Looking forward to a prosperous and sustainable 2015

As the curtain draws to a close on 2014, we are delighted to report that it’s been a great year for Ricoh in Ireland.  Our direct and indirect channels have experienced strong growth, we’ve added some really innovative new products and services, and our customer base has continued to expand. On top of this, we’ve seen the local economy bounce back really well this year with further economic growth of 5.7% predicted in 2015. It’s a great time to be doing business in Ireland again.

While all of this provides us with a great sense of satisfaction and optimism, there is one particular achievement this year which provides me with the greatest sense of pride. This was the awarding of the Business Working Responsibly Mark to Ricoh Ireland in front of more than 150 of the country’s top CEOs at an event in Dublin Castle just last month. We were one of a very select number of businesses – including Accenture, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, Musgrave Group and Mark & Spencer Ireland – to receive this hugely significant accolade.

The Mark is awarded by Business in the Community Ireland to organisations that have demonstrated the highest standards of corporate and social responsibility across all areas of the business. One of the great things about receiving this Mark was the knowledge that every single team member in Ricoh Ireland played their part in making this happen. We fully embraced the concept of making a difference in the community and the results were fantastic.

Gary Hopwood, Ricoh Ireland and  Dara Connolly, ReCreateOne example of our community work is our hugely successful partnership with ReCreate Ireland which promotes sustainability in schools and diverts end of line and surplus stock to be used as arts materials for children. We also partnered with Focus Ireland and raised significant sums of much needed funds for homeless people through a number of initiatives, including a Family day,  sleeping rough to ‘Shine a Light’ on homelessness and a car boot sale held by the staff which also raised a significant amount of funds. Looking ahead to next year, we’re already planning to carry out a number of volunteering days in Finglas on behalf of Focus Ireland among many other CSR activities.

While achieving the Business Working Responsibly Mark is a good thing to do from a commercial point of view as it encourages other socially responsible organisations to want to do business with us, it really is all about the positive impact our contribution is making on our local communities. We certainly don’t see this as being just a project that we have successfully completed or a one-off initiative. Instead it has given us a framework to be responsible and sustainable in everything we do as a business going forward.

While most organisations are finalising their KPIs and deliverables for next year right now, we would encourage other businesses to make sure that corporate and social responsibility is at the heart of their plans and strategies as they look forward to 2015. It certainly will be for all of us here in Ricoh after such a wonderfully positive experience this year.

On that note, I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Let’s all try to make a real difference in 2015 in our businesses and in our local communities.

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