There is an emerging global trend toward the recycling and reusing of resources due to concerns about natural resource depletion and marine plastic pollution.
To ensure more efficient use of limited resources and reduce waste, Canon is making products smaller and lighter, and reusing and recycling materials as much as possible. We also strive to reduce waste consumption and the generation of waste from manufacturing at our operational sites.
Canon has five sites conducting recycling in four regions around the world.
We are continuing initiatives aimed at circulating resources within the same regions where they are consumed.
To maximize the value brought about by resource recycling, Canon pursues product-to-product recycling — in other words, recycling used products into new ones. In particular, we have emphasized such initiatives as closed-loop recycling of toner cartridges and the remanufacturing of office multifunction devices — collecting them post-use and making them into products with good-as-new quality.
We see initiatives at Canon’s recycling sites as not only contributing to a circular economy but also contributing to a carbon-free future. The reuse of parts through remanufacturing and the recycling of plastics through closed-loop recycling allow us to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions generated by raw material procurement and transportation compared with using new raw materials.
Canon Ecology Industry Inc. emitted 2,900 tons of Scope 1 and 2 CO2 through site operations. We believe that these efforts have resulted in a reduction of approximately 7,900 tons of CO2 emissions.
Since 2008, we have taken 44,343 tons of plastics from used products for recycling as raw materials, and another 35,216 tons of products and parts were reused directly.
Currently, Canon has five sites conducting recycling, in Japan, Europe (two sites), the United States, and China. We are continuing initiatives aimed at circulating resources within the same regions where they are consumed.
The Canon Automated Recycling System for Toner Cartridges (CARS-T)
In February 2018, we opened the Canon Eco Technology Park. Based on a “clean and silent” design concept, which overturns the traditional image of recycling operations, the facility has implemented advanced systems to further boost recycling efficiency. The Canon Automated Recycling System for Toner Cartridges (CARS-T) is a process in which used toner cartridges are crushed and the materials automatically separated for recycling of the main component, high-impact polystyrene (HIPS). The sorting purity of the recycled plastic reaches 99% or greater* with the intensive use of various separation technologies at the different stages of the process. With the Canon Automated Recycling System for Ink Cartridges (CARS-I), a camera-based automatic sorting process is used on the used ink cartridges. The process line is automated, yielding an integrated process for the recycling of ink cartridges from disassembly and pulverization to washing. Separated materials are reused for ink cartridge components and packaging, as well as for pallets used in logistics. Any resources that cannot be recycled through product-to-product recycling are diverted to material recycling or thermal recovery processes to help maximize resource efficiency.
In 2019, in the 28th Grand Prize for the Global Environment Awards, sponsored by the Fujisankei Communications Group in Japan, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award was presented to the Canon Eco Technology Park with Canon Recycling Technologies for “efforts for social issue resolution toward the creation of a circular economy.
To achieve effective use of our limited resources, environmentally conscious design is a necessary tool. Starting from the design and development stage, Canon gives careful consideration to the whole process through to collection and recycling of end-of-life products.
Our Environmentally Conscious Design Guidance summarizes the considerations that need to be addressed at the product design stage, including product-related environmental laws and regulations, Green Public Procurement standards, and environmental labeling standards in the different countries and regions where we sell our products. It sets out concrete guidelines covering a range of areas, such as extending product life, making products easier to maintain, disassemble and sort into constituent materials after disassembly, and improving information disclosure.
Comparison of RF 800mm F11 IS STM with previous EF lens
Comparison of PRO-300 with previous model
Canon is making efforts across a wide range of product types to make its products smaller and lighter to help reduce the consumption of resources in the form of raw materials.
Our two new RF lens products, the RF600mm F11 IS STM and RF800mm F11 IS STM, are the world’s lightest weight*1 super-telephoto single-focal-length lens of their respective focal lengths. Equipped with DO lenses*2, fixed f/11 apertures, and housing that comprises resin-based plastic enabling both products to achieve a significant weight reduction of approximately 70% compared to previous EF lenses, the lenses combine high maneuverability and portability with outstanding image capture.
The PRO-300 inkjet printer model for professional and advanced amateur photographers likewise realizes substantial reductions in size and weight compared to the previous PRO-10/10S model, maintaining high image resolution and high productivity while reducing volume by approximately 15% and weight by approximately 28%.
We collect used devices and break them down into parts, which are washed and cleaned. We replace any parts that show wear or deterioration. When a remanufactured device is shipped, it is guaranteed to offer the same level of quality as a new product.
Since 1992, Canon has undertaken remanufacturing of used multifunction devices. We collect used devices and break them down into parts, which are washed and cleaned using optimal techniques. Following strict reuse standards, we replace any parts that show wear or deterioration. The production line and inspection processes used are on a par with those for devices made only with new parts. When a remanufactured device is shipped, it is guaranteed to offer the same level of quality as a new product.
We market remanufactured devices from the imageRUNNER ADVANCE series under the Refreshed series brand in Japan and under the ES series brand in Europe.
