eco-friendly but also safe and easy to use, and providing this function on a greater range of machines will help conserve even more resources.
Double-stapling is difficult to pull apart. An image in the stapling location would have an impact on the hold of the stapling, so machines also feature a mask function that does not allow images to be printed in the stapling location.