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How to keep office printing eco-friendly

May 23, 2018

BusinessMatters has published an article outlining 7 key ways in which businesses can print while at the same time keeping their environmental impact to a minimum.

As the article explains, “going truly paperless is still a far-off prospect, especially for more established and traditional businesses”, with the majority of UK businesses (90 percent, in the public sector and in financial services) printing documents just because they require a signature.

Fortunately, there are a number of options and strategies available for companies that want to lessen their environmental impact – and, perhaps, save some money too.

Firstly; businesses should consider how they can minimise their printing practices, with the article explaining that “there are numerous ways to electronically sign documents”, many of which are “legally compliant”. Taking advantage of an electronic signature system cuts down on printing, and also makes documents easier to store as they can be kept in digital form.

Another way businesses can reduce their printing is by foregoing “handouts” at meetings and training sessions. Once again, if such documents are needed, create and distribute them digitally either before, during, or after the session.

However, when printing becomes “unavoidable”, there are 7 steps you can take to minimise your environmental impact.

  1. Avoid in-house printing where possible

By outsourcing your printing, companies can “often save time and money”, and you can help the environment too if you choose a professional printing company that “uses carbon neutral shipping methods and printing processes”.

  1. Cut down on printers

The best business strategy is for companies to have a “single, well-specified device for all office printing”, rather than using a number of printers, each of which will require pricey consumables to keep functioning.

  1. Opt for duplex

Many printers, even “relatively low-end inkjet” models, come with an automatic duplex feature which allows you to use double-sided printing. This can reduce your paper usage by half.

  1. Choose the economy setting

Instructing your company’s IT department to make the “draft” or “economy” mode the default for your office printer will mean “considerably less ink” or toner is used, while the print quality remains “perfectly adequate.”

  1. Recycle

Setting up a good recycling practice is crucial for any business that wants to have a positive, rather than negative, impact on the environment. Toner and inkjet cartridges can easily be recycled, as can paper; installing easily accessible recycle bins at your workplace will help office staff become more proactive when it comes to recycling.

  1. Go black and white where possible

Cutting down on your use of colour will also cut down on your usage of full sets of colour cartridges.

  1. Discourage your staff from printing

Last but not least, try and dissuade your employees from printing by creating an office culture where “printing is the exception, not the rule”. Offer helpful alternatives, such as tablet devices, and choosing not to print unnecessarily will soon become “a habit” among employees.

 

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