Act locally and think globally to create a sustainable environment

The United Nations COP21 climate conference, taking place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December, has cast a spotlight on the environmental issues with which we are all faced. COP21 aims to adopt a new binding and universal agreement with the objective to limit global warming to 2°C by the end of the century.

Ricoh is delighted to be involved as an official partner to the conference, providing a secure printing infrastructure spanning 190 devices, a wide range of environmentally efficient print devices and document security solutions.

As an organisation, Ricoh has always been committed to making a positive impact on the world around it. Ever since its creation, our company has followed a sustainable development approach with the desire to achieve a balance between the Three Ps – Planet, People and Profit.

I’m very proud of the fact that Ricoh is on track to reduce the total lifecycle CO2 emissions of the Ricoh Group by 30% by 2020 and 87.5% by 2050. This is a direct result of taking responsibility for our own emissions, and providing customers with products and solutions that help them do the same.

What makes me even more satisfied is the local commitment from our team in Ricoh Ireland to contribute to these worthwhile goals. Not only do we provide highly energy efficient and sustainable solutions to customers throughout Ireland, we also provide them with ways to measure and therefore minimise their energy usage. Our @remote software provides customers with sustainability reports which track print and document performance from an environmental perspective and make it easy to visualise and record trends in CO2 savings, power usage and paper consumption.

We also continually monitor the way we work, and use energy and materials in our Irish offices, so that we eliminate any wastage, and we’re fully committed to recycling and re-using and have a zero waste-to-landfill policy.

Furthermore, we’re continually looking for partnerships that promote better and more sustainable ways of working. For example, in 2014, we began working with ReCreate, a fantastic Irish social enterprise that reuses end of line stock and surplus materials from businesses and provides them to use as art materials. The organisation estimates it will prevent 150 tonnes of waste from entering Irish landfills each year and enables 15,000 children, parents and teachers to participate in art projects.

Taking responsibility as a business

To tackle environmental issues in Ireland, we need strong policy and regulatory certainty, but that’s only half the battle. Even with a strong global agreement and national legislation, we need strong leadership from our business community to transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient society.

Ricoh is a member of Business in the Community Ireland (BITC), the only network in Ireland for responsible business and the trusted authority on Corporate Social Responsibility. Last year, we became the first company in our sector to earn the Business Working Responsibly Mark, which recognises best practice achievements in the areas of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

BITC is supporting the overarching aim of COP21 to put the world in agreement on real climate change, and has called for action from Irish business leaders.

I recently signed a pledge on behalf of Ricoh Ireland, alongside other responsible business leaders, with a very simple and clear promise:

We as businesses are ready to lead and we urge our politicians and global leaders to join us by embracing the opportunity provided at COP21 in Paris to secure a global agreement on climate action.

Back to business

At Ricoh, we’ll continue to do everything we can to promote more sustainable ways of working. We’ve made a long term and measurable commitment to ensure we’re always on track. We want to collaborate with organisations in Ireland – and across the world – to reduce emissions, adopt energy-efficient technologies and processes, engage in the procurement of renewable energy sources and transparently report climate change information.

The time for inaction is over.  Business leaders now have a mandate to drive positive environmental change. Future generations are relying on us to make a real and measurable difference. Let’s work together to achieve this.

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