<img alt="" src="https://secure.insightful-enterprise-intelligence.com/784283.png" style="display:none;">
Deborah Hawkins

Ricoh Raises the Bar with 50% Recycled Material Content on Latest A3 Launch

When talking sustainability, every little bit counts

May 31, 2023 12:22:05 PM


Sign up for The Key Point of View, our weekly newsletter of blogs and podcasts!


The race to zero is on. Our planet needs help to secure our existence and the well-being of future generations. Manufacturers of office equipment are making progress in many areas under the stipulations of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs). This is in response to growing public interest and company purchasing guidelines that are increasingly pointing to more accountability around “green” choices.


One highlight for me is Ricoh’s latest A3 color MFP launch, which takes our Industry a couple of steps further by raising the bar in two major areas: the use of recycled materials content and energy consumption.


This week marks the soft launch for Ricoh’s Intelligence-Multifunction (IM) range of A3 color MFPs that boast 50% recycled material content—a first for the office equipment industry. Up until now, the highest recorded level of recycled material within an MFP was 44%. This jump reflects how strongly manufacturers believe in making contributions to the environment at many different levels. The use of recycled material is important because our planet’s resources are finite and using what we already have another time contributes to a circular economy that is more sustainable.


It’s important to appreciate that it is no easy task for manufacturers to stipulate what components are made of when external parts suppliers are involved, yet many have explored and achieved great lengths. This should (in no way) affect the durability of devices, expected lifetime, or repairability. When I am out shopping, I always look for the level of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content as one of the measures of the sustainability of a product.


The Ricoh IM range also makes a high contribution to reducing energy consumption compared to the prior range. By lowering the toner melting point by 12 degrees, consumption has been reduced in certain modes. For example, in sleep mode, toner consumption has been halved.

What the Industry Can Do

Manufacturers have already implemented a host of sustainable business practices pertaining to manufacturing processes. As an industry analyst, I am more critical of what’s in the product and have been building my checklist of what is important for years.


At Keypoint, we track the progress of this checklist by vendor and by device and, while we do see progress with each new product line, it is never enough. While levels of PCR content in consumables is already relatively high, generally higher than 50%, the level in hardware has lagged. In secret shopping projects, we are often horrified at some vendors’ gaps in their recycling process, which look good on paper but don’t always work. Deforestation programs have gained traction, but suddenly carbon offsetting is then getting bad press.


None of these factors have any weight if you don’t look at sustainability holistically. Here’s to moving our industry closer to new levels.