Ricoh has announced its updated environmental strategy, committing to achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for its direct operations and electricity use (Scope 1 and 2) by 2040, a decade earlier than its previous 2050 target.

The ambitious plan is part of Ricoh’s proactive approach to tackling the urgent challenge of climate change by completely switching to renewable energy sources for its electricity needs.

Dean Richards, CEO of Ricoh South Africa, says climate change is one of the most inevitable and pressing challenges the world faces. “Ricoh’s commitment to zero GHG emissions Scope 1 and 2 by 2040 and strengthening our Scope 3 reduction efforts is not just about accelerating our own sustainability journey.

“It will also enhance Ricoh’s support to our customers in reducing their carbon footprint and emission levels. We are continuing to make great strides to realise a sustainable future through empowering people at work.”

The company aims to cut down 90% of its GHG emissions based on 2015 levels through direct actions and plans to balance out the remaining 10% by investing in internationally recognised offsetting methods.

Ricoh is also expanding its efforts to address Scope 3 emissions, which include indirect emissions from activities such as supply chain operations, by targeting a 65% reduction by 2040 from 2015 levels, a broader approach than its earlier focus on specific categories by 2030.

To meet these ambitious goals, Ricoh intends to electrify facilities currently using gas and oil, adopt the use of heat pumps, transition to electric vehicles, and significantly boost the use of renewable energy. The company is also looking to enhance collaboration with its supply chain to minimise environmental impacts further.

Since joining the RE100 initiative in 2017 (a collaborative group of the world’s most influential businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity), Ricoh has been a leader among Japanese companies in committing to 100% renewable electricity.

It has continuously updated its environmental targets in response to the evolving global consensus on the need for urgent action to combat global warming, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.