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How to Take an Environmental Approach to Print

It is becoming paramount for almost all organisations these days to reduce their environmental impact. For some it is mandatory: organisations have to meet targets that have been set by the government, or they have to achieve targets to reduce carbon output set out for large businesses. For some businesses, it is attractive to exhibit themselves as being an ethical and eco-friendly organisation, thus allowing them to appeal to a greater market or connect with companies demanding a sustainable supply chain.

Regardless of the motivation, a shift towards being more ecological makes economic sense (especially in the long-term) as wastage is reduced and efficiency is increased – so what steps can you take?

Using the correct hardware and software settings should be the first step to eliminate the vast majority of a workplace’s print waste. Changing the default printing settings to print double-sided and in black and white  – rather than single-sided, full colour prints –  will result in substantial savings in both paper and toner. Similarly, user authentication can be used when printing documents which ensures that documents are only printed when the user authenticates themselves at the print device itself, usually through use of an ID card. This ensures that the workplace is no longer littered with forgotten or unneeded print outs that will get thrown out without even being looked at.

Using more energy-efficient machines can also help to make your organisation more green. Newer print models have been designed to use much less electricity than their predecessors, reducing their carbon footprint whilst also reducing the overall cost of operation. You can select the most energy efficient model by checking the device’s Typical Energy Consumption (TEC) and comparing it with that of similar models.

Another way to be more environmentally-friendly is to go paper-free. Many organisations are choosing to digitise all of their documents and then store them on a network or on cloud-based storage, enabling staff to quickly find the information that they need without wasting time searching through paper documents for the one that they want. Moving to digital storage is also becoming more and more necessary as a greater number of workers are choosing to work from home or whilst on the move.