To date, Ricoh has recovered more than 4,000,000 supplies, parts and components in our European remanufacturing processes. On top of this we recover more than 180 tonnes of raw materials, including metals, plastics, and cardboard, at local sorting centres. Recovered raw materials are re-used in a wide variety of industries.
Returns: we process more than 350 daily return requests
Before being able to reuse parts, we first enable our customers as well as service engineers to return assets to us. Our return program has two streams: customer replaceable units and engineers’ service and maintenance parts. All these reverse logistic services are offered via a single user-friendly web portal.
Customer replaceable supplies, including toner cartridges, can be returned via multiple drop-off and/or pick-up return services free of charge. In cooperation with logistic partners, we process more than 350 daily return requests via this channel and the number is growing.
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Ricoh sales companies and engineers throughout Europe are able to return their re-usable supplies and parts via an interconnected network of local return schemes and sorting centres. This local collection infrastructure ensures that all re-usable products are returned to our European asset recovery centre in France.
Sorting: real-time information on returned assets
To help maximise the recovery of re-usable materials, while minimising the transport of non-reusable items across borders, we went on to develop the Ricoh Asset Management System (RAMS). The system gives real-time information on returned assets and has been deployed in 24 sorting centres throughout Europe. It guarantees the ability to recover valuable parts, supplies and materials as close to the customer as possible. This is very helpful in meeting increasingly rigorous Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations.
With RAMS in place, we can scan and identify each returned item by serial number. Crucially, this allows staff to centrally track and govern what can be re-used and what materials can be allocated to certified recycling partners. RAMS helps us grow our knowledge of returned parts.
The IT we have in place ensures all used parts and empty supplies are delivered to our sorting centres in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. All the centres work in a uniform way by using RAMS. This enables them to recognise parts and supplies containing reusable components for our renewal production lines. After identifying reusable components they are re-packed according to factory demands and in a way that means they can be used in relevant factory processes such as assembly or inspection lines.
All our major global production and sorting facilities achieved Zero Waste to Landfill certification in 2001, which is defined as a 100% resource recovery rate. This means no waste from products go to landfill. We also conduct continuous feasibility studies to recover products for re-use in our own production processes. This way we achieve the maximum recoverability of returned items while non-renewables are treated in the most sustainable way.
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