Ricoh sets 100% clean energy target

Office equipment maker Ricoh Co has become the first Japanese company to join RE100, a global initiative that encourages businesses to use 100% renewable energy in an effort to reduce climate-damaging emissions, company officials said.

Ricoh plans to retrofit all its offices and factories at home and abroad to make them solely renewable energy powered by 2050 using on-site solar and biomass production technology to meet the goal.

To make up for the likely energy shortfalls expected due to the ambitious 100 percent renewable target, Ricoh plans to purchase “green electricity,” or electricity produced from sources that do not negatively impact the climate.

As a first step, the Tokyo-based copier and printer maker is aiming to source over 30 percent of its electricity needs from renewable power by 2030.

Around 90 companies worldwide, including Ikea, Microsoft Corp, and Nike Inc, have so far joined the RE100 campaign, which started in 2014 under the leadership of The Climate Group, an international nonprofit organization.

The initiative advocates for companies to commit to using only renewable power to run their businesses, allowing opportunities for member companies to tout their environmental efforts to customers and stakeholders.

Member companies can independently determine when they aim to achieve the 100 percent renewable energy use, but cannot use nuclear energy as part of the supply mix.

The reduction of low-carbon emissions is a key aspect of the Paris climate accord adopted in late 2015. The agreement aims to virtually eliminate global greenhouse gas emissions in the latter half of this century and hold the global average temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

In addition to the planned shift to renewable energy, Ricoh is aiming to sharply cut its greenhouse gas emission from its offices by 2050 and virtually offset its emissions by carrying out tree-planting activities.

The company also plans to request its suppliers of materials and parts as well as distributors of its products to join in its drive to reduce emissions.

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