Ricoh promotes green office solutions

SHAH ALAM: If you happen to walk into the Ricoh headquarters here, you will find the almost 300 employees there sharing just nine printers. And you won’t be able to find a filing cabinet or a wastepaper basket either.

Alice Lee, general manager of Ricoh Malaysia’s sales division, said that a company with as many as 300 employees would typically have at least 20 printers.

But Ricoh is a model company when it comes to going green. “We hope to reduce our paper usage by 80% by 2050,” she said.

“We have already reduced our usage by 30% since we began (the programme) in 2000. This has resulted in millions of dollars in savings by the company worldwide.”

Ricoh did it by requiring that the printing of documents be on both sides of the paper, that smaller documents be grouped onto a single sheet, and by implementing the new mindset in management staff and other employees.

“Changing the mindset was the biggest challenge but it made business sense,” said Lee. “We were not asking employees to stop printing but to print more sparingly.

“For example, why print out notes for a meeting when you can just bring your laptop computer with you,” she said, adding that typically, 1% to 3% of the revenue of a company is spent on paper documentation and printing cost.

“By going green, a company can save up to a third of its printing and documentation costs,” she claimed.

Ricoh wants to help its customers enjoy the same benefits, so it has come out with its Total Green Office solutions.

Lee said that one client, a local college, originally had 60 printers while its printing and related energy costs amounted to more than RM356,000 annually.

A year after Total Green Office solutions were implemented, she said, the college saved RM40,000 annually and only needed 47 printers.

“Imagine how many trees were also saved,” Lee added.

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