In addition to Resolution of social issues through business activities(Creating Shared Value:CSV), we are also committed to carrying out socially beneficial activities in a steady, responsible manner, both within and outside of our business functions. These activities include initiatives the Group and its employees lead as well as support given to nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations.
For a company to effectively utilize its resources to address social challenges, enhanced social awareness of its employees is essential. With this view, we offer a spectrum of opportunities to help individual employees raise their awareness and sensitivity toward social issues, and encourage them to take action in some form by participating in volunteer activities or making efforts within their business engagements.
FreeWill is an employee-led endeavor launched in 1999 that seeks to turn individual donations into a sizable fund for social contribution activities underpinned by greater participation and sustained involvement in the movement. Currently, employees of a total of 10 group companies including Ricoh are voluntarily participating in activities as FreeWill members.
Employees who belong to FreeWill donate a portion of their salary and bonus, with the collected funds going to nonprofit and other organizations that promote solutions to social problems and employees’ social contribution activities. The club invites suggestions from members, based on which the delegate members discuss which organizations and activities to support.
The donations made by employees are matched by contributions from the 10 member companies (Ricoh, Ricoh Japan, Ricoh Logistics System, Ricoh IT Solutions, Ricoh Leasing, Ricoh Creative Service, Ricoh Industry, Ricoh Technologies, Ricoh Electronic Devices, Ricoh Industrial Solutions).
FreeWill also organizes member activities. Among major programs are: a cherry tree planting activity along the tsunami water line in Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture, which was devastated by the catastrophic tsunami that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake; and the Picture Book Project, in which members send Japanese picture books to children in India and Bangladesh after attaching stickers of the text translated into local languages. These activities provide many members with opportunities to become involved in social contribution.
In 2006, the Ricoh Group designated one day in June as "Ricoh Global Eco Action" day, during which Group employees around the world think about and take action on behalf of the global environment. On this day every year, we hold a variety of environmental events, including biodiversity conservation activities and energy-saving campaigns.
This year, in London, employees of Ricoh Europe helped restore and improve parks in their community, tending to gardens and installing bird boxes.
In 2012, a database was created to record social activities, including Global Eco Action. Since then, Group members have been able to find out about activities occurring in other parts of the world through the database and share their knowledge.