The instruction to think before you print is not new by any standards, but though many people have the line embedded into their email signatures, they are not actually following through with their actions. Any business that makes use of a printer scanner copier fax solution may be encouraging others to think before they print, but by not doing it themselves, are not playing a part in saving the environment and in addition, may be wasting money that the business cannot afford to lose.
So how does saving the environment with smart use of printers save you money? When considering the resources used in printers, wasting ink, paper and electricity comes with costs not just to the world’s natural resources but to your business. This is an obvious assumption to make, since buying printer ink and toner, A4 packages of paper and paying your electricity bill are all costs you know about. But, as a secondary concern, careless use of these resources drives the prices of them up, which affects your business adversely in the long term.
The costs to the environment too are not as obvious as you may have thought. While wasted paper means more trees are cut down, and use of electricity puts a strain on natural fuels, ink plants, paper processing mills and even electric substations have to drive up their costs, and the use of natural resources in order to keep up with production demands. This means more water is used, more unnecessary gases are released into the air and land is destroyed in the use of other resources.
So what can you do to ensure your business makes good on ‘think before you print’ instruction? Well, most printing businesses, the types that offer printers for hire and printers for sale, advise their clients to adopt a ‘top-down’ approach, encouraging management and executive level decision makers to act, and then encourage their staff to do the same. This means ensuring there are sufficient recycle bins in place all over the premises, both for paper and ink cartridges, and that staff actually make use of them.
Another solution is to implement managed document services for printing, that give you the tools to track who is printing what and how much. This allows you to address the issue on a one-to-one level, advising staff members who print out their daily horoscopes and those who make copies of almost everything for almost everyone to reduce their print footprint. A good services provider in this field, such as DocX, should be able to assist with managed solutions and advice for all staff on reducing printing costs and working together towards becoming truly ‘green’.