Sustainable Printing: 10 Steps To Help Your Office Reduce its Carbon Footprint
‘We are going paperless’. This is a statement that we often hear when we visit offices, but despite the era in which we live and that we are in the midst of digital transformation, we would suggest that offices are going and trying to deliver on a paper-lite solution. It’s a simple fact that paper is a still very much a part of business and this isn’t going to change any time soon.
Let’s take a look at 10 Steps To Help Your Office Reduce its Carbon Footprint. No doubt, your office is looking at ways to increase and improve its sustainability practices and it’s a great way to continue driving employee engagement and developing a story that will resonate with customers.
The key to any business success is measurement and if it’s not in writing, then it doesn’t exist. It is mission critical to implement a measurement process so that you can apply and decide on the metrics and report on them, month on month, to show progress. Engaging with tools that provide visibility on sustainability will help in this regard, e.g. reporting on reduction in energy consumption, hard copy and C02 footprint. Tools such as PaperCut, Canon’s Uniflow and Epson’s Print Admin will help in this regard.
- Encourage Responsible Behaviour
Following on from our blog 9 tips for achieving a sustainable office, encouraging responsible behaviours around print is critical. It’s always a good idea to have a CSR (corporate social responsibility) champion in the office who can guide and help implement changes. This person will also be responsible for reporting and engaging with the team. In order to implement change, it’s important to understand your offices current eco footprint in order to set a plan in place to reduce and improve. By educating employees and keeping the topic top of mind, by measuring and reporting, you will make the desired change over time.
- Reduce Paper Consumption
Implementing simple policies such as default duplex printing can really help save on paper and reduce your stationery bill. Authentication software such as ‘follow me print’, available with Uniflow, PaperCut and Epson Print Admin, make it possible to control when the print job is released from a device. Unprinted documents autodelete within a specified time period, therefore saving on unnecessary waste of paper. Some statistics say that implementing this software can reduce paper consumption by up to 30%.
- Reduce Power Consumption
Energy Star is the rating system used for devices and most manufacturers provide this. It’s important to be aware of the rating of the different brands and understand what impact this will have on your office. Many printers have ‘sleep mode’, which is an energy saving mode that will help reduce the amount of energy and therefore reduce costs.
Each of the brands that we align with in Highline Office Technology have strong sustainability and environmental credentials, which is one of the reasons that we chose them to work with. Canon run a collection of recycled printers called EQ80, which we’ll discover more about in a future blog. Epson printers use up to 98% less electricity due to their innovative technology.
- Print On Demand
Although most printers are seemingly grey boxes that spit out paper, the technology, software and engines that power them will be substantially different. Consider bringing in some of the print you currently outsource, in-house. If you have a ‘production’ level device, you can print high quality letterhead, compliment slips, posters, banners in house. You can print the quantity that you need and keep on top of all your company changes.
- Responsible Disposal of Obsolete Printers
Highline Office Technology dispose of all old and defunct printers, MFDs and faxes in a responsible manner and in line with WEEE guidelines. Toners and ink cartridges can be recycled. Epson offer a post back service for their ink cartridges. When getting rid of your old printers, make sure to find out if they have a hard drive. If they do, you should consider getting it taken out of the device and destroyed in line with GDPR requirements.
- Asset Management
Keeping outdated equipment wastes power because they are not energy efficient. They take up office real estate, cost unnecessary money to manage toner supplies, parts and consumables, plus dealing with different suppliers is costing your employees time. A Managed Print Service ensures that printers and office equipment are monitored and managed. Having preventative maintenance applied to printers and other devices will ensure a longer life span and efficient running devices. Utilising the reporting tools such as PaperCut, Uniflow and Epson Print Admin can help track paper and toner consumption, which in turn will help you control your assets in a more efficient manner.
- Consolidate Your Print Fleet
Many companies have a multitude of different printers, from desktops, to faxes, scanners, MFDs across a range of brands. This is costing your business precious time and money. By undertaking a health check and print audit survey, a full report can be created to account for volume, usage and output. It will also help identify over-used devices and cost-heavy devices, devices that are failing and require upgrade. By streamlining the print fleet you will save on costs, energy and time. After all, time is money.
- Integrating the Right Software to Help with the Digital Transformation Journey
We deal with manyy solicitors, as an example, who have to implement redaction of documents. Before using the nifty software e-Copy PDF Pro, they would print out the case file, ‘redact’ the appropriate text with a black marker, scan and print it out again and start the process all over. This is highly wasteful and time inefficient, especially when there is a much more secure solution that can be implemented at the press of a button that permanently redacts file on the computer – no need for print at all!
Other systems, such as Therefore, can help create automatic workflows that will help reduce the number of print documents required. By using the scanning function (OCR) on MFDs, particularly the Canon range of printers, you can distribute and store scanned documents to the files that you want via DropBox, SharePoint, Scan to Email, Scan to Folder, OneDrive etc.
- Choosing the Right Printer to Print From
Sending a large, colour document to a small desktop colour printer (assumption: you have a fleet of printers to choose from) will undoubtedly cost you a lot more money and the quality of the document might not be at the level you require, e.g. if it’s a client presentation. Integrating print management softwares such as PaperCut, Uniflow and Epson Print Admin affords you the opportunity to put in ‘rule-based’ printing solutions. You can choose which printer to use for certain print jobs, you can choose the most energy efficient and cost efficient printers in the office.
The Highline Approach
We understand that implementing change can seem daunting. We will never advise clients to try to change everything at once, as it will become overwhelming and hard to manage. The key is to start with a small change, integrate it, let it become the norm and then look at the next change to be implemented. We will help you understand the challenges, create a pathway and plan for implementing sustainable print policies and help you along your positive CSR journey.
Many of the solutions noted above will not cost a lot to implement, but they will save your office a lot of money. They will help drive and develop the conversation around sustainability and environmental practices in your office. They will become a part of your employee journey and the narrative to your customers about how your company is embracing change and doing its part for the environment.
If you would like to discuss any of the ideas mentioned in this blog, contact us today for a free consultation.
About Highline Office Technology
We are experts in printers, scanners, managed print service, document management solutions and shredders. We are specialists in ensuring that your office has fit for purpose equipment and software to allow you to focus on running your businesses securely and productively.