Last year’s COVID-19 outbreak disrupted economies and communities worldwide. But as economies build back, social and environmental needs should not take a backseat. Answering the United Nations’ (UN) call for sustainable recovery, Ricoh Asia Pacific (Ricoh), a Japanese multinational digital services company, launched its 15th Eco Action Day campaign today, its yearly drive to advocate for sustainable development.
From April 1 to World Environment Day on June 5, Eco Action Day 2021 spotlights nine UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) supporting green recovery through three key activities – a panel discussion, a pledge campaign and a community seed distribution.
“As economies and societies recover from the global pandemic, it is important to do so sustainably,” said Mr Yuji Hiruma, Director and Senior General Manager, Digital Workplace Marketing Division, Ricoh Asia Pacific, “This year, Ricoh tackles the issue through highlighting nine key SDGs such as clean energy, climate action, and responsible consumption and production. Together with our partners such as the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, the National Environment Agency, Mitsubishi Electric Asia and others, we’re also excited to help drive sustainable workplaces and decent work in the new normal, ultimately achieving green recovery post-COVID.”
“Ground-up initiatives such as Eco Action Day are invaluable in galvanising businesses, communities, and individuals to take collective action for the environment, and will help us realise our Singapore Green Plan 2030. From conserving energy to reducing, reusing and recycling right, all of us can play our part to fight climate change,” said Ms Selina Lim, Director, Communications and 3P Partnership Division, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.
Pledge campaign: Tackling nine UN SDGs
Organisations, schools, and individuals can all join this journey through simple ways. The Ricoh Eco Action Day pledge campaign encourages them to commit small actions to tackle nine SDGs most important to Singaporeans. These include affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), climate action (SDG 13) and protecting life below water (SDG 14) and on land (SDG 15), amongst others.
Taking part is easy – individuals and organisations can make simple tweaks, such as taking shorter showers and switching off electric devices when not using them. Ricoh and social enterprise Seven Clean Seas will match pledges by removing plastic from seas, which is an urgent global issue. By 2040, plastics in the sea could total 600 million tonnes. For every organisation or school pledge, they will offset 1kg of plastic (equivalent to approximately 67 bubble teacups), and 15g (equivalent to 1 bubble tea cup) of plastic for every individual pledge.
Last year, Ricoh matched pledges from organisations and schools with carbon savings generated from an electricity plant on Jurong Island. A total of 109,415kg in CO2 emissions was saved in 2020.
Since 2007, over 1,500 organisations and 7,000 individuals have participated, saving a total of 791,522kg of CO2 emissions.
Panel discussion: Predicting the future of work
On June 3, Ricoh will gather government, industry and sustainability experts in the Eco Action Day Panel Discussion, a hybrid panel addressing UN SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Panellists will discuss the creation of more productive yet sustainable economies and workplaces. Besides corporate decarbonisation, they will also weigh in on how private and public sectors can adapt business models towards the green economy and jobs post-COVID.
Seed Distribution: Growing local
COVID-19 has also brought food security to the forefront. Together with South West Community Development Council (SWCDC), North West Community Development Council (NWCDC), Sustainable Singapore Gallery and various schools, Ricoh will encourage Singaporeans to grow and support local as part of Singapore’s efforts to achieve its 30 x 30 goal.
Besides distributing 1,200 gardening seed packs to the community, Ricoh is partnering Terra SG to distribute 8,000 pencils containing seeds of edible plants to students, to kickstart sustainability values such as responsible production and consumption (SDG 12) from young.
Ricoh leads the way with corporate practices
Ricoh leverages its expertise to help other corporates green workplaces in the new normal. Ricoh’s Asia-Pacific headquarters here is equipped with various environmental-friendly features, such as LED lighting, and energy conserving motion and human sensors, saving 30% more energy altogether. Ricoh’s Singapore offices has also cut carbon emissions by more than 35% since FY2017.
Both offices offer educational tours to help other corporates build more sustainable workplaces. Visitors learn how they can better contribute to the circular economy and incorporate eco- and digital service concepts into their own spaces.
Mr Hiruma concluded, “This year marks the 15th edition of the annual Eco Action Day, and we are thankful to the 1,500 organisations and 7,000 individuals who have taken part over the years. While we have refreshed the pledge campaign portion, it is still as easy to participate. We hope that long-time partners and new organisations will join us in this journey towards sustainable development in Singapore and across the region.”
Partners of Ricoh Eco Action Day 2021
- Supporting Partners: Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, National Environment Agency
- Sponsors: Ben & Jerry’s, Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd, PacificLight Power Pte Ltd
- Outreach Partners: Eco-Business, North West Community Development Council, Seven Clean Seas, South West Community Development Council, Sunseap Group, susGain, Terra SG
For media inquiries, please contact:
- Eugene Chuang | Ruder Finn Asia | HP: (+65) 8222 1741
- Crystal Tan | Ruder Finn Asia | HP: (+65) 8128 8268
About Eco Action Day
Eco Action Day is a national public awareness campaign organised by Ricoh since 2007, in partnership with key NGO, government, and private sector partners in Singapore. It is held in from April to June every year to commemorate the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day, which seeks to raise global awareness on the need to take positive action for the environment.
Every year, Ricoh, along with various supporting partners, engages its employees, customers, corporate neighbours and government organizations and the wider public to take steps to reduce their impact on the environment.
To date, more than 1,500 organisations, including multinational corporations, government agencies, private companies, and tertiary institutions have participated in Eco Action Day.
For further information, please visit www.ecoaction.sg/.
Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, communications services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2020, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,008 billion yen (approx. 18.5 billion USD).
For further information, please visit www.ricoh.com.
About World Environment Day
World Environment Day (WED) is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organised many events as they celebrate, engaging millions across the globe through events on the ground in over 70 countries.
Every year, participants, young and old, organise many events. These include neighbourhood clean-ups, action against wildlife crime, replanting forests, art exhibits, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns, all themed around caring for the planet.
WED has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the UN encourages positive action for the environment. Through WED, the UN Environment Programme enables everyone to realise not only the responsibility to care for the Earth, but also reminds one and all of their individual power to become agents of change. Every action counts, and when multiplied by a global chorus, becomes exponential in its impact.