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For the EarthContributing to the Realization of a Circular Economy

Working to Maximize Resource Efficiency Pursuing Product-to-Product Recycling

Issues and Approaches

For humans to continue sustainable consumption and production, we must address the issues of limited natural resources and waste generated when using these resources. To do so, it is necessary to realize a recycling-oriented society in which resources are used and reused in an efficient manner. In Europe, for example, deliberations are proceeding on the creation of a circular economy.

Canon is continuing initiatives to make products smaller and lighter, to reuse and recycle products, and to improve resource efficiency. We are also working to reduce waste at operational sites. In particular, as a product initiative Canon is pursuing “product-to-product recycling” as a way of recycling and reusing resources.

These initiatives provide a framework that encourages resources to be circulated continuously, rather than only once. By establishing a framework that involves recycling resources from product to product, we aim for the continued, long-term reuse of resources.

Guided by this aim, we are carrying out initiatives in the remanufacturing of MFD for offices, a process that takes used products and turns them into products with the same level of quality as brand-new items, as well as in closed-loop recycling of toner cartridges.

Related SDGs

Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Image of EU’s Circular Economy Image of EU’s Circular Economy

Image of EU’s Circular Economy

  • Source: “Annual Report on the Environment 2016,” Ministry of the Environment, Japan
    (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, SUN, and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment; excerpted by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan from a drawing from Braungart & McDonough, Cradle to Cradle (C2C))

Pursuit of Product-to-Product Resource Recycling

Canon carries out remanufacturing, which takes used office MFD and turns them into products with the same level of quality as brand-new items.

In the remanufacturing process, MFD are disassembled to the component level and cleaned using optimal technologies. Deteriorated and worn components are replaced in accordance with strict reproduction standards. The used devices are then put through a production and inspection process on par with lines for products made using entirely new components, thereby sufficiently confirming quality and reliability. The remanufactured products are ready to be shipped after this process is completed.

In addition, we conduct closed-loop recycling in which we extract plastic materials from used toner cartridges and use them as materials for new ones.

In the past five years of implementing these initiatives, we used 19,350 tons of plastic extracted from used products as materials for new products and reused 14,853 tons of products and components. Going forward, we will continue to reduce the amount of resources we use through the pursuit of product-to-product recycling.

Product-to-Product Recycling Amounts (2012–2016 Cumulative Total)

Product-to-Product Recycling Amounts
(2012–2016 Cumulative Total)

Toner cartridge recycling process

Toner cartridge recycling process