Six Ways to Reduce Your Office Printing Footprint

Reducing your office’s consumption of energy and paper for financial or environmental reasons needn’t compromise the quality of your printed output. Here we offer six ways you and your office can cut your printing footprint, helping cut costs, and reduce emissions and paper costs.

Printing documents

1. Considered Model Selection

One of the major concerns for leading printer manufacturers over the past decade has been reducing the amount of energy their machines use. By accommodating lower energy consumption with no reduction in quality, printer manufacturers are building machines to fit into the long-term strategies of energy efficient offices and companies.

Look out for accreditations such as Blue Angel and Energy Star when selecting printers for the office – these indicate the energy-saving qualities of the printer which could benefit your workplace.

Printer specialists, Printerland, explain the benefits: “Even if you are paying slightly more for an Energy Star accredited printer, the long-term savings could soon offset the initial spend. Additionally, these machines can help reduce the environmental impact of your office’s operations.”

2. Paper Selection

If your office uses a high volume of paper for printing jobs, it is prudent to carefully consider your paper supplier. Seeking a supplier who offers paper orders in bulk could save you money and reduce delivery costs – effectively decreasing the amount of fuel used by the supplier.

Additionally, seeking a local supplier can reduce the CO2 emissions released during the delivery process.

3. Improved Habits

Perhaps the simplest and quickest method to implement when aiming to reduce the office’s printing footprint is to improve the habits of the entire workforce, yourself included. Stress the importance of checking, double-checking and triple-checking all documents/emails/websites before printing. This is particularly important when printing directly from the web – continuing without print preview could result in print outs of reams and reams of unwanted webpages.

4. Duplex Printing and Copying

By simply switching to double-sided copying and changing other habits, the Bank of America reduce their paper usage (and subsequently paper costs) by 25%. The other habits changed by the bank to save on paper costs included the use of lighter-weight paper and increased usage of online forms and reports.

Furthermore, Citigroup Financial Services discovered that the company could save up to $700,000 if all their employees switched to double-sided printing. Saving money and halving paper consumption.

An office worker prints document
photo credit: Peter Clark / Flickr

5. Solid Inks

The number of solid ink printers produced by the major manufacturers continues to grow, largely thanks to the environmentally-friendly ink cartridges. As a solid block of ink rather than a fluid, the ink does not need an outer plastic casing – reducing the amount of wastage produced by the office. The printer melts the solid ink within the machine, so it is then applied to the paper without a loss of quality.

6. Go Electronic

The most common footprint reduction technique used in modern offices is the transition to electronic document and file sharing. Using cloud storage tools such as OneDrive and Dropbox makes it incredibly simple to share files with colleagues, partners and clients without necessitating print outs or copies.