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How to save 280,451 trees with one PaperCut feature

If you’re reading this you’re most likely at a crossroads with printing for your business. You’re then most likely asking yourself, “There must be better ways to print today?”

That line of questioning will lead you to ask if there are better ways to cut costs, better ways to keep your team safe, better ways for your workplace to be more flexible.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It just so happens we have a hub that addresses those questions (click the button below for more), but I digress …


With all that in mind, what if I were to tell you that one PaperCut feature does more than help you save costs?

What if I were to tell you that one PaperCut feature alone saved literally billions of pages from being printed?

Well good, because that’s what I’m here to tell you. I’ll also tell you why and how.

But first, a little about this quiet achieving feature.

Hold/Release usage scenarios

I’m talking about our simple Hold/Release functionality.

PaperCut has a vast array of features that implement a hold/release queue. We have an entire manual on these implementations:

  • Release Stations
  • Secure printing
  • Pay per print
  • Expensive printers
  • Delegated print release
  • Override/change account selection
  • Cancel jobs without accounts
  • Unauthenticated printing

So what does Hold/Release do?

Essentially, a hold/release queue has vital sustainable and security benefits. A lot of paper waste in workplaces is just forgotten documents. Or even accidentally printed documents. Whether you didn’t mean to hit CTRL+P or forgot that you did, that paper ends up in the bin.

Our various hold/release functions introduce a middle-point before that wastage can occur. Documents don’t just spit out will nilly, they need to be authenticated and released.

It goes deeper than holding and releasing pages. Depending on your restrictions and limitations, your paper saving efforts can be multiplied. Setting up auto-convert to grayscale means you’re saving on toner and ink cartridges and saving more precious resources.

Stop, data time!

But we know why you’re here. You want the numbers. Let’s roll up our sleeves and play with some data!

PaperCut hosts a cavalcade of paper-saving features, but the humble, quiet-achiever that is Hold/Release has literally saved billions of pages from being released.

It just happens that 3.41 billion sheets have been held on our customers’ print servers, but only 1.06 billion have been released (around 2.37 billion sheets, to be semi-precise).

That’s a LOT of print jobs that never actually released, because:

  • People printed duplicate copies and released one, but then didn’t release the others
  • People forgot about their print job they sent and just never released them
  • Print release is managed by teachers at a school, who only release legitimate work, and not a 4000-page guide to Fortnite

So, how many trees is that?

Well, if we divide that exact figure of 2,37 billion sheets by Tom Soder’s University of Maine study, we’ll get an estimate.

A word of caution, this will be an estimate only, same as Soder’s initial formula. However, the good news is it’s a conservative estimate. At the very least, we have a pretty solid baseline.

Soder calculated that 1 tree (approximately) makes 8,333.3 sheets of paper.

So if we divide our 2,337,000,000 sheets by 8,333.3 we get… 280,451 trees saved by one measly PaperCut feature.

Wow! How can I save some trees?

If you’re looking to cut down costs and not trees, Hold/Release is available in both PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF .

Have a read through our various Hold/Release usage scenarios and find out more about PaperCut’s waste control tools.


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