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Sustainable Printing: Are you as eco-friendly as you can be?

Sustainable Printing: Are you as eco-friendly as you can be?

In the fight for a more sustainable future, workplaces are stepping up and doing their part for the planet. It’s as simple as changing everyday work practises to make them more eco-friendly.

Since we won’t become a paperless society anytime soon, printing is another business workflow that can be tweaked to become more sustainable. Perhaps you’re working on a printing policy that minimizes paper consumption. Or you’re the office’s “reduce, reuse, recycle” champion. Perhaps your office wants to be greener and you haven’t assessed your print waste yet.

Unchecked printing can burn through paper, ink, toner, and electricity. Wasting environmental resources and business operational expenses. Solving those problems literally founded our company. But you don’t need print management software to get started. Here’s a quick and easy guide for how your organization can effortlessly adopt environmentally friendly printing: 

Recycled paper: Is it eco-friendly?

Paper is by far the largest waste component in an office. In just one year, the average office worker uses roughly 50 kg of paper, equivalent to 10,000 sheets of A4 paper. That tells us paper waste is a huge slice of any business’s sustainability pie.

Opting for recycled products is the eco-friendly thing to do, including your choice of print paper. Many organizations have switched to recycled paper as it has an environmental advantage. 

Here’s what it can do: 

  • Close the loop since waste gets repurposed into other products
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in lumber and paper production 
  • Reduce global demand for wood which reduces deforestation

Not to mention, recycled paper uses fewer chemicals, less packaging, and fewer resources than paper from virgin fiber. Impressive for a humble ream of A4, right?

But heed this advice: Not all recycled paper is as green as marketed. Paper isn’t infinitely recyclable. Why? Because the fibers get too worn for reuse after being recycled 5–7 times. Somewhere down the line, virgin paper fibers get added to recycled paper manufacturing. Still, recycled paper is greener than making paper from fresh pulp. 

Even when using recycled paper, your best bet at saving more trees (and money) is reducing print waste. Small changes can make a big difference to your workplace’s carbon footprint. 

Read more:5 ways to save waste through sustainable printing

Energy-efficient multi-functional printers 

Multifunctional printers or devices (MFPs/MFDs), make managing documents easy. Surprisingly, they can also make eco-friendly printing easy. MFDs combine multiple devices into one, allowing you to print, scan, fax and photocopy and save energy. 

Here are the qualites that makes an MFD eco-friendly: 

  • Energy efficiency -Check the device’s Energy Rating Label. The greater the efficiency, the less harm on the planet. 
  • Toner consumption - Find an MFD with the lowest possible consumption rate to minimize the expenses associated with replacement cartridges.
  • Usage insights -Integrating print management software will reveal ways to streamline printing and give the device some downtime. 

If your Managed Print Services (MPS) lease isn’t up for renewal any time soon, and purchasing energy-efficient MFDs isn’t attainable in the near future, that’s okay. There are other ways to reduce the environmental impact of your organization’s printing.     

What other sustainable printing options could you put in place?

Switching virgin fiber paper for recycled and implementing energy-efficient MFDs are the basics of eco-friendly printing. But if you’ve already got them locked down, what else can you do to be more sustainable? Perhaps you’re stumped

Well, if you’ll indulge us, why not try print management software

We’ve picked three reasons you’ll love it:

1. Sustainability made simple

Our vendor-agnostic software allows easy printing from any platform or device, so you don’t have to give up on printing. We’ll help you do it eco-consciously.  

2. Set savvier printing habits

Eco-friendly printing policies nudge better behavior, helping workplaces use less paper and make sustainable printing the status quo.

3. Never stop improving 

Actionable reports give complete visibility into print insights to reveal how many trees you’re printing. That means less waste and more trees saved. Hooray! 

Bonus perk: Our Forest Positive printing program, PaperCut Grows, means your printer can shape a greener planet, literally. How? By turning pages printed into trees planted. 

Reduce waste one sheet of paper at a time

No matter where you are on your journey toward sustainability, congratulate yourself on your eco-efforts. Keep up the good fight! 

For over 20 years, PaperCut has developed print management software that reduces everyone’s environmental impact. We’d love for you to join the global movement toward becoming Forest Positive.

To learn more about how PaperCut MF can help you be more sustainable, click here.