Eco-business / Social Venture

September 27, 2003


Ricoh Establishes Environmental Standard on Paper Products

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Ecosystems / Biodiversity Manufacturing industry NGO / Citizen Policy / Systems 

Ricoh Co., a major Japanese manufacturer of office equipment and supplies, has established environmental standards for paper products of its group's brand, and started to apply them on June 20, 2003. Products designated in this standard include materials made from trees, including copy and thermal paper, as well as manuals, wrapping and cushioning materials used in product packaging of Ricoh and other brands of the Ricoh corporate family.

The Ricoh group has promoted green purchasing and succeeded in having its major suppliers worldwide establish their own environmental management systems by the end of March 2003. In July 2002, the company also set green purchasing guidelines to promote the procurement of environmentally sound parts and materials. In addition, Ricoh set this new standard aimed at preserving what the company defines as "forests of high conservation value," to be applied to the wood-based products mentioned above.

When a supplier apparently fails to meet these new standards, either in terms of products supplied to Ricoh or in terms of the supplier's corporate activities, Ricoh will request the company to comply with the standards within a fixed time period. To determine whether or not the supplier has made improvements, Ricoh will either investigate by itself, or if necessary, will request a selected third party to provide information. If the investigation results show that the supplier has not made adequate improvements during the period, Ricoh may suspend business with the company.

The "forests of high conservation value" include old-growth forests, native forests, and natural forests inhabited by endangered species. While conventional green purchasing standards for paper products in Japan are designed mainly to promote the use of recycled paper, the new Ricoh standards venture into the actual preservation of forests. Environmental non-governmental organizations have praised this approach as an innovative standard.

Posted: 2003/09/27 11:51:50 AM
Japanese version