For some time now, there has been a focus on ‘paper free’ offices, pushing everything into the cloud and while this is a great ambition, it’s simply not practical for many industries today and many areas of business. So, how to reduce printing costs and run an environmentally sustainable office?
In Highline Office Technology, we use the term ‘paper-light’ office instead. And what do we mean by ‘paper-light’.
It simply means reducing the print levels to what is absolutely necessary and creating more accountability within your office to have cloud-based solutions and document management solutions that tie in with your print strategy. There are still ways that printing can be managed more holistically and in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable fashion. Let’s take a look at a few of these:
- Buy-in: For us, it’s about buy-in. The philosophy and ethos of reduced print or better print management have to be a company policy that’s integrated into the mindset of staff from the get-go, e.g. via the company handbook and so on
- Print settings: Have your business’s general manager or IT technician set the default print mode to double-sided printing as a minimum standard. There are other printer settings that allow other formats, such as creating booklets, which help further reduce the paper and toner consumption. It’s worth doing a tutorial to your office on the ‘how to’, so that everyone is on the same page!
- Go Mono: Only print in black and white, unless absolutely necessary to print documents in colour. You can go one step further in print settings and choose ‘grayscale’ to further reduce ink consumption.
- Print Audit: Ask your service provider to carry out a print audit of your current printers & photocopiers to assess your volume and output. The older the machine, the more costly it will be to run, as they aren’t as energy efficient and don’t necessarily have all of the latest technologies to help you reduce your print consumption. An analysis of your print fleet could save your business a lot of time and money. When you know what you are facing, it’s easier to decide on new policies that are sustainable; that’s also a step towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). If you are not sure if the photocopier or printer that you currently have is the right one for your business, take a look at our blog on this topic of ‘choosing the right printer or photocopier’.
- Managed Print Services: After carrying out a print audit, it’s a great idea, especially for bigger offices that run multiple projects simultaneously, to have print rules implemented for print jobs. Codes are assigned to people or to jobs within your business, so all printing is done in a more controlled environment. This leads to more accountability and less waste overall. According to Statisticbrain.com, in Western Europe, we consume 393.98 pounds of paper per person. That’s a staggering figure!
- PaperCut: Install PaperCut NG or PaperCut MF as a way to encourage your office to become more environmentally and economically friendly, increase security, develop responsible print policies, redirect large print jobs to the most effective printer in your office and generally reduce print abuse. To find out more, have a look at our blog on how PaperCut Can Benefit Your Business.
- Recycled Print Cartridges: Nowadays there are multiple businesses both online and offline that sell recycled print cartridges. There is no doubt that this does save money, but please be very aware of the pitfalls. The quality of your print will decrease, service calls will increase, as the machine parts will need to be changed more frequently. Take a look at our blog on 9 Top Tips for Printer & Photocopier Maintenance for more advice on this topic and how to manage your toners.
If you have other hints and tips that you would like to share with us about ways that you’ve reduced print and reduced your business costs, please do share them with us. We’ll update this blog and share the tips with everyone, so we’re all getting better together.