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Culture changes are key to taking sustainability beyond the buzzword, says KYOCERA

Business leaders need to fundamentally rethink approach to technology to extend sustainability drive beyond European Sustainable Development Week

With next week’s celebration of European Sustainable Development Week, many organisations will be talking about how they plan to become more environmentally-friendly. However, despite growing interest in this area, too many new sustainability initiatives fail to make an impact in the long term. This is according to Rod Tonna-Barthet, CEO of KYOCERA Document Solutions UK, who calls on business leaders to commit to deeper cultural changes in order to enact long-lasting change and realise the benefits that sustainability can bring.

Rod commented: “Initiatives like European Sustainable Development Week are great for raising awareness around sustainability and there’s clearly growing interest in the business community. Unfortunately, all too often sustainability initiatives soon taper off and fall short of inspiring real change. Business leaders need to drive this transformation, embedding sustainability within the culture of their organisations and investing in the right technology to ensure they make a real difference. With this approach, business leaders can contribute to building a more sustainable and socially-conscious organisation, significantly lower their costs, grow their bottom line whist improving their brand and reputation. So, ultimately, it pays to be green.”

Rod suggests that to make a lasting impact on their sustainability, organisations should look to new digital technologies that help them change their approach to information management and move towards paper-light ways of working, optimising and digitising their documents and data to cut down on their carbon footprints. As many businesses are seeking to capitalise on the benefits of the advances in technology to optimise their energy and resource efficiency strategies, smart technology and innovation are either a ‘high’ or ‘business-critical’ priority for organisations in 2019. 

“Paper is arguably one of the most visible environmental impacts in the office environment and our research suggests that the average office worker uses 45 pieces of paper every day, much of which goes to waste,” Rod continued. “By leveraging simple print and data management software, businesses can start to tackle this deluge of paper, and make a big and immediate impact on their carbon footprints. We typically see organisations achieve reductions of 30 per cent in their printing volume once they’ve made this step, and that’s before businesses start to explore preconfigured settings such as automatic double-sided printing to save toner and further reduce paper usage.

“This sort of small step can make a major difference and should be sustainable to maintain for any organisation and its employees. But to really make a difference to sustainability, businesses have to look beyond their own offices and use their influence over their supply chain to grow a broader culture of sustainability, taking it from a buzzword to a better way of doing business. They should ask their suppliers difficult questions about how they manufacture their products and the steps that they have taken to reduce their own environmental impact. This way they can ensure that they share their values of sustainability.”

Rod concluded: “While initiatives like European Sustainable Development Week are fantastic drivers for encouraging people to act sustainably, it is the belief in its value and responsibility of chairmen, CEOs and managing directors to translate this enthusiasm into real action on sustainability. Change needs to be driven from the top, so business leaders should use European Sustainable Development Week as the springboard into a major re-think on their approach to sustainability. As organisations are undertaking their digital transformation, they should explore the potential to improve their environmental footprint by putting sustainability at the heart of their strategy and company culture.”

About Kyocera Document Solutions UK

Kyocera Document Solutions UK is a group company of Kyocera Document Solutions Inc., a global leading provider of total document solutions based in Osaka, Japan. The company’s portfolio includes reliable and eco-friendly MFPs and printers, as well as business applications and consultative services which enable customers to optimize and manage their document workflow, reaching new heights of efficiency. With professional expertise and a culture of empathetic partnership, the objective of the company is to help organisations put knowledge to work to drive change.

Kyocera Document Solutions Inc. is a core company of Kyocera Corporation, a leading supplier of semiconductor packages, industrial and automotive components, electronic devices, solar power generating systems and mobile phones. During the year ended March 31, 2019, Kyocera Corporation’s consolidated sales revenue totalled 1.62 trillion yen (approx. US$14.6 billion). Kyocera appears on the “Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018-19” list by Clarivate Analytics and is ranked #655 on Forbes magazine’s 2019 “Global 2000” list of the world’s largest publicly traded companies. 

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