Since its foundation almost eight decades ago, Epson has firmly adhered to the principle of sustainability throughout its business cycle. It was the first company in the world to declare a plan to stamp out ozone-harming CFC chemicals from the production belt and managed to achieve the goal in 1993.
In 2004, Epson joined the United Nations Global Compact, which encourages businesses and companies worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and to report on their implementation. Also, Epson declared support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.
Responsibility towards the environment is an important issue for every business organization. What Epson is doing involves combining awareness of environmental conservation with the development of technology and business. Also, the UN Sustainable Development Goals serve as the guideline for Epson’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.
Epson (Thailand) Co Ltd’s Managing Director Yunyong Muneemongkoltorn says that the parent company, Seiko Epson Corporation, has been firmly determined about sustainability in doing the business.
The regional head office of Epson in Singapore is focusing on five of the 17 UN SDGs for implementation in the development of Epson’s technology and business.
Regarding climate change, Epson works with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and it partners with relevant organizations in order to achieve the UN goals for sustainable development.
Also, Epson focuses on decent work and economic growth, industrial innovation and infrastructure, and responsible consumption and production in order to achieve zero carbon emissions by using clean energy.
At present, consumers look for concrete efforts and results from technology manufacturers in preserving nature. They are pleased to change their consumer behaviour to help contribute to lessening adverse impacts on the environment.
These are mainly Millennial and Gen Z consumers who are ready to pay more for products with components and production processes friendly to the environment or beneficial to society.
The Epson group of companies has a vision for the business with sustainable growth and social responsibility to bring betterment and happiness to the people, according to Yunyong. This is essentially in line with the UN’s SDGs.
Those goals determine the framework for the company’s CSR program, which is based on the SDG guideline. The main focus is on developing the quality of life and preserving natural resources and the environment.
Here are Epson’s activities that support its obligations over sustainability.
From Plastic to Fabric
Under the SDG goal involving responsible consumption, Epson Thailand aims to raise consumer awareness about the use of natural resources, in collaboration with the Green Road project. Tote bags made of recycled materials are offered to office workers throughout Bangkok in exchange for their plastic bags.
With the “From Plastic to Fabric” concept, people are encouraged to trade their plastic bags for fabric bags with colourful patterns made by Epson’s environment-friendly printers. This is in line with the government policy of reducing plastic bags and promoting the use of reusable fabric bags.
The plastic bags collected under this project have been handed over to the Green Road project so that they are turned into bricks for pavements, temple roads, and public grounds in Chiang Mai province.
“The bricks made of recycled plastic bags and bottles are strong, lightweight and resistant to vibration. This is a quality way to get rid of plastic waste. The project benefits Thai society and corresponds with the company’s CSR guidelines,” Yunyong said.
Wheel for Wild campaign
Epson is working with the Wildlife Fund Thailand (WFT) over the “Wheel for Wild” campaign aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of preserving natural resources and consuming energy more carefully.
Public members are invited to take part in activity by cycling to generate electric power for printers with the use of Epson’s “Heat-Free” Technology. For every three minutes of power-generating cycling, Epson donates 30 baht to the foundation. The bicycle is attached to a dynamo and battery to generate power for a WF-C20590 printer used for printing certificates issued by the WFT for the participants.
Using ‘green’ technology
In addition to its CSR activities, Epson also displays its responsibility to society and its obligation to sustainability through its technology.
Yunyong says Epson is well aware that the environment and sustainability are key issues that every business organization must be interested. These include reduction in energy consumption to ease global warming, recycling paper to cut down on tree felling, lessening water and air pollution, and minimizing waste from the production process.
The design and development of Epson’s technologies are based on the principle that they must provide top operating efficiency for users and support large workloads for a long period of time. Also, the work quality must be consistent and does not cause any negative impact on the work and social environment of the users.
“Epson products must be able to help business organizations reduce energy consumption in their offices and concretely create an ecosystem that is friendly to nature,” he said.
Epson’s principle of sustainability is applied from the stages of determining the concept and designing to the production. Compact technologies with high efficiency and precision are developed to create innovations that can make the world a better place to live.
Epson succeeded in making inkjet printers that are fully “green tech”, as they release 85 per cent less carbon dioxide than laser printers. Also, as Epson inkjet printers have 59 per cent fewer replaceable parts than laser printers, electronic waste has substantially decreased.
Epson PaperLab, the world’s first paper recycling machine, helps save the paper cost and is more friendly to the environment. PaperLab recycles used paper directly into clean white sheets within minutes. The machine’s recycling process is fast and simple, and it requires no water is needed.
Also, Epson inkjet printers use Heat-Free Technology in printing that requires 80 per cent less electricity than laser printers with the same printing speed. Moreover, Epson inkjet printers release 85 per cent less carbon dioxide than laser printers while consuming only 10 watts of electricity in printing a document page.
Epson inkjet printers have 59 per cent fewer replaceable parts than laser printers and require no replacements for the toner, drum, developer roller and fuser unit. That means a decrease in electronic waste.
The PrecisionCore technology for print heads of Epson commercial printers used in the textile industry makes printing free from pollution caused by chemicals. The printer products using this technology are designed to reduce the use of water by 60 per cent and power consumption by as much as 55 per cent.
Collaboration with WWF
Epson Southeast Asia recently entered into a collaboration agreement with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in tackling climate issues throughout Southeast Asia. The cooperation focuses on three areas — strengthening local communities, preserving the marine environment (coral reefs and mangrove forests), and addressing environmental and climatic issues in Southeast Asia.
The collaboration across six countries started at a coral reef delta serving as the habitat for more than 6,000 fish species and accounting for 76 per cent of all coral types on earth. Also, this area boasts the world’s most pristine mangrove forests. Epson and WWF focus their collaboration on this area during the two years of their deal. The goal is to support and revive the marine ecosystem through cooperation with local stakeholders and organizations while boosting the potential of local communities.
Yunyong said that within the organization, Epson educates its personnel about how to protect the environment and the ecosystem. Epson adopts the 13th goal of the UN SDGs about climate change in holding different activities with WWF for concrete results.
“At present, no business organization can grow with no concern for society and the environment. So, Epson’s commitment to combining the awareness of environmental preservation with the development of innovation and business proves to be the answer to survival and progress in this digital age,” the managing director concludes.