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Welcome to the sustainability club, Ricoh

There are at least 100 businesses in Burnaby and the Lower Mainland that now know it's not easy being green.
Ricoh pledge cake
Piece of cake: First pledge taker and Valley Bakery owner Jack Kuyer, right, cuts the cake he made for the 100th sustainability pledge taker, Ricoh. Paul Holden, far left, of the Burnaby Board of Trade, and Tim Jones, regional vice-president of Ricoh, look on.

There are at least 100 businesses in Burnaby and the Lower Mainland that now know it's not easy being green.

The Burnaby Board of Trade has reached its goal early, as Ricoh was the 100th business to join its pledge program for a sustainable community - where businesses promise to continue or implement new green practices.

"We joined the (board of trade) this year, actually," Tim Jones, Ricoh's regional vice-president, told the Burnaby NOW. "They're very good at communicating their message out. At Ricoh, sustainability has always been the core of our business."

Ricoh is a Japanese-based company in the document management and image communication industry. It has two locations in Burnaby and several more across the province.

"It was just a fluke we were the 100th," Jones said. "It's certainly a privilege. It's quite progressive."

Ricoh already institutes green practices, especially around manufacturing as everything "from the cradle to the grave is 99 per cent" from recycled materials, according to Jones.

"It helps not only the bottom line," he said. "It helps the sustainability factor within our organization, as well."

Jones said the company's printer toner is "virtually edible" and doesn't harm the environment.

Ricoh's products are designed to save energy, which helps other businesses reduce their carbon footprint by about 30 per cent, he added.

"Part of it is to go public and support the pledge there," Jones said, when asked why Ricoh decided to take the pledge. "What we get out of it is the continual process to do this internally now. It's at the front of our mind, and we encourage other businesses in Burnaby and the surrounding areas to also take the pledge." Paul Holden, president and CEO of the board of trade, said when they initially started the pledge program, they had hopes to reach 100 pledge takers by the end of the year.

"In terms of people getting engaged in it, it's moving ahead a lot more quickly than we thought it would," he said, as Ricoh took the 100th pledge slot this month.

"It's an important issue for a lot of businesses. I think it's a good program that has a lot of information and resources attached to it; a lot of good suggestions and links to experts with expertise in this area."

Holden noted how easy it is to take part in the free program for members and non-members and to commit to certain pledges.

"At the present moment, it's very much a program that relies on peer accountability," he added.

The next phase of the program is under development, but it will allow businesses to report back on their pledges and allow the board of trade to measure their improvements.

"We absolutely want to continue bringing on pledge takers," he said. "We are developing a model for other boards and business organizations who can make their own version of the pledge and get their own community engaged, as well."

The board had a soft launch of the pledge program last November and officially launched it in May.

For more information about Ricoh, visit

To learn more about taking the pledge, visit