The dream of the paperless office is for many businesses, just that, a dream. Most companies simply can’t sustain an entirely paper free environment, no matter how hard they try. Records need to be kept, contracts need to be signed, hard copies are needed for meetings and training, publicity material needs to be mailed and communication has to be prioritised. So it is vitally important that we use our business printers and photocopiers responsibly in order to minimise waste, along with recycling and other green initiatives.
But saving paper does far more than improving your business’s green credentials. Most importantly it can save your office a lot of money. Considering how much you may have invested in business printing, with buying printers and photocopiers, paying service fees and ordering printer accessories and consumables, it makes sense to minimise running costs as well. The golden rule is, if you cut waste, you cut costs.
Breaking bad habits
When it comes to printing solutions, many of us fall into bad habits, which can be hard to break. But studies show that the more proactive the management team is at encouraging economical printing, the greater the long term success will be. All of these money saving tips are easy to achieve and require no initial outlay. Whilst individually the savings may be small, over time and when combined the benefits will really be felt:
- The simplest way to save money on your business printing is to reduced usage, so raise awareness and make sure that electronic communication is being fully utilised.
- Reuse paper where possible for internal documents. If your printer has multiple trays, designate one for paper which has already been used on one side.
- Use the print preview function to check for any mistakes before printing.
- Set your default printer mode to duplex printing, so that you automatically print on both sides. You can also print more than one page on each side of a document.
- Utilise the digital document storage facilities. The majority of printers and photocopiers will have the facility to email documents or save them to a USB stick.
- Most printers will have a hibernation or standby mode which uses less electricity. Make sure that this is enabled. Today’s sophisticated printer and photocopier models will take very little time to warm up again.
- Always switch off printing devices at the end of the working day.
- Place a cap on how many pages can be printed or copied on each machine in one batch.
- Print consumables such as ink can be professionally refilled far more cheaply than purchasing a brand new one. If not, many suppliers reward toner and ink recycling with discount vouchers.
- If you are looking to purchase a new, more energy efficient machine, consider buying cheaper refurbished printers and photocopiers or renting from a reputable supplier. Always search for Energy Star approved equipment, guaranteed to have the highest efficiency ratings.
There are lots of initiatives and agencies out there who are able to help. Speak to your local council about reducing waste or look for more money and paper saving tips at the WWF.