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Green by tradition

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Kyocera Mita South Africa is a leading company among several that have publicly stated a commitment to being environmentally friendly. What is not so eminent is the fact that Kyocera has supported minimal environmental impact for over 20 years, as an international technology leader.

“The international parent group, Kyocera itself, set out its vision for the environment as early as 1985,” says Jody Harrington, marketing manager at Kyocera Mita South Africa. “This involved the group’s work with green technologies – such as solar power – but also included an absolute commitment to producing products and technologies that had minimal negative impacts.
“The company was one of the first in the world to introduce committees and proper audits into its own structures and procedures so that green issues could be assessed, measured and so that constant improvements could be made in this area. This started from 1990 and every year sees further innovations and initiatives.”
Kyocera Mita produces equipment with high-tech, long-life components that don’t result in additional high-tech waste. The products are manufactured without use of hazardous substances – even the recommended paper is produced without using chlorine – and the toner cartridges are made from recyclable plastic, with only four moving parts inside.
This compares favourably with other systems that have as many as 30 components and may depend on refillable cartridges that require further transport and packaging overheads. Even the palettes used to pack containers of Kyocera equipment are made from recycled paper, rather than cutting down trees to make wooden palettes.
“Our whole product development philosophy is geared towards reducing the impact on the environment,” says Harrington. “That is in the group’s corporate vision and mission statements.
“We look at every aspect of the machine: how it is manufactured, delivered and how it is used. The goal is to produce the least possible waste and pollution – and achieve low power consumption. Our equipment meets or exceeds all international standards regarding power and hazardous substances – and it is built with long-life components that minimise waste during its working lifecycle.”
Staying ahead of the trend, the company has – for some years already – been committed to being carbon-neutral in its own operation. Trees are planted as an offset for the company’s carbon footprint.
“Environmentalists have the saying: think global, act local,” says Harrington. “We have practised that for quite a while. We have an arrangement in place with Food and Trees for Africa, so that a tree is planted for each machine we sell. We also offer our customers the option to sponsor an additional tree with each sale if they choose to join in.
“Operationally, we stress the importance of conserving power and paper usage by using the management technologies that are included with our products – and the good news is that these green practices can also save on costs.”
Locally and globally, Kyocera Mita is one of the first to do more than just act responsibly towards the environment. “It’s our goal to give back more than we take out and create a sustainable model for doing business in a way that doesn’t have negative impacts for future generations,” Harrington adds.