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Ricoh USA leads the way in sustainability reporting through Watershed partnership

Ricoh USA leads the way in sustainability reporting through Watershed partnership

July 9, 2024

Ricoh USA has reinforced its long commitment to sustainability through an industry-leading partnership with the Watershed enterprise climate platform. In this Quocirca Vendor Spotlight we discuss how Ricoh’s new Sustainability Services Dashboard enables its customers to measure, report, and take decisive action on emissions data associated with Ricoh Digital Services. This collaboration is noteworthy for being one of the first in the print industry, as it goes beyond measuring the carbon footprint of device hardware to encompass digital solutions and services.

A data-driven future: Regulatory changes reshape the sustainability landscape

Sustainability today is a business imperative driven by a growing focus on environmental and social impact, regulatory changes, and evolving data requirements, which are dramatically reshaping the sustainability landscape. While navigating the global regulatory landscape can be challenging, companies that embrace transparent data practices will be best positioned to comply with regulations and unlock opportunities for innovation and growth.

Climate reporting requirements are increasing around the world. While many large organisations are already measuring and reporting emissions from their own operations (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) with new laws coming into force, many will now have to account for the emissions produced along their value chain (Scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions that occur throughout a product’s lifecycle, from sourcing materials to end-of-life disposal) under regulations such as the EU’s CSRD and the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (CCDAA) in California.

The EU has led the way with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which aims to raise the bar on corporate sustainability reporting, focusing on standardised metrics and aiming to provide more accountability and transparency. In the US, California has passed new climate disclosure bills that will impact companies doing business in the state and their global supply chains. The CCDAA and the Greenhouse Gases: Climate-Related Financial Risk bill aim to inform investors about companies’ climate risks and carbon emissions data.

Ricoh: A step ahead

Ricoh USA has taken a significant step by collaborating with Watershed to provide emission data on Ricoh’s digital services to help customers with Scope 3 reporting and compliance with regulations such as the EU CSRD. Watershed is an enterprise sustainability platform that enables organisations to manage climate and ESG data and produce audit-ready metrics for reporting.

As a global manufacturer, Ricoh has long focused on sustainability. In 1936, Ricoh’s Founder, Kiyoshi Ichimura, articulated a vision for the company founded on three principles: Love your neighbour (People), Love your country (Planet), and Love your work (Prosperity). These founding principles remain embedded in Ricoh’s company values. In 1976, Ricoh established its first department focused on sustainable business and manufacturing processes. In 1994 the company established the Comet Circle as the basis of its commitment to circularity across its business. It aims to effectively use resources across the product lifecycle, including recycling products and resupplying them to the market.

Today, Ricoh focuses on the ‘Three Ps Balance’ by focusing on seven material issues that align with UN SDGs. These include Creativity from Work, Quality of Life Enhancement, Zero-Carbon Society, Circular Economy, Stakeholder Engagement, Open Innovation, and Diversity and Inclusion.

In March 2024, Ricoh announced its new environmental goals for 2040: net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under Scope 1 and 2 and a 100% shift to renewable energy for electricity consumption in its business activities (RE100). These advance its original 2050 targets by 10 years. These goals aim to reduce GHG emissions by 90% from fiscal 2015 through voluntary efforts and 10% through offsetting by internationally acceptable methods. The new 2040 goals also include a 65% Scope 3 reduction rate in all categories from fiscal 2015, an expansion from the 2030 Scope 3 goal of selected categories: 1 (procurement), 4 (transportation), and 11 (use).

In terms of environmental credentials across its product portfolio, Ricoh reports that its A3 manufacturing plants all use 100% renewable energy, its latest IM C Series A3 MFPs use 50% recycled plastic, and its GreenLine remanufactured MFP series is the first to receive ENERGY STAR certification and uses over 80% post-consumer material.

Supporting compliance with the Sustainability Services Dashboard

While Ricoh’s core and legacy business is printing, it also positions itself as a sustainability partner through its Digital Services portfolio. Through improving business productivity, organisations can also reduce environmental impact. This is reflected in Quocirca’s recent Sustainability Trends Study, in which 68% of organisations report that sustainability is closely linked to business performance. Ricoh’s digital services offerings encompass process automation, such as claims management and intelligent document processing; workplace experience, which includes Ricoh Work Anywhere, smart lockers, outsourced mailroom, and the cloud-based Ricoh Spaces; and operational efficiency-led services, including its IoT Command Center, which supports its AI-driven predictive maintenance and Service Advantage. Notably, each of these areas is aligned with one of the seven material issues clearly reflected in Ricoh USA’s marketing communications and messaging.

Ricoh’s new Sustainability Services Dashboard complements its existing carbon footprint measurement dashboards for its hardware. The dashboard integrates with Watershed’s granular emissions measurement and provides customers with a comprehensive Scope 3 emissions footprint of their business with Ricoh, using both privately and publicly disclosed financial and climate data.

The dashboard also generates tailored recommendations for supplier selection, such as sourcing renewable energy, based on input from customer sustainability or procurement teams. These recommendations enable high-impact reductions up and down the supply chain, ready-made for public reporting. Customers can also use comprehensive data visualisation and reporting to track progress through reporting tools.

Quocirca opinion

As sustainability continues to move higher on the corporate agenda and businesses increasingly need to report their ESG metrics, data-driven insights such as those provided by Ricoh’s Sustainability Services Dashboard provide valuable, actionable insight for customers. In addition, such environmental analytics are a key differentiator for Ricoh’s direct and indirect sales channels to support sustainability-led customer engagements.

Ricoh stands out for its approach to open innovation and partnerships with start-ups such as Watershed. Notably, Watershed is part of the Google Cloud Ready Sustainability programme, having been built from the ground up on Google Cloud since its founding in 2019. This partnership has enabled Ricoh to rapidly co-create business value for its customers and business. Rather than building a proprietary platform for its customers, Ricoh has recognised the challenge of collecting and managing a large amount of data across operations. Partnering with a proven enterprise platform such as Watershed, which runs on Google Cloud, overcomes these challenges and creates a sustainable reporting process. It will also help Ricoh continually tap into data and AI to support supply chain transparency, regulatory compliance, and ongoing ESG performance management.

Ricoh’s partnership with Watershed positions it at the forefront of sustainability in the print industry. The collaboration will also benefit all stakeholders. Customers can feel confident that they are choosing a technology partner committed to sustainability, and Ricoh can work collaboratively with its suppliers to improve sustainability practices throughout the supply chain. If Ricoh can integrate reporting across the product lifecycle – encompassing hardware, software, and services – it will enhance transparency and give customers a clear picture of the environmental impact across their print and digital infrastructure.

Ricoh’s initiative paves the way for a more sustainable print industry through collaboration with the broader technology ecosystem. Ricoh USA has demonstrated market leadership through its partnership with Watershed, which Quocirca expects to be rolled out to other regions. Given Watershed’s global presence, extending this capability beyond the US will be a globally consistent approach across its regions.

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