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Florence Loretzin

Florence
Loretzin

Business Compliance and Environment Manager at Canon France.

Circular economy expert
Florence Loretzin

Circular Economy at Canon

 

What prompted Canon to start using circular practices as early as the 1990s?

 

Florence Loretzin: Canon had started to incorporate a holistic approach including all his stakeholders. since the 1980’s. Being a multinational company, we must pay attention to sustainable development issues. The Brundtland report in 1987 followed by the Rio Conference in 1992 made civil society more aware of sustainable development and environmental stakes. We therefore took a logical turn towards circular practices and ecodesign.

 

Could you give us an overview of the different policies put in place at Canon in terms of ecodesign and sustainable sourcing?

 

  1. L.: The very notion of environment has been integrated to all our processes. All Canon sites work according to the life cycle analysis methodology. This led us to rethink our production methods in order to create sustainably sourced, ecodesigned products, which contributes to reducing our logistics load. Applying the life cycle analysis methodology allowed us to save on raw materials, energy, and water all along the life cycle. We are one of the few multinational companies to have obtained a global ISO 14001 certification. Our ecodesign approach is also expressed by our commitment to the EuroVAprint program and led to the Energy Star 2.0 labelling of mostly all our products.

 

What about the “zero waste to landfills” program?

 

  1. L.: Our policy complies with the regulation demanding the establishment of collection routes and partnerships with businesses who are able to recycle our products. But we have chosen to go beyond this by setting up recycling points for our products and consumables in main geographical zones. France plays a key role because the site located in Brittany collects all of the laser cartridges used in greater Europe. This recycling is done in a very virtuous way, in a closed loop; the factory produces new cartridges made from used ones. More generally speaking, we have been recycling our products for more than 25 years. When the contract on printing equipment we have with a client comes to an end, we collect their products and sort them out depending on their overall state, before shipping them to Germany to be dismantled. We can then build new products and cartridges from these reused parts. Our zero-landfill policy applies to whatever is left after this process and cannot be recycled: it is taken care of by an eco-organization accredited by public authorities.

 

What environmental impact do these circular practices have?

 

  1. L.: We saw a 34% reduction in CO2 emissions by product between 2008 and 2016 thanks to an improved management in product life cycle. When we collect the cartridges, we kill two birds with one stone: the materials are reused and represent as much avoided waste. This environmental approach is also beneficial from a financial point of view. That being said, circular economy brings new challenges in our supply chain. We must have enough flows of qualitative materials to make our recycling approach a lasting solution.

 

Is circular economy only the domain of certain visionary businesses or is it becoming the norm?

 

  1. L.: Transitioning to a circular economy requires a true commitment and significant investments. At Canon, our organization has already allowed us to implement solutions based on local networks that collect waste on site and treat it locally so as to have a virtuous environmental process. I think that it starts with a human commitment which leads to the development of relevant vision and savoir-faire.

 

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