Billboards – Tokyo
In August 2014, Ricoh converted its billboard atop the San-ai Dream Center at the Ginza 4-chome crossing in Tokyo to private power generation by solar and wind energy, making it a 100 percent eco-powered billboard.
Its completion marked the fourth eco billboard to be installed by Ricoh around the world at the time. It also brought back an eco billboard to Japan, where Ricoh had its very first installation in April 2003. Located in Kita-ku, Osaka, the original eco billboard was removed in June 2011 due to a new building being built in front of it.
The San-ai Dream Center – which stands as a premier landmark in Ginza, the commercial center of Japan – was established in 1963 as a symbol of the Ricoh San-ai group by Kiyoshi Ichimura, the founder of Ricoh. Added to the building in December 2006, the billboard is characterized by three-dimensional overlapping curves, giving onlookers a feeling of motion. It is now lit using electricity stored in 20 batteries, generated by 78 solar panels and four small wind turbines. The average daily power generation is calculated at approximately 39,000 wh per day.
As with all Ricoh eco billboards, depending on the weather, the Ginza, Tokyo billboard may not always light up. But rather than serve just to promote the company name, Ricoh sees the billboard going dark as a way to further encourage environmental awareness and inspire action in others.