GRI Impact Stories are short interviews with representatives from companies that are using the GRI reporting framework to create tangible benefits for their business and stakeholders. GRI GOLD Community member Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific has been using the GRI framework since 2003.
For Fuji Xerox, corporate social responsibility is synonymous with good corporate management. We place a high priority on communication and monitoring to help incorporate stakeholder evaluations and feedback into the management of our business. Sustainability reporting plays a vital role in this communication process. Through our reports, we inform our stakeholders of our performance in CSR management and of our on-going transformation into a sustainable business. We aim to achieve excellence in leadership and stakeholder engagement through our sustainability reporting activities.
How has Fuji Xerox benefited from reporting using the GRI framework?
The GRI reporting framework has provided us with an important reference on best practice in public disclosure of sustainability information. We have been reporting with the GRI framework for nearly 15 years now, and continue to benefit from its use. The GRI Standards are a universal language that we use for our sustainability management. They standardize what we measure and, from an operational perspective, reduce the effort involved in reporting. With the requirements set out in the GRI Standards, the local employees in charge can collect appropriate information without reinventing the wheel. We are able to collect robust data across all our Asia Pacific operations. These data forms part of our corporate business planning and long-term strategy. Using the GRI framework, we changed the structure of reporting and our management approach, so that our stakeholders can gain an integrated and systematic understanding of our efforts and the progress we have made. Sustainability reporting helps us communicate regularly with our stakeholders about challenges and successes.
Fuji Xerox does global reporting on sustainability impacts, but also local reporting. What has this local perspective brought to the company and its stakeholders?
We have a widespread footprint across the Asia Pacific region, from some of the most developed countries in the world, to developing nations. Each of our operating locations has their own unique sustainability issues and concerns. To maximise our effectiveness in communicating with our various stakeholders, we started local reporting.
In financial year 2016, we published one global and eleven local sustainability reports. The local reports are specifically designed to address local needs and concerns. For instance, biodiversity and community development were two topics which were particularly important for our operations and stakeholders in ASEAN. We also focused on local sustainability initiatives in our local reports, to provide our readers easier reference to understand our footprint in their region of concern.
How has the GRI reporting framework helped Fuji Xerox in tackling negative impacts?
In recent years, irresponsible practices in the forests of South East Asia has led to environmental degradation and public health crises. We used the GRI framework to develop our supplier management program. We also took part in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for our paper products and continuously strengthened our engagement and participation in ecological conservation. Our paper source for the region is mainly produced in China. We recognized our buyer’s responsibility and partnered WWF and the paper industry to setup the first China Sustainable Paper Alliance (WWF-CSPA) to tackle upstream value chain and to increase paper supply chain traceability and transparency.
In Thailand last year, over 250 staff members participated in mangrove reforest activities to conserve endangered forest areas. Similarly, in Malaysia, we have signed a 5-year memorandum of understanding with the local authorities, agreeing to plant 20,000 mangrove trees by the year 2020. Since then, we have replanted more than 15,000 trees (about 5 hectares of mangroves). In Singapore, to raise awareness of ethical paper sourcing and forestry management, we developed a campaign where we plant a tree for every ream of paper purchased by our customers.

Over 250 staff participated in mangrove restoration project in Thailand

In Australia, we send waste toner directly to be recycled through the joint venture between Close the Loop and Downer Group to create TonerPave® roads. These roads are expected to outlive conventional road surfaces due to improved resistance to rutting and cracking.Also, following the GRI framework to conduct materiality assessments with stakeholders, we detected that limited access to primary education and low primary education completion rate are two challenges in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar, where Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific operates. We believe that business flourishes in thriving local communities. To close the gap on early childhood education, in 2014, we developed a regional initiative focusing on youth education, with a target to help 100,000 children by 2023. By engaging our business partners and local NGOs, we developed a multi-stakeholder approach to reach the outskirts of cities and sustain these learning programs.

