I began working in Corporate Social Responsibility, often referred to by its acronym, CSR, or the interchangeable term, Corporate Citizenship, seven years ago. While seven years may not seem like too long, in this time I’ve seen the attitudes and actions surrounding the subject transform and evolve tremendously.
In the last half decade, we’ve begun to see the escalating effects of climate change here in the U.S. and globally. Based on these changes and the release of new climate studies, the need for corporations to step in and address the issue has intensified.
Konica Minolta has believed in sustainability and the need for companies to create positive change for decades, long before most of the corporate world was considering the need for action. In fact, our global corporate philosophy, “The Creation of New Value,” revolves around this very concept. The philosophy encompasses the idea that a company’s main purpose is to be profitable and satisfy customers, but this can be done while creating a positive impact on our world.
The difference between Konica Minolta and many other companies is that our actions related to sustainability have long been preventative instead of reactionary. Back in 2005, our global HQ established the long-term environmental action plan, Eco Vision 2050, with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions from all products and business processes by 80 percent by 2050. In the past few years, instead of merely sticking to this ambitious goal set nearly 15 years ago, the company has continued to expand and add new targets to achieve by 2050 based on new research and climate data.
In 2017, Konica Minolta added a new goal to Eco Vision 2050; to become a carbon neutral company by 2050. Being carbon neutral means making no net release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and any emissions made by the company will be offset through eco-friendly actions such as planting trees or giving back energy derived from renewable sources to the grid.
Earlier this year, Konica Minolta made another impressive step towards sustainability by joining RE100, a global leadership initiative bringing together influential businesses committed to sourcing 100% renewable power for their global operations. It’s predicted that by 2030 much of society will run on renewable power, relieving reliance on fossil fuels which are the main source of man-made CO2 emissions. By committing to this initiative, Konica Minolta aims to source the electricity used in global business operations from 100% renewable power by 2050. Konica Minolta believes that quickly adapting to renewable power sources is necessary for achieving sustainable corporate growth.
Over the past several years, the company’s forward thinking environmental actions have been recognized by many prestigious organizations. In January 2019, ahead of the World Economic Forum, Konica Minolta was named one of the 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World and most recently, we were included in RobecoSAM’s distinguished Gold Class for the second consecutive year. Konica Minolta doesn’t continue to evolve and expand sustainability efforts for the awards, but these recognitions are important because they prove that we are a leader in the field and are making a positive impact on our planet while encouraging other companies to do the same.
I’m proud to work for a company that is committed to contributing to a sustainable society. Regardless of what the future holds, I am confident that Konica Minolta will continue to transform and adapt to meet the needs of our planet and its people, creating new value and solutions for generations to come.