Greener Printing & Copying

Posted In Weaver Bomfords Blog   |   27th February 2017

Businesses produce 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, compared with 27% for households. Electricity consumed due to office equipment in the UK already costs £300 million each year and that figure is rapidly increasing, particularly with the continuing rise in energy prices.

There’s no getting away from the fact that printing and copying can leave a significant carbon footprint. A ream of paper might cost you less than a couple of pounds but much of the paper sold in the UK is imported, from as far away as Australia and Brazil. Add to that the amount of plastic toner containers, consumables and parts required to keep your machine working, the energy used by all the devices in your office (that no-one ever turns off), the disposable nature of many cheap printers and faxes (it’s cheaper to buy a new one than get the old one repaired) and you’re looking at your very own office environmental disaster!

There are simple steps you can take to reduce your consumption and make the printing and copying you do much more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Reduce paper waste

Set up a scanning solution to reduce unnecessary printing and copying. Scan to folder, scan to email and to your PC directly from the device.

Use fax forwarding. Fax machines are frequently left on 24 hours a day to receive incoming messages but they may only be in use for 5% of the time. Install the fax option on your MFP and use fax forwarding, eliminating the need to print them out.

Consider a follow-me print solution. Eliminate bad habits such as printing unnecessary documents and forgetting to collect them from the printer, by implementing a Follow-me solution that allows users to view jobs at the device, delete mistakes and print a proof copy. It can also enforce printing rules and quotas, reducing volumes and providing accurate management information.

Change print defaults. Enforce duplex printing to use both sides of the sheet and consider reducing print margins to maximise paper coverage. Default to mono printing to reduce toner usage.

Print on demand. Don’t throw away two hundred left over price lists because they’re out of date or a box of letterheads because a detail has changed. Instead, use the great quality and features available on your MFP to print them as and when you need them.

Consider the environmental impact of your equipment

Reduce the number of machines you have. Rather that ten printers, a scanner, a fax machine and a copier all consuming energy, toner and consumables, replace them with energy efficient MFDs to do everything. Not only will you save money on your direct printing costs, you will significantly reduce energy consumption.

Switch it off. An MFP left on overnight uses enough energy to make over 5,000 A4 copies Switch off equipment at the end of every day and only switch on when required the following day. Enable printer standby modes and print in batches where possible to allow the machine to spend more time in standby than idling. Newer machines start up faster, so employees are more likely to be happy about turning them off. Install a plug-in seven-day timer to reduce the likelihood of machines being left on out of hours.

Keep it cool. In an air conditioned office it can take half as much energy again to remove the heat generated by office equipment as it takes to run the equipment in the first place. Remove as many machines as possible and use naturally ventilated areas to locate your MFD. This will help avoid the air conditioning having to compensate for the associated heat gains.

Buy energy efficient products. Look for new generation devices that are Blue Angel and Energy Star compliant.

Make sure unwanted equipment goes to a good home. The Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive means that any old electronic equipment needs to be disposed of in accordance with its guidelines. Any company not conforming to these standards could be in for a hefty fine. Consider upgrading your equipment. There is still value in many copiers and printers once reconditioned and you may be able to benefit from a trade-in value against your new equipment.

Recycle empty cartridges and supplies. The plastics used in printer cartridges are made of an engineering grade polymer that have a very slow decomposition rate ranging from 450 to 1000 years, depending on the cartridge type. We have simple toner recycling systems that will collect and recycle your used toners and consumables.


If you are interested in Greener printing and copying and would like some more information, please get in touch.

Tel: 03456 123858

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