Resources and circular economy


We're shaping a circular economy by reducing, reusing and recycling

Plastic waste represents a vast squandering of precious raw materials and natural resources, as well as needless consumption of energy and release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. A significant amount of plastic waste still goes to landfills or gets burned – a trend that by 2050 could account for 20% of global oil consumption and 15% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions

We believe that products can be designed from the outset to help cut waste and emissions over their lifetimes. Therefore, we have set a goal to make our products from more than 90% circulated resources (recycled materials and biomaterials) by 2050 (“towards zero natural resources”). We also aim to enable the reuse and recycling of materials as many times as possible. Part of that involves accelerating initiatives for the recovery and recycling of end-of-life products and packaging materials.

We're reducing the use of primary resources 

We aim to reduce the use of primary resources as far as possible.  

Recycled materials in print devices and toner bottles  

  • Our office devices contain up to 42.9% recycled plastic (or up to 40.4% according to the German Blue Angel mark).  
  • We produce toner bottles that contain up to 60% recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE) made from empty milk bottles. 
  • We aim is to use recycled materials for our entire toner production worldwide. 

Lighter product design 

By making our printing devices lighter, we reduce the use of raw materials, energy consumption during production and transport, and the environmental impact of disposal. That's why we're continuously working to reduce the size and weight of our office and production printing devices while improving their performance. For example, the weight of the AccurioPress C7100 digital printing system has been reduced by approximately 25% compared to conventional machines. 

Find out about our printing devices

Printing on recycled paper 

All our bizhub devices offer trouble-free processing of recycled paper that meets EN 12281 (the European standard for copy paper for dry toner imaging processes). 

Reducing paper consumption 

Our printing devices offer features and settings to help users print in more resource-efficient ways. 

  • Duplex (double-sided) printing and the N-up function (to print multiple pages on a single sheet) help save consumables and energy. 
  • Defaulting to monochrome printing, using colour only when truly necessary. 
  • Automatic deletion of blank pages during copy and scan processes avoids waste. 
  • Follow-Me Printing means a user must actively decide whether a document needs printing. This prevents unnecessary reheating cycles and wasteful 'forgotten' printouts. 
  • Saving copy programmes as favourites or using existing templates (like ID card copy) helps ensure direct selection of the correct settings, which minimises misprints and the associated waste. 

Reducing waste in production 

As part of our Sustainable Factory Certification system we aim to make our 11 main factories more sustainable. This includes reducing and recycling waste generated from our production operations. Focus areas include reducing the amount of waste discharged to plastic mill ends; reducing wastewater discharge; and cutting packaging waste. These measures have reduced waste substances by 20,000 tonnes since 2005. In the meantime, four factories have achieved Sustainable Factory status. 

Cutting packaging waste during transportation 

Although styrene foam is widely used, it has a poorer environmental performance than other materials. which is why we've been looking for packaging solutions to replace it.  

In 2019, for transport from our factories to Europe, we developed an air cushioning material for packaging and transporting MFPs. Using the lighter, more compact air pillows enables us to reduce the weight of shipments by 75% and the packaging volume by 99% compared to our previous packaging. In addition, we're committed to the use of cardboard.  

In some cases we've more or less eliminated packaging. Units shipped from the European warehouse in Emmerich to our European customers are simply shrink-wrapped on pallets. 

Initiatives undertaken in 2021 reduced the environmental impact of packing through the supply chain (from procurement through to recycling) by approximately 1,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions. 


We're reusing end-of-life products and consumables 

We aim to reuse end-of-life products and consumables as far as possible. Across Europe and Japan, we refurbish and refill toner bottles and cartridges. And throughout our European operations, print devices are cleaned and reused for at least another four or five years after their first use-cycle, instead of being disposed of. 

Giving bizhub MFPs a second life: bizhub Refreshed 

Our bizhub Refreshed programme gives customers in Europe access to affordable, high-quality refurbished bizhub MFPs. Our consistent, standardised Europe-wide process ensures the refurbished devices deliver high levels of performance and quality, while offering resource and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings compared with the production of new devices. 

Find out more about our bizhub Refreshed programme


70% GHG emissions savings

A bizhub Refreshed device offers savings of at least 70% in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (depending on the device) compared with production of a new device.* 

* The figures are based on assumptions and follow the "Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard" (GHG Protocol), carried out by ClimatePartner 

We're recycling materials 

We aim to enable the recycling of materials as many times as possible. 

Effortless consumables recycling: Clean Planet Program 

A lot of printing consumables are classed as electronic waste which must be disposed of in a regulatory compliant way.  

Through our convenient, sustainable and transparent Clean Planet Program, consumables are recycled or reused for their original purpose. The program ensures the reliable and environmentally sound disposal of toner cartridges and bottles, photoconductor drums, and other used consumables. Our recycling technology and processes allow us to avoid landfill and to a large extent incineration and convert 87% of waste into secondary raw materials. 

Find out more about our Clean Planet Program

Recycling office print devices 

We aim to recover and recycle the office equipment we sell worldwide. In fiscal year 2022, we recycled 99% of the 13,600 tons of end-of-life office equipment recovered in Europe, Japan, China and the US. 

Facilitating paper recycling with advanced toners 

For printed materials to become part of the circular economy, toner must be easily removable from paper that's to be recycled. The de-inkablility of Konica Minolta’s Simitri® toners has been confirmed by INGEDE e.V. (International Association of Deinking Industry). De-inking contributes to closing the paper loop, improving recycling and reducing water pollution.  


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Find out more about our Environmental approach