Environmental Impact

One of the primary aims of PaperCut NG is to reduce printing levels by changing a user's printing behavior. Implementing monitoring, quotas and charging are a good way of drawing a user's attention to their habits. The topic of the environment, global warming, and waste management is currently an area of debate and interest to many. Highlighting the environmental aspects of their activities is another good way of modifying a user's behavior.

Draw a user's attention to their environmental impact

Figure 15.16. Draw a user's attention to their environmental impact

The Environmental Impact section is available to end-users via their web summary page (See the section called “Environmental Impact” for more details). Administrators also can view the impact of a user and a printer via the details pages in the admin interface.

The meaning of the reported values and how they are calculated are detailed below:



This value corresponds to percentage of a tree that has gone into making the paper. The value assumes the user is printing on standard A4 or Letter sheets and 8,333 sheets make up a tree. [a]

This value is set by the config key: environment.sheets-per-tree


This value corresponds to greenhouse gases released in the production of the paper (CO2 equivalent). The value assumes that the user is printing on standard A4 or Letter sheets and one sheet equals 12.7g CO2. This amount is equal to 2.5 metric tons of CO2 carbon equivalents per metric ton of paper. [b] [c].

The default value takes in account CO2 produced as a byproduct of the paper production only. It does not take into account the power consumed by the printer or power associated with the ink / toner use and production. Finding referenced figures on these values is difficult, and one could argue that the printer power consumption is not a function of the user's usage as the printer would be there consuming power even if they choose not to use the device.

This value is set by the config key: environment.co2-grams-per-sheet


This value represents the manufacturing energy used to produce the paper minus an energy credit created by burning the paper. The energy value is represented by relating it to the equivalent energy consumed by a standard light bulb. This provides users with a real world understanding of the value. This value assumes the user is printing a standard A4 or Letter sheet and that the manufacturing cost per sheet is 48Wh [b]. This is an appropriate amount for virgin office paper. 32Wh is more appropriate for 100% recycled paper [b] .

This value is set by the config key: environment.watt-hours-per-sheet

[a] A single tree can produce about 8,333 sheets of paper according to Tom Soder's study and reported in Claudia Thompson's book Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1992.

[b] Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator Version 3.2. For more information visit www.papercalculator.org.

[c] The Conservatree organisation indicates that there are about 200,000 paper sheets in a ton, http://conservatree.org/learn/EnviroIssues/TreeStats.shtml, retrieved April 2015.

Table 15.17. Environmental Impact Reporting


Config keys can be set from OptionsConfig editor (advanced).


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