E Ink and ITOCHU Group further their collaboration in moving towards a sustainable, paper-free office


E Ink (Billerica, Massachusetts), a pioneer and leader in digital paper technology, recently announced the launch of the ALTERIC NOTE by their customer ITOCHU Corporation for the Japanese B2B market.

In December 2021, E Ink announced that ITOCHU had joined the ePaper ecosystem, with ITOCHU’s first project to be their own branded eNote device, based off the product developed by Linfiny, a joint development between E Ink and Sony Semiconductor Solutions. The ALTERIC NOTE is the first product from the collaboration, and will be sold in Japan by Conexio, a group company of ITOCHU, to address the needs of businesses undergoing their digital transformation from a paper-intensive environment, to one that focuses on a more sustainable solution with increased efficiencies.

E Ink’s electronic paper, with its extremely low power consumption, can help businesses meet their goals of building products that help to improve the environment and that can achieve their carbon neutral goals. ITOCHU has a corporate strategy to conduct business under sustainable development goal (SDG) mandates, and believes that E Ink’s ePaper technology aligns closely with this corporate direction.

“We are excited for this first eNote device launched with ITOCHU,” stated Naoki Sumita, president, E Ink Japan. “Japanese businesses are looking to increase their efficiencies, and reduce waste, and this product can help them do both. We look forward to new products with ITOCHU in the coming years.”

“We are delighted to announce ALTERIC NOTE as the first collaboration product with E Ink,” added Hiroshi Kajiwara, COO, ICT Division, ITOCHU, “ITOCHU and Conexio will each distribute the device through their respective network to meet the customer needs of digital transformation through ALTERIC NOTE.”

Electronic notebooks, or eNotes, with E Ink’s display technology, offer customers a similar writing experience as that of writing on paper, in addition to being lightweight and easy to carry. In addition, E Ink’s reflective technology works off the same premise as paper, reducing eye-strain to the device user. In November 2021, E Ink was awarded the “Paper-Like Certification” from TÜV Rheinland, certifying that ePaper products offer a high level or reading and visual comfort.

In 2021, the COP26 international climate conference took place with the goal to secure global net-zero emissions by mid-century and keep a maximum of 1.5°C degrees of warming within reach. Net zero means total emissions are equal to or less than the emissions removed from the environment. E Ink’s technology can help organisations reach their net-zero goals by saving electricity, and by reducing their paper usage in note taking and paper printing within an office or school.

E Ink has been studying the CO2 effects of displays using paper or LCD vs. electronic ink displays. Findings have shown significant CO2 savings with the use of E Ink displays. As an example, a financial institution with 125 branches saves 16.5M of A4 paper sheets each year when they adopt an eNote using E Ink’s technology, and contributes approximately 1100 tonnes of CO2 reduction each year. In the past 5 years, 130 million eReaders have been in use globally, replacing the purchase of paper editions of books. It is estimated that paper books would emit more than 100 000 times the CO2 vs. eReaders with an E Ink display and LCD devices would emit more than 50 times the CO2 vs. eReaders throughout that time. Over the past seven years, 600 million ESLs of around 3-inches in size have been installed worldwide. If it is assumed that the price and information changes 4 four times a day, single-use paper price tags would create 32 000 times CO2 versus ESLs using E Ink’s displays. In the last five years, 900k digital signs have been deployed; those using LCD displays emit 20 times the level of CO2 vs. digital signage using E Ink displays.

Caption: The new eNote is targeted to B2B industries to help in reducing their carbon footprint (photo: E Ink)

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