“Going green” used to be a low priority for businesses—just a side project to give their PR a boost—but that’s not the case anymore. The term has evolved and expanded into “sustainability,” a concept that lives at the heart of many businesses today.
Not only are millennials more likely to purchase from a sustainable company, but businesses across the world are adopting corporate sustainability initiatives to reduce waste while also increasing productivity, reducing costs, and improving brand image. With benefits like that, it’s a no-brainer why this ideal has become a business imperative, and it’s never been easier to pursue these initiatives, especially from a tech standpoint. Even something as simple as printing innovations can make a big difference in your office.
Reduce your environmental impact with printing innovations
Some realities of office printing can seem scary from an environmental perspective—like the sheer amount of paper trashed when it gets jammed in an old, inefficient printer. Or how about those used-up toner cartridges? A total of one million empty cartridges get thrown out every day—despite the availability of free recycling.
The waste associated with old-school printers is more than just tossed-out pages and cartridges, though—it also includes the packaging of replacement supplies, chemicals produced when manufacturing those replacements, and other sources. The true cost of waste can be 25 times as much as disposal. The impact of old printers may be bigger than the lines on your CFO’s balance sheet.
Luckily, the latest in printing tech is working incredibly hard to change that. Businesses who upgrade to smarter hardware can achieve:
- Significantly lower energy usage
- Reduced paper waste
- More efficient use of consumables
Move away from traditional disposal
Printers don’t need to contribute to the old model of “make, use up, and throw away.” You can instead shift toward what’s known as the circular economy. Today’s printing innovations are heavily focused on allowing you to recycle, refurbish, and reduce the environmental impact of your necessary printing load. This can include:
- Upcycling printer components
- Implementing sustainable infrastructure with smarter software and services
- Automating supplies replenishment
- Trading in old printers for newer, more environmentally friendly ones
Manage printing to cut back on waste and costs
Paper-intensive business workflows won’t disappear anytime soon. The solution to printing with sustainability in mind while maintaining and improving business productivity actually lies in smarter paper management. Steps to significantly reduce your impact and maximize your use of printing equipment should include:
- Assessing your current usage to identify hidden inefficiencies
- Configuring your print fleet to maximize the location and technical accessibility of your printers
- Setting up procedures for proactive support, maintenance, and supplies management
- Comprehensively using metrics to support data-driven corporate sustainability efforts
- Implementing intelligent workflow management for productivity and sustainability
For pharmaceutical company Merck, a movement toward better corporate citizenship included partnering with a managed print services (MPS) provider to follow the above suggestions. Their results included:
- 80 percent reduction in print devices
- 40 percent reduction in print output
- Ongoing workflow improvements, including immediate results
- Reduction of several million printed pages each month
Merck Global Client Services Delivery Director Drew Pawlak believes that, “Implementing a managed print solution is just the beginning. It creates a foundation that enables reductions in waste, introduces new business capabilities, and streamlines workflow process.”
What would the world look like without the printing innovations of today? It’s hard to say, exactly, but you’d likely be looking at billions more wasted pages each month, countless cubic square feet of landfill space, significantly higher energy usage, and other sources of environmental impact. Smarter printing is a major win for the environment—and for your business.