Recycle, Reduce But Don’t Forget You Can Reuse!

During a recent upgrade of its PCs and laptops, KYOCERA Document Solutions found 16 of its retired laptops were still in good working order and possible candidates for re-homing rather than recycling. It approached some local community and neighbourhood groups that it thought might be able to make use of the technology.

Helen Hwang of Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, which supports community well-being through the provision of creative programs and responsive services, was delighted to receive the donation.

 “We at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre are grateful for this timely donation from Kyocera.”

Helen said, “In today’s world, there is a growing digital divide where vulnerable members of the community do not have access to computers and the internet, and lack the experience in using computers.“

Kyocera’s IT Manager, Michael Sexton, delivers laptops to Helen Hwang from Newton Neighbourhood Centre

Kyocera’s IT Manager, Michael Sexton, delivers laptops to Helen Hwang from Newton Neighbourhood Centre.

Helen continued, “This donation will enable the Centre to not only provide access to computers, but also the opportunity for disadvantaged people to get the experience and training necessary that many of us take for granted – including sending emails, preparing resumes, pursuing interests, and applying online for jobs.

“Thank you again to Kyocera in supporting us to reach our vision to create a more inclusive, resilient, vibrant and self-reliant community.”

Kyocera was thrilled to be able to donate the superseded technology, knowing that a small, community-based organisation could benefit from technology it had outgrown.

Michael Sexton, Kyocera IT Manager, said, “I’m pleased that, as part of Kyocera’s work to ensure we reuse and recycle electrical items in a responsible way, we were able to donate these laptops to such a worthy initiative. It is great to see resources being reconditioned and re-used in the community.”

The tricks of the trade to be a sustainable green office for small to medium businesses

Going green is definitely trending within small to medium businesses and here at Kyocera, we couldn’t be happier! However businesses can struggle with ideas to help them go greener.

Going green can be an effort, but the rewards of saving money, helping the environment and building good habits definitely outweighs this. We’ve gone to the experts and created a compilation of the easiest things to do in order to make your business greener. Can you think of any more?

Utilities power board

  • Use a power strip which allows for ease when unplugging multiple devices. Purchase one with an off switch to reduce your electricity consumption. Remember to unplug your power strip at the end of the day to stop ‘phantom’ consumption of energy
  • Adjust your thermostat, to a few degrees cooler in winter, and a few degrees warmer in summer. We promise no one will notice!
  • Eliminate unused computer programs; when they run in the background they’re eating up electricity
  • Install occupancy sensors in bathrooms, kitchens and conference rooms.

Printer and Paper Products

  • Offices and teaching environments can reduce their printing amounts by charging per print. A handy feature that Kyocera Document Solutions offers through the PaperCut MF and Nuance Equitrac software solutions
  • Set your printer to automatically print duplex and multiple pages per sheet, and use the ‘draft print’ option when printing unimportant documents
  • Store manuals, policies and other documents online
  • Install eco-font (Vera Sans) which uses up to 15% less ink and toner or you can set your printing properties to the ‘eco-print’ option; a sure- fire way to save. Check it out here: http://www.ecofont.com/en/products/green/font/download-the-ink-saving-font.html
  • Switch to an electronic fax service such as ‘fax-to-email’, saving on separate paper, toner and maintenance. Kyocera Document Solutions can again help here by streamlining your workflow. To find out more visit our solutions pages.

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Are Aussies doing the right thing with E-waste?

An ongoing problem we share in the Australian community is our strong dependence on using landfill for our waste management. Recent years have seen a change in trends with more and more Australians becoming conscious of their own recycling habits.

In 2001, 19 million tonnes of waste were disposed of to landfill, and by 2007 this figure had grown to 21.3 million tonnes. Contributing to this statistic includes municipal waste, commercial and industrial waste and construction and demolition waste.

As Individuals we contribute to the growth in waste going to landfill figures incredibly. Between 1996-97 and 2006-07, the volume of waste produced per person in Australia grew from 1,200 kg per person to 2,100 kg per person per year. So how can an individual make a difference? Why not check out some hints and tips from Clean Up Australia on how you could shed an elephant or two by living greener at home and work.

However it’s not just individuals who can make a difference, businesses also need to be aware of projects and programmes that can help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Microsoft Word - Document1

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KYOCERA Partners with Planet Ark

This week KYOCERA Document Solutions announced their partnership with Planet Ark for the recycling collection of consumable waste in the work place.

As David Finn, Managing Director, Kyocera Document Solutions Australia and New Zealand explained, “ We’ve run our own recycling campaign for many years and have been proud to offer a solution that we managed ourselves. This worked very well in smaller organisations where Kyocera work with them exclusively for their printer and copier needs. Yet as we have grown, and work increasingly with larger organisations and government departments, this isn’t always the easiest solution for these customers. They may have multiple vendors and want one collection point for their consumable waste.”

The ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ (C4PA) is a well regarded and highly recognised extended producer responsibility program addressing the growing issue of electronic waste in Australia. Participation in C4PA for Kyocera’s customers is free, convenient, and provides an established network of collection boxes in more than 30,000 locations around Australia.

The aim of the program is to prevent cartridges from entering the waste stream and thereby reduce the potential environmental impact arising from the end of life disposal of cartridges. The image on the left shows how the “green machine” grinds and sorts the waste material. The recycled materials are put to a variety of uses such as turned into pens, rulers, chemical spill clean up kits, and in eWood™ applications such as park benches fencing, and signs.