The used products that have been collected are gathered up and go through an initial check
The exterior covers and parts are removed
The body's frame and the parts that were disassembled are cleaned
The cleaned frames are assembled with new and reused parts, and then the exterior covers are attached.
The same inspection as for new products are done to make sure that all the functions work appropriately.
The products are packaged just like a new product, and the sent to market.
imageRUNNER ADVANCE C3530F-RG
In 2022, Canon launched sales of a new product under the Refreshed series brand, the imageRUNNER ADVANCE C3530F-RG, a special environmentally conscious model with an increased reused parts ratio. Using meticulous washing and cleaning processes, with sandblast polishing* to remove the smallest imperfections and other special treatments, a reused parts ratio of over 90% has been achieved.
Canon operates recycling programs including Toner Cartridge Collection and Recycling Program which enable plastic material to be used repeatedly.
In 1990, Canon launched its Toner Cartridge Recycling Program, the first such program in the industry. The program continues to operate today.
Returned used toner cartridges are brought to Canon recycling sites, where camera equipment is used to sort them by model. The reusable parts are then picked out, washing and maintenance are performed as needed, and the parts are reused in new products. Parts that cannot be reused are crushed and separated by material using physical characteristics such as electrostatic properties and specific gravity.
The primary material of toner cartridges is the high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) used primarily for the housing. HIPS can be used repeatedly to make new toner cartridges a unique feature of Canon’s closed-loop recycling process.
We conduct used toner cartridge collection in 24 countries and regions (with a cumulative collection volume of about 454,000 tons as of the end of 2022) for recycling at four sites* worldwide. As of 2022 we have achieved a cumulative reduction in the use of new resources of approximately 322,000 tons.
The Canon Automated Recycling System for Toner Cartridges (CARS-T) is a process whereby used toner cartridges are crushed and the materials automatically separated for recycling of the main component, high-impact polystyrene (HIPS). The sorting purity of the recycled plastic reaches 99% or greater* with the intensive use of various separation technologies at the different stages of the process.
A clean and silent operation, the CARS-T process also ensures there are no messy toner leaks from the sealed process units.
*99% or greater based on Canon’s in-house sorting method
Canon has been collecting and recycling used ink cartridges since 1996.
In Japan, Canon is part of the Ink Cartridge Satogaeri (Homecoming) Project, a joint program by printer manufacturers to collect cartridges via boxes placed in post offices, libraries, and other local government facilities. Schools also collect cartridges through activities related to the Bellmark Campaign. Outside Japan, we place cartridge collection boxes in large retail stores, affiliate sales outlets, shopping malls, companies, schools, libraries, train stations, Canon service stores, Canon showrooms, and other locations, depending on the circumstances in each country or region.
As of the end of 2022, Canon’s collection program was operational in 30 countries and regions worldwide, and the total volume of cartridges that had been collected up to the end of 2022 reached 2,731 tons.
With the Canon Automated Recycling System for Ink Cartridges (CARS-I), a camera-based automatic sorting process is used on the used ink cartridges. The process line is automated, yielding an integrated process for the recycling of ink cartridges from disassembly and pulverization to washing. Separated materials are reused for ink cartridge components, materials for pallets used in logistics, or in stationery products.
As a new initiative to drive plastic material recycling, Canon Ecology Industry Inc. has developed a filament for 3D printers made with 100% recycled plastic. The recycled plastic raw materials used are PC+ABS and HIPS, which have a record of reliable performance as plastic materials and have been widely used in the outer covers and cassettes of multifunction devices and other applications. Adapting technologies accumulated through recycling of other Canon products, and utilizing optimal technologies to crush and wash the outer covers and cassettes of multifunction devices recovered from the market and then process them through extrusion-molding, enabled filaments with a stable wire diameter to be manufactured even with 100% recycled plastic.
Canon actively works to reduce the amount of waste originating from operational sites and to reuse or recycle waste.
Canon is working hard to reduce the amount of waste it generates. Efforts include increasing recycling through sorting and collection and minimizing initial waste generation. In particular, we have sought to determine which factors most significantly affect waste generation for each division and each production process. Based on these findings, by an actual versus forecast comparison, we have implemented a number of ongoing initiatives to curb waste generation.
Canon actively works to reduce the amount of waste originating from its operations and to reuse or recycle waste where possible, appropriately disposing of any waste that can be neither reused nor recycled in accordance with the law.
Our various operational sites employ a range of in-house recycling schemes, including reprocessing waste plastic from injection molding or recycling it for other items.
Even in the case of waste that must be sent outside the company, we make sure it does not enter landfills*. Rather, we contract with companies that reprocess waste into materials. In 2022, contracted companies processed 86,367 tons of waste from Canon back into materials ( recycling ratio of about 97%).
* Except for some general waste generated by business activities that is disposed of under government oversight.
