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About "Reuse and Recycling"

At an office where a new replacement copying machine was installed, Section Head C called over Sales Representative A, a Fuji Xerox employee who had just finished giving an explanation on how to use the machine.

A "Resource Recycling System" that is Responsible for the Entire Process

Section Head C:
After collecting copy machines and cartridges that have been used in offices, how does Fuji Xerox dispose of them?

SR A:
The copy machines that our customers finished using do not become waste. Instead, they are reborn as new copy machines, new cartridges, and recycled materials.

Section Head C:
Does that mean that you refurbish them and sell them as used products?

SR A:
No. Fuji Xerox does not sell used products. By reusing and recycling parts, we are reducing the amount of resources that are newly used. As you know, there has recently been increased awareness about the "depletion of natural resources." In addition to the prices of oil and metal skyrocketing, there have been a series of thefts of metals in various areas.

Section Head C:
Yes, that's why we don't want to simply throw out things that we've used. It's necessary to become conscious of reusing and recycling as much as possible.

SR A:
Right. Fuji Xerox is a manufacturer that creates goods by using resources, and rather than simply manufacturing products and selling these products, we think from the perspective that "used products are not wastes but can be used as resources" and of "contributing to a reduction of environmental impacts by reusing and recycling parts." We conduct activities that aim for effective usage of resources, from the stages for product planning until the stage for collection and recycling. At Fuji Xerox, we refer to this uniform structure for manufacturing as the "resource recycling system."

Reused Parts that are the Same in Quality as New Parts

Section Head C:
In order to recreate a new copy machine, what happens after old ones are collected?

SR A:
After we collect copy machines and cartridges, we take them back to our factories where they are disassembled into parts, cleaned, and inspected. Parts that are judged to be usable are placed in the same manufacturing line as for new parts, and are used in the manufacturing of new copy machines.

Section Head C:
But is it really okay to use used parts for making new copy machines?

SR A:
We are exercising various kinds of techniques so that it is okay. Fore example, at Fuji Xerox, in order to make parts reuseable, we thoroughly comprehend the "remaining life" for each part, and have been developing a variety of technologies to guarantee quality that is equivalent to that of new products.

Section Head C:
For each part?

SR A:
Yes. For example, the system is set up so that we know whether a product contains parts that can be reused the moment they return to the warehouse. Then, only the products that contain parts that can be reused are sent to the factory.

Section Head C:
The moment they return to the warehouse?

SR A:
Yes. It has become possible to accurately determine the life of a product by conducting detailed analysis on information relating to the usage status of each individual machine, and accumulating this data.

No Compromises for Quality Maintenance

Section Head C:
How do you confirm that reused parts are not any different from new parts?

SR A:
By confirming whether the parts that are selected as reused parts with a quality level that is equivalent to new parts can be guaranteed, we use unique judgmental standards, such as by confirming the extent of wear on parts with ultrasound. Upon accumulating these kinds of approaches, we absolutely do not lower the quality of parts and reuse them. There is no compromise.

Section Head C:
You make efforts up to that extent? To increase the number of parts that can be used, don't you have to start making considerations during the design stage?

SR A:
That's right. For example, we have increased the number of parts that can be used, that goes beyond generations and models, by modularizing parts from the design stage, and based on the combination of these modules. We have also developed a variety of technologies, such as cleaning technologies and repair technologies to actually carry out reuse, and recycling technologies for plastic parts.

Section Head C:
That's wonderful, but is it really necessary to be that thorough?

SR A:
At Fuji Xerox, on top of verifying whether reused parts maintain the same quality as new parts, we input them into the production line without distinguishing them from new parts. In this way, it is possible to incorporate more reused parts, and ultimately, it is linked to controlling the use of new resources as much as possible. Even if we use reused parts in only some of our models, if there are not very many of that particular model, then that means that we are not contributing very much to controlling input of new resources and reducing environmental impacts.

"Zero Waste" Network that Extends Abroad

Image of Increase in recycling rate

Section Head C:
But can all the parts be reused?

SR A:
For parts that just can't be reused, we are aiming for "zero waste" that doesn't create landfills, by thoroughly carrying out recycling, such as by converting them back into resources. In Japan, the system of "zero waste" was formed in 2000, and starting in 2004, the same system has been taken up abroad.

Section Head C:
Even abroad?

SR A:
Yes. Abroad, from the 9 countries and regions in Asia and the Pacific that are part of the business areas of Fuji Xerox, used copy machines and cartridges are gathered at a recycling factory in Thailand, and are recycled there. Even if proper activities are conducted in Japan, there's no point ifthese are simply ignored abroad.

Section Head C:
So you're using the same approaches in Japan and abroad?cThat means that by usingthe copy machines made by Fuji Xerox, our company is also able to contribute to effective use of resources.

Map of Fuji Xerox Recycling Centers