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2003 Jury Citation

WEC Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development

The Jury is pleased to award the 2003 WEC Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development to Ricoh Group for its sincere, comprehensive and integrated commitment to the environment and sustainable development. Ricoh, a worldwide supplier, has led the office automation industry in creating environmentally friendly products and processes and in promoting partnerships among government, industry, and environmental groups.

Guided by a philosophy the organization calls "our earth, our tomorrow," Ricoh believes that we all share the planet and are obligated to protect and preserve it. The Jury based its award on a complete and comprehensive group of achievements that demonstrates superior performance in the areas of policy, implementation, and leadership constituting a compelling program of sustainable development. This outstanding performance translates into world class energy efficiency technology, reduction of global climate-warming emissions, zero-waste to landfill in production, green suppliers pipeline, and a cutting edge environmental management system globally applied.

Collectively, these accomplishments are a Signature Contribution that serves as a model for corporations to achieve success through sustainability. The Jury believes this model will provide an excellent standard for the office landscape of the future and as an example for other similar enterprises.


Ricoh is committed to a management philosophy that ties environmental protection and social responsibility together. Its General Principles on the Environment is based on the belief that activities to generate profits must necessarily protect the environment to ensure survival over the long term. Environmental conservation is recognized as an important component of the organization's mission and must be an integral part of all business activities. Major emphasis in realizing this goal is given to technological innovation.

Ricoh's Code of Conduct furnishes a clear framework for promoting mutual understanding with the community, contributing to society, and creating systems and work environments in which employees can work in comfort and safety. Mutual understanding with all shareholders is diligently pursued and maintained by frequent publications. Since 1998, annual performance and progress reports were available; in 2002, a new environmental plan for the period 2002-2004 was formulated and distributed. All reports are verified by a third party to ensure reliability.

Based on Ricoh's concept of the Comet Circle, reduction of a product's adverse environmental impact is achieved throughout its life cycle, making it vital to build partnerships with suppliers and recyclers.

Building a sustainable society requires creation of a vision, targets and subsequent communication to employees and shareholders. Ricoh's top to bottom commitment to its comprehensive policy ensures that success.


Integration of environmental conservation into the Strategic Management by Objectives for the Ricoh Group enables positive action. Further, the 2002 environmental action plans sets measurable targets for reduction of adverse environmental impact.

Innovative technologies in 2000 have given rise to QSU (Quick Start Up), the revolutionary energy conservation technology that reduces standby and recovery energy consumption. Ricoh's Aficio 1022/1027/1035/1045 copiers incorporating QSU technology is estimated to have resulted in 16,000 fewer tons of CO2 cumulatively over 2001. Recognition of this achievement enabled Ricoh's Aficio1035 to earn the first Copier of the Future Award from the International Energy Agency.

Ricoh Group production facilities have kept pace with the company's ambitious carbon reduction goals. In 2001, Ricoh's CO2 emissions in Japan were reduced by 13 percent, based on 1990 levels. Ricoh's CO2 target reduction for 2004 has been set at 62 percent per unit. Other locales have set equally ambitious goals of 20 percent reductions by 2004.

Ricoh has encouraged suppliers to engage in green purchasing and offers support for supplier management systems. Ricoh also cooperates with suppliers to reduce the use of chemicals having adverse impacts and to utilize benign and recycled materials. Two goals are operative - to market recycled copiers and to improve the efficiency of collection, recycling and recovery systems. Ricoh has long offered remote diagnostic services to reduce downtime, improve customer satisfaction, and eliminate service vehicle dispatch.

All of this is powered by an environmental management information system that determines the environmental impact of business activities, improves the precision of environmental accounting, and is used as a decision making tool.


Ricoh is a visible leader in sustainable development and has a history of interaction with the public, government, environmental and development agencies. Its active participation on environmental committees has resulted in the proposed use of environmental labels to disclose impact information. Creation of a risk management system in 2001 prevents problems and provides rapid response when risks arise.

Ricoh energetically implements employee awareness studies and a worker health and safety system. In 1999, an Environmental Volunteer Training Program was initiated. As a result, employees are committed to becoming more involved with local volunteer rivers, beaches and roads clean-up activities, tree planting efforts, and assisting nearby businesses and schools to establish waste management and recycling programs. The Ricoh Group instituted an employee environmental award program to provide recognition for outstanding performance in developing activities, crafting business models, and creating innovative technologies to support sustainable operations.

Ricoh began green purchasing in China in 2001 and initiated support for suppliers to build effective environmental management systems. In 2001, Ricoh was the initial signatory of "e-mission-55," a petition for companies in favor of adopting the Kyoto Protocol and thereby highlighted the company's firm resolve to prevent global warming and encourage others to follow suit.

Ricoh has received many awards and earned superb evaluations over the years, including the highest evaluation in the photograph and office equipment category from Innovest Strategic Value Advisories. Ricoh has also worked hard to support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Program by rapidly producing Energy Star compliant products and through aggressive consumer education programs about Energy Star.

By efficiently using resources, improving efficiency of production, reducing waste disposal costs, and promoting employee awareness Ricoh has achieved "Zero-Waste to Landfill" in all 23 worldwide manufacturing sites. By combating global warming through energy efficiency in their facilities and the development of energy efficient products, by utilizing creative technological innovation, and by establishing partnerships with suppliers to improve their business operation and product quality Ricoh has amply demonstrated its Signature Project goal of serving as a model corporation for helping to realize sustainable development worldwide.

The Jury is pleased to designate Ricoh as the 2003 WEC Gold Medal Awardee and is confident that their profound commitment to Sustainable Development through innovative technology and management, as it is broadly shared and adopted, will generate highly desirable global impacts.

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