Print sustainability tips to reduce your workplace environmental footprint

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Have you noticed unnecessary wastage accumulating at printer stations in your workplace? Common signs of wasted resources include:

  • Everyone printing in colour.
  • Certain departments printing much larger volumes than others.
  • Certain people printing much larger volumes than others.
  • Your current printers don’t support multi-function devices, cloud connectivity or scanning features which means you can’t digitise your work.

With a few simple printing process adjustments you can create more sustainable practices and workflows that will please workers while protecting the bottom line. Consider what office printing involves:

  • the use of paper,
  • ink consumables and
  • energy.

By streamlining the management of these processes, your company can improve its print sustainability across three key areas and will determine whether your company lives up to its sustainable potential:

  1. Hardware use,
  2. Print features and
  3. Governance.

These three priorities are compatible and can be combined as part of an overarching printing strategy. Here’s how it all works together.

Smart selection of printers and consumables means prioritising modern print hardware and consumable use patterns can be monitored to avoid unnecessary environmental impact. Print feature and technology selection involves using your technology to its potential, embracing modes and options designed for efficiency. Governance and oversight can bring your sustainability plan together, finding potential weaknesses in workflows and implementing rules to limit waste.

Within each of those categories, you have options regarding how to make them fit your company’s strategy and needs. Here’s where it all goes wrong for lots of workplaces:

  • Selecting a device that’s not suited to workplace needs.
  • Wasteful toner and ink cartridge usage that has damaging effects on the environment and also impacts running costs.
  • Good intentions to create sustainable workplaces do not match the
    actions and outcomes of those intentions.

So, what’s the answer? You need tools that you can use and policies set to make sure your outcomes meet your goals. You can do this via a Managed Print Service (MPS) that can set sustainable rules and policies such as:

  • Page limits by user to prevent wastage or default two-sided (duplex) printing.
  • Follow-me print, which saves documents on a virtual print server and allows users to print where they are. If print jobs are not released as they may not be required, the print queues can be cleared daily, therefore not wasting resources on unnecessary print jobs.
  • Custom scripts for print management software can issue warnings when print jobs are surprisingly large, making sure wasteful jobs don’t occur by accident.
  • Document management systems and improved workflows that make digitised files easier to work with also contribute to print sustainability – if your company prints less often, it’s beneficial to all parts of your business.

Finding the right combination of these tactics will revolutionise the way your printing functions consume resources, from paper and toner to electricity. Printing is one of the primary business processes that can decrease environmental footprint when optimised, so you should waste no time in implementing a managed print solution.

Brother has partnered with dedicated print and document management specialists to provide innovative solutions for organisations small and large. Reach out to Brother for a free print assessment and move your workplace towards improved print sustainability. To get started, download the free Guide to Sustainable Printing.

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