Children from rural village schools enjoying reading with Fuji Xerox employee in Vietnam

On the environmental side, how did sustainability reporting lead to Fuji Xerox’s 100% recyclable products policy?
Back in 1993, we hired independent contractors to handle the recycling of used machines. Unfortunately, some contractors chose to dump our products in the mountains in the Japanese countryside, instead of recycling them because it was cheaper to do so. Even though Fuji Xerox was not directly responsible, it was still our name on the products. We now know that insufficient end-of-life management of products can damage our brand and business growth. In-house product recycling was initiated to “close-the-loop.” While recycling of photocopier cartridges and machine can pose health risks to our operators, we figured out how to do it while maintaining high safety standards. The sustainability reporting process is one of the means by which we keep tabs on our recycling rate. Through active redesigning of products, we have achieved higher and higher parts recycling rates. As of financial year 2015, we have achieved over 99.5% recycling rate in our eco-manufacturing centres in the Asia Pacific.

Recycling work at Fuji Xerox Eco-Manufacturing (Suzhou)

Fuji Xerox helps other companies with communications processes and workflows, two important aspects of the capacity-building businesses are faced with when they begin sustainability reporting. Can you tell us more about this?
Since before Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific became a GRI GOLD Community Member in 2016, we have been encouraging our peers and customers in the Asia Pacific to utilize sustainability reporting for better business practices. Through our sustainability report, participation in industry groups and other stakeholder engagement activities, we have been sharing our experiences as a reporter and building awareness among companies, especially within the C-suite.
We have also rolled out solutions to assist our customers in overcoming the technical barriers in reporting. And we offer a variety of green solutions to help customers manage and improve the environmental performance in their organizations. In Hong Kong, for instance, following the environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting requirements by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK), we noticed that our customers (listed companies) struggle with ESG disclosure to their stakeholders. Inspired from our years of hands-on experience in sustainability reporting, we formed a cross-departmental team, with sustainability, product development and programming professionals, to develop a new ICT software using our innovation and technologies to streamline and standardize the reporting process.
The new Intelligent Environmental, Social and Governance (iESG) management tool for sustainability reporting was launched in September 2016. iESG can consolidate all environmental and social data in a single, cloud-based platform. It helps to ease the burden on in-house sustainability professionals and helps ensure data accuracy and credible reporting. In Singapore, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) further commits to the national agenda of sustainable and smart city and put in place the Building Control (Environmental Sustainability) Regulations, to require a minimum environmental sustainability standard for new buildings and existing ones that undergo major retrofitting. Known for our environmental excellence, our customers asked Fuji Xerox to share our experience on how to green their offices and what solutions are available to help them
This year, we have formally launched ‘Go Green Tenant’ Programme and Smart Office solution suite to educate, engage and empower businesses to unlock the potential of connectivity and increase environmental performance in their offices. For instance, our customers who have large offices can utilise our Smart Lighting to control personal lighting in workspace, automate lighting on/off during office hours, and remote control lighting setting in the office. By promoting the effective use of lighting, we improve energy efficiency in sustainability reporting, maximise staff engagement in green office operation, and offer full flexibility in workspaces.
In New Zealand, where sustainability awareness was relatively high, we help companies to achieve their environmental management goals with our green solutions. Next Generation Managed Print Services (Next Generation MPS) creates a network of printing devices and track print records, through which it helps sustainability managers to optimize printer fleet and account for the cost of printing with high accuracy and tractability. In our partnership with the Auckland University of Technology, we have helped the university and students to achieve carbon footprint reduction. With our Next Generation MPS, the University printed 1.37 millionless sheets of paper. That amount is equivalent to 128 trees saved and close to 199,000 litres of water saved. Additionally, the university enjoyed operational savings of NZD$1.5million over five years. These are just some of the ways Fuji Xerox is leveraging our experience with sustainability reporting to help others take part in the corporate transparency movement.