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Is your printing solution saving the planet?

Every business, regardless of size, contributes to the wider impact on our environment. Organizations have a choice in how they do business and looking after the environment is a proactive choice. 
Taking steps to reduce the impact your organization has on the environment is often perceived as time consuming and expensive. But going green doesn’t have to impact your profit margins or make you lower your standards.
Addressing the environmental impact of your organization can include many elements, from cutting down on heating and cooling systems, to removing single use plastic from the office or reducing water usage. One great place to start looking for ways to trim your environmental impact is within your print environment.
Below we have 5 key eco-friendly ways your organization can become more economical and reduce your environmental impact:

Energy consumption

According to EnergyUseCalcu, commercial printers can use up to 50 watts on standby and 500 watts when printing.
Switch supplier: By switching to a renewable energy supplier or source you can save money and help the environment.
Optimize your print infrastructure: Your print infrastructure can consume significant power leading to increased CO2 emissions. By optimizing your print infrastructure you can reduce the number of printers and the number of servers required which not only reduces emissions but also costs.
Switch off: Look to turn machines off when they are not in use and activate standby modes when not in use.

Smart printing

A shocking fact is that on average, each office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year, which is more than 2 trees worth of paper, and much of this is swiftly discarded or lost. The Clean Air Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report that 27% of copy paper is in fact wasted. Printing fewer pages also results in using less energy. So, using less paper helps the environment, as well as your business’s bottom line.
Print Governance: Enforce grayscale and duplex printing where possible.
Pull Printing: Use an authentication option where a print job will only print when the user is at the machine ready to collect it thereby eliminating abandoned prints and minimizing wasted resources.

Recycled paper

Offices all over the world use reams of paper in vast quantities every day, and the impact can be devastating on our forests. Producing 100,000 sheets of paper from new sources requires over 8 trees and almost 2,000kWh of energy.
Use recycled: It is more energy efficient to create paper from recycled sources than to create it from scratch. Choose paper which has a high recycled element.

Look at the machines

Multifunction devices are often overlooked as a staple of office equipment, but there are a number of areas which need to be addressed to minimize their impact on the environment.
Managed print services: Centralize the management of your print services with a print management solution. (We are aware of a good one: YSoft SAFEQ!) You’ll discover that some printers are under-utilized or that personal printers are wasteful and, when used with pull-printing, are unnecessary.
Consumables: Track and act on how your machines use consumables such as ink and toner to aid waste reduction.


Printing produces vast quantities of waste paper daily, but also consumable waste such as toner cartridges and old printers. According to recent figures, it can take up to 1000 years for a cartridge to decompose. With it estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish, reducing and recycling plastic has never been more important.
Trash cans: Although pull-printing will reduce unwanted prints, it sometimes happens that an employee prints something and immediately sees a mistake. Place a bin to recycle scrap paper next to the printer and have clearly identified paper and plastic bins around the office.
Shredding: If the documents do not contain sensitive information, consider recycling them in-house by shredding and using them for packing material.
Cartridge collection: Find a local organization which will take your printer cartridges for recycling.

Measuring impact

Proving the impact of implementing green initiatives can be difficult. Implementing solutions that enable you to report on savings made on timber, CO2 emissions, energy and water help you to demonstrate the impact of your team’s efforts. These reports are not only useful in reporting back to your board but can also motivate your team to continue their endeavors in being green.

Save money, save the world

While the impact that organizations have on the environment can feel a little overwhelming, there is plenty that can be done to ensure that your organization’s print environment and methods can minimize that impact. Printing can be costly to both the environment and your bottom line, but by following the above suggestions you can support both sustainability and revenue objectives.

Have you implemented any of these strategies? We would love to hear about your environmental and printing challenges, please use the comments section below to share your experiences or questions.

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