How to Increase Sustainability With Managed Print Services

As vaccination rates increase, and businesses are spinning back up, there is a renewed awareness and desire to increase sustainable business practices. Investments in infrastructure are an opportunity to make those investments in a sustainable way. Managed Print Services are an effective way to reduce waste, reduce your carbon footprint, and save money at the same time.

Sustainable Business Practices are Important!

Today’s consumers, especially Millennials and GenZ are very concerned about the environment. They will hold companies accountable for their lack of environmental stewardship. That is just one reason why having sustainable business policies and sustainable business practices is a critical success factor for businesses.

As more Millennials assume positions of influence and leadership in the corporate world, their interest in environmental responsibility will drive their decisions about which companies they will do business with. Companies and businesses that don’t have a sustainability policy, and who don’t take active steps to “walk the walk” when it comes to dealing with global warming and climate change will find themselves losing business to organizations who are serious about green printing and other green initiatives.

To learn more about generational differences in the workforce, please click here.

What Size is Your Carbon Footprint?

For the purposes of this blog post, a carbon footprint is the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere by a particular activity of a particular group (in this case a business) over a particular period of time. This could be exhaust from cars and trucks, air pollution from factory farming, or the clear cutting and open burning of trees in a rain forest. All of these activities have a carbon footprint, which is typically measured as tons of CO2 per year.

More and more businesses are contemplating their emissions and trying to reduce or offset their carbon footprint. Many power companies and electrical co-ops now have programs whereby companies can opt to purchase 100% or some percentage of their electricity usage from renewable green energy sources like wind turbines or solar farms. The additional cost to use 100% clean energy is negligible in many cases. This allows most organizations to become completely carbon-neutral in their operations and it results in a smaller carbon footprint.

The Role of Managed Print Services in Green Initiatives

Most business owners and decision-makers are blissfully unaware of the contributions that printing and copying make to carbon emissions and therefore their carbon footprint. In fact, dry toner devices emit ozone, which interferes with plant photosynthesis, and indirectly contributes to climate change. Printers and copiers also use a lot of electricity in their operation, which depending on where your electricity comes from, could be increasing your carbon footprint and could also be wasting energy in the form of emitted heat. Black toner typically contains a large amount of carbon black, which also contributes to carbon emissions. Paper manufacturing has a huge impact on the environment as well. Managing your copying and printing devices can help reduce carbon emissions.

One way that a Managed Print program can help is to facilitate the recycling of used toner cartridges. Recycling cartridges saves energy and money versus manufacturing brand new ones. Plus recycling keeps used toner cartridges out of landfills where the plastic housings can take hundreds or thousands of years to break down completely. Managed Print Services are an eco friendly way to go green and reduce environmental impact.

Saving Paper Saves Trees and Saves Energy

Paper usage and waste is a major contributor to climate change. Paper manufacturing uses trees as the primary raw material. We all know that trees convert carbon into oxygen. The paper manufacturing process uses huge amounts of energy, water, and chemicals such as chlorine bleach. Additionally, paper plants often burn wood scrap for energy, which releases carbon emissions. Dioxin, which is a potent carcinogen, is a byproduct of the paper making process. The average internet user prints 28 pages per day, which works out to over 10,000 pages per year, which works out to over 2 cases of paper per person per year. And it is estimated that nearly half of that paper is wasted!

Print management software can help a lot. By using “pull printing” users must log on using a password or ID card before they can print. Rules for duplex, color printing, or total pages printed can be set for users, effectively modifying printing behaviors and saving paper.

There are also programs for paper use offset like PrintReleaf. These programs use software to measure paper usage and then replant enough new trees to offset paper consumption. You can learn more about PrintReleaf by clicking here.

How Does Print Management Software Help?

Print management software like PaperCut saves paper by reducing waste, and increasing paper savings through programs like auto-duplex printing, and behavior modification (“Do you really need to print so many pages?”). These programs also help by setting printing limits, allowing print jobs to be printed on the most energy efficient device, and they also protect privacy by eliminating sensitive documents from sitting in output trays where anyone can see them.

Do Older Devices Waste More Energy?

Yes, they do! Older devices lack the latest technologies like energy saving sleep modes, using LEDs instead of lasers, reducing ozone emissions, and more carefully controlled fusing temperature technology. Plus, older devices are more expensive to operate, require more maintenance and repairs, are less reliable, and are a significant security risk. Hackers have become skilled at using older print and copy devices as back doors to infiltrate networks and plant ransomware programs that can cost your business millions of dollars in losses. Why take a network security risk on top of poor energy management? Buy a new, secure, energy-efficient printer or energy efficient copier today!

Virginia Business Systems has been providing Managed Print Services and other sustainable, environmentally responsible printing and environmentally responsible copying solutions for our clients for over 65 years. Contact us today for a free evaluation!

August 16th 2021