Here are some sobering stats for you. Between 2010 and 2060, the global consumption of pulp and paper is expected to double. Paper currently accounts for about 26% of all waste in landfills, and about 42% of global wood harvest is used for making paper.
In other words, we’re printing way too much.
That might seem like a strange thing for a print management company to say, but it’s true. If we want to shrink our printing footprint – and printing budgets – we should only print the documents we actually need.
The good news is eco-friendly printing and sustainable printing are definitely possible. With the right print management software, you can reduce costs, reduce paper consumption, reduce waste, and reduce late-night spreadsheet migraines. Sounds good, right? Here’s how print management software encourages sustainable printing.
What is sustainable printing?
Sustainable printing is the catch-all term for practices and technologies that minimize the environmental impact of printing. This covers everything from paper sourcing to print management software to proper office recycling. It usually involves using materials more efficiently, reducing office waste, and only printing when you absolutely have to.
It’s best to think of sustainable printing as an overarching ethos, rather than a simple cost-cutting exercise. It’s about using less, but also working smarter, more thoughtfully. At every step of your printing journey, think to yourself, “Could this be done more sustainably?”
The role of print management software in sustainable printing
So how does print management software factor into sustainable printing? Well, simply, if you can better monitor what you’re printing, it’s easier to change your printing habits. With print management software, IT managers and office administrators can track and analyze printing behaviors , see which departments are using the most paper, follow user trends, and spot opportunities to eliminate unnecessary printing.
It’s basically a way to make eco-friendly printing more efficient: print management lets you implement the strategies with the biggest cost-benefit ratio. No more guesswork, just good data.
Does print management software also reduce costs?
Short answer: yes. Setting up a good print management system can definitely reduce costs. Without such a system in place, office printing can quickly degenerate into the wild west: staff can print any job, on any printer, at any time.
There’s no oversight of printing consumption or habits, so tracking your spend is almost impossible. Staff won’t tend to prioritize eco-friendly printing solutions, like duplex printing, so you go through paper like it grows on trees…
According to The World Counts , 50% of business waste is composed of paper. That’s a huge potential cost saving right there. Of course, this is just the tip of the toner cartridge. Eco-friendly printing is really a holistic practice, and there are plenty of opportunities to stretch your budget further: using recycled, lower-GSM paper, sustainable cartridges, recycling schemes, staff training, print management policies. The list goes on and on.
Eco-friendly printing tips for more sustainable printing
Okay, let’s look at some practical tips for eco-friendly printing. These are some things any office can quickly do to cut costs and shrink their print budget.
Measure your printing – The first step to fixing any problem is figuring out what that problem is. In this case, it’s knowing how much paper you’re using. Use your print management software to track how much paper you’re going through each week, each month. Generate reports on this use and present them to management.
Add Secure Print Release - this is the feature that created a company (PaperCut, in case you were wondering). Secure Print Release ensures documents are only printed when the user identifies themselves at the printer, using a swipe card or PIN or similar. This saves a huge amount of unwanted documents from being printed and discarded.
Duplex printing – Duplex or double-sided printing is the quickest way to literally halve your paper usage. With print management software, you can quickly configure duplex as the default setting on all your office printers, or even give users prompts at the time of printing.
Stick to black and white – Could this color document have been in black and white? 99% of the time, the answer is yes. Color printing uses more expensive toners and inks, so printing in grayscale or black and white will help you cut costs and stretch your print budget further.
Implement print quotas – Use your print management software to set individual print quotas, assigned to each employee. If staff want to print excess documents, you can even set up a small charge facility. Quotas and charging both incentivize good printing habits – and less waste.
Training and context – With print management software tracking every job, it’s easy to share your eco-friendly printing progress with the wider team. The more you talk about sustainable printing, the more you share tips and progress, the better your chances of changing behavior.
Want to cut costs with sustainable printing? Give PaperCut a call . Our friendly team can help you set up a print management solution to maximize your budget and shrink your footprint.
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