Kyocera’s philosophy – to ‘dispose of less, recycle more’ and reduce the impact of business waste on the environment – is embraced from the design and creation of the product, its operation with minimal waste and cost, the foam free packaging constructed from biodegradable packaging and the final disposal of product.

Kyocera supports numerous environmental initiatives including being a signatory to the National Packaging Covenant and over a decade long partnership with Clean Up Australia, helping communities to clean up, fix up and conserve the environment.

Kyocera Document Solutions Australia is pleased to sponsor the ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ recycling program and looks forward to continuing to work with their customers to help minimise waste and recycle more. Kyocera’s customers can register easily either through the Kyocera website or visiting Planet Ark’s site

Kyocera Cleans up Australia 2012

In our prior post we shared some of the history of Kyocera and  our relationship with Clean Up Australia, so following another successful Business Clean Up on Tuesday February 28th we wanted to show you some of our favourite moments from the day.

The start of the day saw the 2012 Kyocera Clean Up Team meet Ian Kiernan, the founder of Clean Up Australia, at Christie Park in North Ryde to begin our clean up activities.

The clean up site is made up of flat park land, thick bush and a creek that runs through the Lane Cove valley. The team split into pairs, chose an area and began collecting and separating the rubbish into general waste and things that could be recycled.
 

We found all sorts of things in amongst the bush – some of the team discovered enough red carpet for The Oscars. Other items included a car hub cap, concrete blocks, plastic bags and milk crates.  The most common items were plastic drinks bottles, food wrappers and drinks cans, some of which looked like they had been around for many years.

Business Clean Up Day 2012 saw over 300 businesses take part. Events varied from e-waste collections, office clean outs and local park clean ups, to a dive clean up, which saw clean up teams pulling all sorts of rubbish from the water. To find out more about taking part in Business Clean Up days go to www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au, and don’t forget that Clean Up Australia Day is March 4th 2012, where everyone can be involved!!

Further information about Kyocera and the environment can be found here.

Kyocera Cleans Up Australia for over a decade

As we near the twenty second annual Clean Up Australia Day on March 4 and Business Clean Up Day on February 28, we have a chat with David Finn about Kyocera’s long standing partnership with Clean Up Australia. Spanning more than a decade the two organisations have shared a similar vision – to lessen our burden on the environment. Finn believes in rolling your sleeves up and getting dirty to help make a difference.

David what led Kyocera to first get involved with Clean Up Australia?

Back in 1999 I was looking to get involved in an entity that was supporting green initiatives – reducing land fill and reducing waste – and felt that Clean Up Australia presented a good opportunity to pursue those avenues.

We started sponsoring Clean Up in 2000 and participated in our first Clean Up event at this time, so we’ve been involved for over 12 years now.

Are there any interesting sites you’ve cleaned up during this time?

The clean up project we get most excited about at Kyocera is our involvement at Brush Farm Park in Ryde. Over a five year period we eliminated the rubbish from this site and restored it to the beautiful community area it once was.

Brush Farm Park was a neglected piece of bush and, due to the way the landscape falls away, was sadly a perfect tipping place where people could back a truck up and empty it. It had been used as an unofficial tip site for years. On one of our Clean Up days we collected three skip bins worth of rubbish, it was huge!

Over five years we removed all the rubbish and worked with horticulturists from Ryde Council and removed all the privet weed. Since this time Ryde council have restored the heritage building on the site and it is an area now enjoyed by the local community.

 

What is the most unusual item you’ve come across?

I can’t think of one particular item that’s unusual but I’ve seen and cleaned up things like engine blocks, water heaters and every piece of conceivable rubbish people clean out of their households.

We did unearth a natural waterfall at Brush Farm Park one year which was pretty exciting. Once we cleared away all the rubbish there it was and that was quite an amazing thing to discover.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share about the experience with Clean Up?

It’s been a very interesting journey with Clean Up and it’s been a really positive thing, all our staff have really enjoyed the participation.

I’m a believer that actions speak louder than words, so it’s one thing to sponsor something but it’s quite another to get your hands dirty and actually physically do something. That’s the sort of ‘can do’ culture we value.

You can find out more about Kyocera’s environmental ethos here. To register for Clean Up Australia day or Business Clean Up Day visit www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au .

Why wasteful design still dominates, despite alternatives

(This originally appeared as a guest post by Tracey Rawling Church, director of brand and reputation at Kyocera Mita UK, on the Green Living Blog)

Of all the innovations of the computer age, the laser printer is probably the most inherently wasteful. This ubiquitous device is the product of a business model that seeks to maximise long-term revenue from the sale of premium priced consumables – often referred to as a “razor and blade” model.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no technological reason for all that is mechanically clever about the device to be contained in a disposable cartridge; it’s a commercially-driven decision. But the need to justify the price premium charged for the cartridges has resulted in a complex product design that builds in redundancy.

A cartridge refurbishment industry has grown up to take advantage of the residual value in used toner cartridges, but it admits to only being able to return to the market 20-30% of the cartridges sold each year. And cartridges can’t be refurbished indefinitely: their components are not designed for extended use so print quality and reliability can be compromised. In theUKalone, it’s estimated that 47 million laser cartridges go to landfill every year, taking many thousands of tonnes of plastics and metals out of the economy.

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