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Change the environmental impact reference values

This page applies to:

One of the primary aims of PaperCut NG/MF 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.

Environmental statistics figures that can be used to assess the impact that your paper usage has had on the environment include:

  • Trees worth of paper used
  • Carbon emitted to produce the amount of paper used
  • Energy used to produce the amount of paper used

The Environmental Impact area is available to end users on the User web interface summary page. (See Environmental Impact for more details.) Administrators can view the impact of a user and a printer via the details pages in the PaperCut Admin web interface.

Environmental Impact Reporting

In order to provide these statistics, PaperCut uses figures based on cited sources. For example, to calculate the number of trees consumed PaperCut performs the simple calculation: paper used x pages per tree = trees consumed.

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

TreesThis value corresponds to a 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. This value is set by the config key: environment.sheets-per-tree
CarbonThis 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.

The default value takes into 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 do not use the device.

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

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

Change the environmental impact reference values

Adjusting the values used in the environmental impact calculations can be done by updating the config keys in the table above, to the value that you prefer.

  1. Click the Options tab. The General page is displayed.

  2. In the Actions menu, click Config editor (advanced).

    The Config Editor page is displayed. See Using the Advanced Config Editor for more information on using the config editor.

  3. Edit the value for any of the config keys described in the above table.

    • environment.sheets-per-tree
    • environment.co2-grams-per-sheet
    • environment.watt-hours-per-sheet