Ricoh commits to 100% renewable energy

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Additive manufacturing specialist Ricoh 3D has switched to 100 per cent renewable energy at its Telford site.

The business has signed a contract with Danish energy provider Ørsted, which operates a quarter of the total global offshore wind generation capacity, including the world's largest offshore wind farm located off the Yorkshire coast.

The move means the balance of energy consumed by Ricoh 3D and other business operations located at Ricoh UK Products Ltd is replaced by renewable energy, reinforcing the parent company's commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Colin Weaver, Managing Director at Ricoh UK Products Limited, said: "We have embarked on a journey of reducing our carbon footprint in every possible way.”

"Having a sustainable energy provider is a key part of our efforts, but it is by no means the only thing we are doing as a business to be environmentally responsible."

Ricoh's Telford operation has invested £2m in rolling out more than 250 CO2 emission-reduction activities since 2002.

These step-changes include high-efficiency variable-speed compressors, which recover waste heat from compressed air generation to heat the buildings on Ricoh's Telford site for nine months of the year.

Furthermore, lighting energy demand has been slashed by 80 per cent thanks to an intelligent LED lighting system, with daylight harvesting and motion sensors ensuring lights are only on when necessary.

Similarly, dynamic control of fan and pump systems ensure they are only in use when needed, and further investment has been made in high-efficiency chiller and cooling systems - including a switch from hydraulic to electric machines in the moulding facility which has contributed a 30 per cent energy saving.

Weaver said: "We have further plans to lower our CO2emissions, including a major ground and Bluetop car port solar PV system which is due to be installed by Push Energy this year.

"This will reduce the site's CO2 emissions by a further 600 tonnes and will enable us to generate our own green energy.”

Sustainable manufacturing is so much more than a tickbox exercise for us here at Ricoh,” Weaver concludes, “It’s in our DNA."

Ricoh is the first Japanese company to join the RE100 group - a collaborative, global initiative uniting more than 100 of the world's most influential companies committed to 100 per cent renewable power.

Since 2000, carbon dioxide emissions at the Telford site have been reduced from 10,000 to 5,000 tonnes per annum, resulting in multi-million pound financial savings, as well as benefiting the planet.

In addition to its 3D printing business, Ricoh's Telford site is also home to an extensive toner bottling plant, an assembly line for bespoke commercial printers and a re-manufacturing operation for printers. It also has its inkjet operation, which specialises in direct printing on a variety of materials.