By Salley Thornton
Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has served as an annual reminder of how fragile our planet is and our responsibility to protect it.
As individuals, we control the decisions we make to reduce our own carbon footprint – drinking from a reusable water bottle, not buying items with unnecessary packaging, and recycling as much as possible. What’s not in our control is how the companies we work for strive to lessen their environmental impact.
Luckily, the concept of sustainability is something Toshiba cares about deeply. It’s ingrained in the products we produce and within our day-to-day activities – whether recycling e-waste, reforesting globally sensitive areas, or simply pollinating a one-acre plot of land in South Dakota with indigenous flowers and grasses. (We’ve also adopted the Monarch butterfly while striving to increase the number of pollinators, including bees and other species of butterflies.)
Whatever the activity, Toshiba is passionate about fostering a more sustainable planet.
Earth Day as you may imagine is a special day for our company. A time for us, as well as fellow organizations of all stripes and backgrounds, to come together to celebrate our delicate and sensitive planet while acting as a guardian on its behalf.
It’s furthermore a time of reflection for us. How did we as Toshiba employees act as stewards to make our world a more ecological place? And what steps have we taken in the last 365 days to represent ourselves in this manner?
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
On Earth Day 2021, Toshiba celebrates our continuing commitment to a more sustainable planet by reaching formidable recycling and reforesting objectives. This focus led to the recycling of more than 68 U.S. tons of used toner consumables and reforesting of 21,422 trees in 2020.
We’ve prevented more than 1,610 tons of e-waste from entering landfills since 2008 as a result of Toshiba’s EcoSmart Toner Recycling Program in partnership with the internationally recognized recycler, To place this in perspective, this weight is equivalent to 501 of the latest Zamboni® ice resurfacing machines.
Toshiba’s EcoSmart Toner Recycling program ensures the transformation of our company’s spent toner cartridges for reuse. Many of the components within our toner convert into new products including an asphalt material for resurfacing roads. Our recycling initiative more importantly preserves more open spaces for parks and sports fields. As a parent, this is particularly gratifying!
Moreover, our company’s recycling program is a significant reason Toshiba’s award-winning e‑STUDIO™ multifunction printers are on the EPEAT (Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool) registry, the definitive global rating system for greener electronics.
We’ve also worked with PrintReleaf to replant 99,736 trees across global reforestation projects in Madagascar, Dominican Republic, United States, Mexico, Ireland, Canada, Brazil and India since 2016. Our customers especially embrace this effort as they get to choose the specific areas they want to reforest.
A new tree is planted every time a Toshiba customer prints 8,333 sheets. SGS International, a globally respected inspection, verification, testing and certification organization certifies the global reforestation partners while verifying the 100 percent net survival of the trees.
As a Toshiba employee, I am proud to work for an organization that each and every day proactively supports a more sustainable earth. On behalf of our entire North and South America workforce, I encourage you to do whatever moves you to reduce, reuse and recycle. We’ll support you every step along the way!