Total waste output in 2022 amounted to 88,732 tons. We implemented ongoing activities to reduce waste, such as switching to returnable shipping cartons at the Toride Plant and Canon Vietnam and reducing waste from the metal stamping process at Canon Hi-Tech (Thailand). However, due to factors such as an increase in packaging materials due to greater distribution of components at production sites, CO2 emissions were up 6% from 2021.
* Excludes disposal of products collected after use
In a joint project with an asphalt services firm Basic Construction Company, Canon Virginia Inc. has developed a new asphalt material containing an admixture of recycled toner pellets made from the waste toner in used cartridges. The polymer that is the main constituent of the recycled toner pellets improves the strength of the new material, which can reduce the use of asphalt binders, whose price has soared. The new asphalt material has been used on public roads in the US state of Virginia, realizing both effective use of resources and cost economies.
Recycled toner pellets used as asphalt additive
There is growing public concern over single-use plastics, which are regarded as a cause of marine pollution. With the aim of reducing plastics, Canon is working to cut the amount of single-use plastic.
Example of packaging materials for the PowerShot V10 vlog camera
Canon is moving ahead with the adoption of plastic-free packaging materials* while keeping existing package design concepts. The PowerShot V10, for example, uses plant-derived non-woven fabrics and paper materials for the bags used to package the camera and its accessories. Selecting these materials cuts down on single-use plastics and reduce environmental impact.
Example of imageFORMULA R10 Personal Document Scanner in use
Canon Electronics has switched from polystyrene foam to compostable and recyclable paper for the packaging material used with the imageFORMULA R10 and P-215 II document scanners.
For the home-use inkjet printer TR4650, we are working to find alternative packaging materials to replace single-use plastics, such as switching from polystyrene foam to pulp molds. We are working toward further reducing single-use plastics by extending the use of pulped mold to package both new products and existing products.
Additionally, Canon is a member of the Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA), a public-private sector alliance that seeks a solution to the problem of marine plastic pollution through accelerated innovation and collaboration among a wide range of interested parties across industry borders. In coordination with CLOMA, we are working on a range of initiatives, including reducing the use of plastics and developing recycle friendly products, technologies, and systems.
For sustainable water use, we strive to improve water-usage efficiency.
Canon assesses locations to confirm available water intake volume before establishing operational sites and facilities. We use the AQUEDUCT water-risk mapping tool provided by the World Resources Institute* for quantitative evaluation and reconfirmation of water risk in regions where production sites are located, and work to reduce water consumption in response to local conditions. Meanwhile, in some regions, an increase in abnormal weather patterns has increased the risk of flood damage. We have already begun implementing appropriate responses to climate change, for instance by building Plant No. 2 at our Thai production base on raised ground. Going forward, we will continue our progress with the formulation and updating of risk response plans.
* World Resources Institute: WRI is an independent institute based in the United States that conducts policy research and provides technical assistance concerning environmental and development issues around the world.
Canon collects water data by intake source (public water system, industrial water system, or groundwater) and manages water resources carefully so as not to exceed intake limits for the different regions in which it operates. We also set and manage targets for the volume of water used in production, and constantly strive to reduce water usage by improving production processes and raising water-usage efficiency.
Water Conservation Award ceremony
The Plant of Canon Hi-Tech (Thailand), which is located in an area of high quantitative water risk, promotes water conservation by adjusting water flow during the cleaning process, recycling water by purifying, and reducing used water in cafeterias and facilities. Last year, in recognition of these efforts, Canon Hi-Tech (Thailand) received the Water Saving Award sponsored by the Ministry of Industry in August and Gold level of Water Conservation Awards from Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment of Thailand in October.
Japan Water Prize ceremony
In addition to recycling water, Oita Canon Materials carries out plant tours, outreach classes on the environment, and other educational activities that emphasize the precious nature of water resources, as well as participating in cleanup events at coastal and river sites. In recognition of these activities, the company received the Japan Water Prize (the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award) from the Japan Water Prize Committee in the Japan River Association.
Canon promotes the recycling of water resources. The Kitsuki Plant of Oita Canon Materials Inc. is located on Beppu Bay, home to precious natural resources and habitats. In consideration of the impact on the ecosystem, the plant employs a closed wastewater system that discharges nothing but rainwater.
I order to maintain appropriate water use at our sales and marketing companies, we monitor and manage water consumption at our main offices.
The head office building of Canon Marketing Japan Co., Ltd. cooperates with the Shinagawa Grand Commons Community Development Council, which consists of neighboring companies, to participate in the "Reclaimed Water Utilization Project" promoted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Sewerage Bureau. As part of the project, reclaimed water supplied by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Sewerage Bureau is used in toilets and other facilities in order to reduce water resource use through the recycling of water.
In 2022, water consumption decreased by 2.1% from the previous year to 8,397,000 m3. This was achieved through ongoing reduction measures at production sites, consisting of the replacement of aging facilities at Canon (Suzhou) Inc. and integrated operation of cleaning equipment at Oita Canon Materials Inc. These improvements also enabled us to reach our target for water consumption intensity, which decreased by 1.6% from 2021.