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Employees: Eco Operation

Reduction of Environmental Impact by Rakuten Employees

“Always Improve, Always Advance” is one of the Rakuten Group's “Five Principles for Success.” Rakuten employees take this principle to heart and are independently engaged in a variety of activities to help reduce their own environmental impact. An example of an effective employee initiative is the “Kechi-Kechi Project.” Kechi is a Japanese word meaning “stingy,” and as the name implies it encourages employees to be “stingy” about wasting valuable resources. The Kechi-Kechi Project encourages every employee to think of creative new ways to reduce their environmental impact and put those ideas into practice in day-to-day operations.

Substantial Reduction in Paper Consumption
In May 2008, Rakuten enacted a number of initiatives to reduce the amount of paper consumed in copying and printing. As a result of these changes, paper consumption was reduced by 77% by December 2009, which is equivalent to saving 2,644 trees. In 2010 we succeeded in reducing paper consumption by another 2,549 trees, saving a total equivalent of 5000 trees’ worth of paper between May 2008 and December 2010. Improvements included establishing printing rules, enabling default settings on all company copiers to reduce paper consumption, setting reduction targets at the departmental level, tracking progress, and sharing successes.

Printing improvements Printouts are printed at quarter size and double-sided. Printouts that used to take up eight sheets of A4 paper now require just one. Individual password settings used for security purposes help prevent printouts from being discarded.
Copying improvements Copies can only be made after entering a password issued by each department. Information on copy use is shared throughout the company so departments can compare their own paper use to that of the Group overall and set effective targets to reduce consumption.

Efficient Use of Elevators
In an effort to minimize our environmental impact, the ten elevators in Rakuten Tower only stop on certain floors.
Elevators in the 23-storey building stop at the reception floor, the weekly morning meeting (ASAKAI) hall, the cafeteria, other floors used by all employees, as well as certain office floors. Employees use the stairs to access the other floors. Limiting elevator use raises elevator operating efficiency, conserves energy, and increases business efficiency.

Environmental Initiatives Proposed by Employee Volunteers

Rakuten marked its 10 year anniversary with the launch of "Do Something Good by Rakuten," a social contribution project where activities are proposed and executed by employee volunteers. The Eco-programs Promotion Team is one of the teams responsible for the project. The team organizes friendly, easy-to-join activities for Rakuten employees to help reduce environmental impact, including the Eco Cap campaign and neighborhood cleanups.

The Eco-programs Promotion Team continues its daily activities in the hope that participating employees will be inspired by the experience and share the spirit of sustainable living with their families and communities.

Collecting Plastic Bottle Caps
The Eco Cap Campaign, proposed by a Rakuten employee and launched in August 2008, collects bottle caps from employees at Rakuten Tower and other branch offices. The collected bottle caps are sold by the NPO Group Mate to a recycling company, and proceeds from the sale are donated to the Japan Committee Vaccines for the World’s Children (JVC), an NPO delivering vaccines to children around the world who need them. For every 400 bottle caps donated a child receives a much needed vaccine.
By March 2010 the campaign had collected 470,000 bottle caps, equivalent to approximately 5,200 tetanus shots.

Neighborhood Cleanup Campaigns
Rakuten Group employees and their families participate in neighborhood cleanup campaigns to help create a clean, livable community at the local level. Cleanups have been conducted around Shinagawa Seaside, home to the Rakuten Group head office, twice a year since the end of 2007.
These cleanups attract more and more participants each time they are held. Many employees are accompanied by their families, and it is quite heartwarming to see parents volunteering with their children, from babies in strollers to elementary school students.
These activities aim to not only improve quality of life for residents and workers in Shinagawa, but give volunteers the opportunity to consider their own habits of waste and consumption. We hope that as more employees volunteer we can expand our activities to other branches and broaden our environment beautification efforts.

December 2007 65 participants
June 2008 69 participants
October 2008 160 participants
May 2009 234 participants
November 2009 Called off on account of rain
May 2010 124 participants
November 2010 80 participants
June 2011 121 participants
October 2011 129 participants
June 2012 Called off on account of rain
October 2012 105 participants
June 2013 99 participants

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