A slew of energy saving measures and waste avoidance initiatives have helped Ricoh Australia become the first Australian IT services company to achieve carbon neutral status, the organisation claims.
The local arm of the Japanese multinational achieved carboNZero certification in 2013, an independent verification that Ricoh accurately measures its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the strategies in place to reduce them.
Last week, Ricoh Australia announced it is now fully carbon neutral – meaning it makes no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – and claimed to be the first Australian IT services company to achieve this.
"Every aspect of our national operations was put under the microscope so we could understand the sources of all our existing GHG emissions. Taking such a holistic approach meant we would be well placed to make our subsequent activities as effective as possible,” said Ricoh Australia’s general manager marketing, Tori Starkey.
"With increasing attention being paid to achieving a reduced corporate environmental footprint, many businesses have set a goal of making their operations carbon neutral. For Ricoh Australia, this goal has become a reality,” she added.
Over the past five years the company has reduced overall power consumption of 26 per cent, chiefly by consolidating Ricoh's national offices and moving its headquarters into a more energy efficient building in North Ryde.
The company said a flexible working policy which allows staff to work from home or their preferred location more regularly, had also contributed to lowering in-office power consumption.
A new system was also introduced to make the delivery of consumables like printer toner more fuel efficient, which has also reduced freight costs.
“More resources were also allocated to the company's call centre so that an increased number of issues could be dealt with over the phone rather than requiring staff to travel to a customer site. GPS tracking was also rolled out to ensure that any site visits were co-ordinated in the most efficient way, reducing double ups and the total number of kilometres travelled,” the company said.
The amount of air travel staff undertook was also hugely reduced with the introduction of video conferencing.
“Rather than needing to travel for meetings, staff are now able to instead join a video discussion from their current location,” the company added.
As well as reducing GHG, the company says it has been able to divert “tonnes of Ricoh trade waste from landfill” thanks to a program whereby parts replaced by technicians during the servicing of machines are recycled.
“These strategies are helping Ricoh reach its aggressive goals for ongoing GHG emission reduction through taking practical steps that improve everyday business operations. Far from being a set-and-forget exercise, these strategies will continue to be evaluated and improved over time,” Starkey said.
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