3 ways to create a healthier print environment

May 16, 20194 minute read

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Printing can be one of the most logical areas to introduce more environment-friendly practices within your organization. New printing technology makes it easier than ever for tech leaders to reduce energy usage and curb wasteful practices, but many businesses still struggle to launch and maintain sustainability efforts within the print environment.

Why? In many cases, companies do not fully commit to “healthier” printing due to assumptions that the associated practices will be costly and threaten efficiency. While most organizations are initially on board with corporate sustainability initiatives, devotion tends to diminish once those efforts become expensive or inconvenient.

But here’s the kicker: sustainability in the printing industry can actually streamline processes for employees and save your organization money. In fact, managed print services reportedly reduce IT overhead by as much as 30 percent. In other words, if you’ve been avoiding overhauling your printing processes because you don’t think it’s a worthwhile investment, it may be time to make some changes.

Here are three ways successful organizations are creating a greener print environment while cutting costs and boosting productivity.

1. Update your printing workflow with managed print services

How many times have you inadvertently printed too many copies, sent your print job to the wrong place, or printed a several-page document single-sided? Now imagine how many times mistakes like these happen each day across your entire organization—even for a small business, there’s likely a lot of wasteful printing going on.

Fortunately, managed print services (MPS) can help streamline your printing workflow and reduce these inefficiencies to help save on energy, money, and headaches. For instance, after MetLife implemented HP Managed Print Services, the company was able to track individual print jobs, introduce mobile printing, and increase duplex printing. These upgrades had the added benefits of shrinking the firm’s carbon footprint and reducing costs.

Similarly, the German tool manufacturer Wolfcraft cut the number of printing devices in its employ by 30 percent by using HP MPS, which helped the company meet its goals of lower power consumption and increased efficiency.

Even simple improvements, like automatic two-sided printing and required user-authentication for printing, can significantly reduce wasted paper and ink.

2. Communicate documents digitally

It’s 2019, and everyone in your organization likely has a screen within arm’s reach at all times. Even if your employees aren’t lugging a laptop from meeting to meeting, 77 percent of American adults own a smartphone, according to Pew Research. So why do so many companies still insist on routinely printing, copying, and handing out multi-page documents?

Paper clutter is not conducive to clean desk policies, and the environmental and economic costs of unnecessary printing can also add up. MPS can help employees capture and distribute relevant documents to colleagues electronically, eliminating the need for hundreds of hard copies doomed for the wastebasket.

3. Commit to responsible hardware recycling

While plenty of organizations have already implemented some form of a recycling program, many haven’t yet created a plan for the responsible recycling of hardware. And when employees don’t know how to dispose of outdated and broken equipment properly, hardware often ends up in dumpsters, which affects the environment and can also create security risks.

Thanks to efforts at sustainability in the printing industry, MPS can assist with these challenges too. For example, HP Asset Recovery Services can help you remove and trade-in, donate, or recycle old equipment easily and securely. That way, your old printers won’t end up in landfills, and recycling them could help you earn a better deal on new equipment.

As your company continues to roll out new business sustainability strategies, don’t overlook your print environment. By committing to these three practices, you can cut costs, increase operational efficiencies, and limit your organization’s environmental impact.

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