With COP 26 (COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate change conference) coming to an end this month and Gartner predicting that by 2029 there would be only one economy; the circular economy is top of mind as a solution for nations recovering from the economic devastation caused by COVID-19.
Unlike the current reality of a ”linear” economy where “take, make and waste” drive growth, the circular economy moves away from rampant consumption to embrace the concept of re-using or repurposing products and services so that they can be used by different partners in the system.
The notion of a circular economy aligns well with South Africa’s zero waste to landfill goal, which we hope to achieve by 2030. By using a whole system of recycling, reuse and recovery, South Africa could divert 90% of waste from landfills and create social and economic opportunities for its communities.
This is an ambitious goal for a country that generates 122-million tonnes of waste a year, but it certainly isn’t impossible as Kyocera has demonstrated, by consistently achieving the ISO14001 certification for all the various elements in the certification process.
We have always aimed to reduce our impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions, energy and water consumption and industrial waste discharge by one per cent every year at our sites.
We were the first to develop a cartridge-free system for laser printers, which reduces the number of components in the toner system by more than 85% on average, consequently reducing the manufacturing and recycling impact of the device. And, we focus our innovative thinking on reducing environmental impact (Ecology), minimising running costs (Economy), and ensuring effortless integration with information networks (Systems). We are also constantly working on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, working on sustainable recycling of resources and doing more to help us coexist harmoniously with nature.
The consumption of ink is another area in which we are creating eco-friendly solutions. Our printers use less ink and produce less waste without compromising on quality.
By emphasising design that can be reused or recycled, Kyocera is carving a path to the circular economy and proving that successful business does not need to rely on waste.