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Contributing to a Circular Economy

Pursuing Maximization of Resource Efficiency to Generate the Most Value from the Least Resources Possible

CARS-I automated recycling system for ink cartridgesCARS-I automated recycling system for ink cartridges

Issues and Approach

The increased demand for natural resources caused by the expanding global economy has given rise to several issues, including the depletion of natural resources such as crude oil and minerals, as well as an increase in waste. In response, there is a growing movement to use resources more effectively and in a more sustainable manner. For example, the roadmap toward a resourceefficient, circular economy was developed by the European Commission.
Within this environment, Canon is working to maximize resource efficiency by providing greater value using fewer resources to fulfill its responsibility as a major manufacturer that uses large quantities of resources. For example, Canon engages in the remanufacturing of used office-use MFDs, that is, rebuilding a product, using a combination of reused, repaired and new parts, to the same level of quality as a brand-new item. Canon was also among the first in the industry to establish a collection and recycling system for used products and consumables. In particular, Canon launched a toner cartridge recycling program in 1990 and has promoted recycling-conscious product design ever since. As part of its recycling commitment, Canon focuses on closed-loop recycling in which recycled materials are repeatedly used for the same products to extend the usage period of resources. Going forward, Canon will continue to advance its recycling technologies through technical innovation, while also improving its recycling ratio and recycling efficiency.

Reserves of Major Resources in The World
Mineral Reserve-production ratio (years)
Mineral resources Iron ore 56.0
Copper ore 38.5
Zinc ore 14.9
Lead 18.9
Tin 17.8
Silver 20.9
Gold 18.7
Fossil fuels Oil 52.5
Natural gas 54.1
  • Source: U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Commodity Summaries 2016 used for mineral resources. Reserve-production ratio calculated by dividing confirmed reserves by 2015 production volume.
  • Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2015 for fossil fuels.

Case Study

Canon Recognized for Longtime Efforts in Recycling Consumables

Aiming to contribute to greater resource recycling, Canon has continued to strengthen its efforts in recycling consumables. Canon's Toner Cartridge Recycling Program, which marked its 25th anniversary in 2015, has garnered high praise for its activities from many sources. For example, Canon Europe Ltd. was recognized for the program with a Gold award at the International Green Apple Awards, and a People's Choice Award at The Circulars 2016.
Canon has also been collecting and recycling ink cartridges used in various devices, such as inkjet printers, for the past two decades, and the program is currently operated in more than 30 countries and regions. In 2014, Canon Ecology Industry Inc., Canon's recycling hub in Japan, began operation of an automated recycling system for used ink cartridges called CARS-I (Canon Automated Recycling System for Ink Cartridges). This system uses an integrated and automated line to efficiently process collected ink cartridges, from separation by model type to disassembly, crushing, and cleaning. The introduction of CARS-I has enabled Canon not only to significantly boost its recycling processing capacity but also increase its material recycle yield.
Canon will continue to refine and advance its technologies to increase its recycling capacity even further.

Ink cartridges collected through the Ink Cartridge Satogaeri (Homecoming) Project in Japan before processing by CARS-IInk cartridges collected through the Ink Cartridge Satogaeri (Homecoming) Project in Japan before processing by CARS-I

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