KOKUYO's Historical Episode

"Eco" tube file

“Eco”tube file

Pioneering full-scale development of eco-friendly products in the industry

KOKUYO has embraced ecological friendliness from its early days through such measures as using recycled paper in order to fulfil its social responsibility as a paper product manufacturer. Entering the 1990s, however, social concerns for environmental issues heightened further, and KOKUYO was among the first to actively implement product assessments based on its own environmental design standards in all of its divisions in order to develop environmentally-friendly products. In 1993, to manifest this stance within and outside the company, it established the "KOKUYO Environment Behaviour Charter". The "Eco" tube file was the first product after this charter was established. The challenges established during its development were to use recycled paper and make the metal fittings used for binding the sheets easily removable so that they could be properly sorted for disposal. However, in order to solve these problems, it was necessary to change everything starting from the production stage. In addition, the ability to remove the binding fittings, which overturned conventional wisdom, initially sparked off some opposition within KOKUYO. The fact that some local governments hadn't yet established clear regulations on sorting the waste was also a reason for the opposition. In response to this, the development team in charge went ahead with its development stressing that it was evident that the age would eventually arrive when sorting and recycling wastes would be taken for granted (*1), and also stressed the importance of realizing environmentally considerate products ahead of its competitors in the industry. After a process of trial and error, the tube file was completed and marketed in 1994. The initial challenges were solved by using 100% recycled paper and making the metal fittings easily removable by tapping them with a hammer.

As a product that symbolizes KOKUYO's environmentally friendly efforts

The "Eco" tube file has evolved thereafter through various improvements such as making the binding fittings reusable and the cover replaceable. It has taken an important role as a product that symbolizes KOKUYO's stance of tackling ecological issues through further improvements such as using wood thinned from forests as the core material and introducing the all-paper type file that uses paper even for the metal parts. In the "Carbon Footprint of Products (CFP) System Trial Project" (*2) started in 2009, for example, KOKUYO first participated with this product, which passed the inspection to become KOKUYO's first product authorized to display the CFP mark. These thorough efforts in developing environmentally friendly products have won immense support from our customers and the "Eco" file tube's market share has expanded remarkably to make it the standard of cardboard-cover files today.

(*1) With the enactment of a series of recycling related laws including the Act on the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources in 1991, followed by the Act on the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging in 1995, and with the institutionalization of the Act on Promoting Green Purchasing (Act on Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other Entities) in 2000, demand for environmentally friendly products rose dramatically.

(*2) Carbon Footprint of Products (CFP) is a system for "visualizing" greenhouse gases emitted throughout the entire life cycle of products and services from their material procurement to disposal and recycling by converting them to their equivalent amount of CO2, and displaying it clearly on the respective products and services. In Japan, the guideline was put together under the leadership of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2008, and a trial project was carried out from 2009 to 2011 with the cooperation of related government ministries and agencies. In April this year (2012), a new private-sector run CFP program was started and is led by the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry, which took over the project.

List of KOKUYO’s Historical Accounts

  • Cover
  • Japanese-style account ledger
  • Western-style account ledgers
  • Stationery pad with high quality paperboard
  • bielomatik
  • From paper to metal
  • Company's building-wide office showrooms
  • Campus Note
  • Survey Field Notebook
  • Museum display cases
  • Goods distribution
  • Distribution and sales network
  • Furniture production
  • Universal design
  • Company name and trademark
  • KOKUYO's own steel product plant
  • Eco tube file
  • Dot liner
  • Our Eco-X Mark initiative
  • Testament kits
  • Harinacs
  • Towards Asia