In business, every decision, policy or process usually results in the creation of a document. Most of these documents are printed at least once during their lifespan, sometimes multiple times.
While businesses can’t go completely paperless, here are some tips and emerging technologies that will not only save your organization money, but decrease your environmental footprint at the same time:
1. Stop and think
Before you click the print button, ask yourself if you really need a hard copy of the document. Perhaps scanning and sending it by email will suffice. TurboScan is an excellent app that easily scans your documents and saves them as .pdf or jpeg files.
2. Centralize your printing
When printing, choose a centralized multifunction printer (MFP) instead of the ink jet that may be located on your desk. Unless the printed documents are sensitive in nature, or the central location just isn’t that accessible, centralizing your printing can help clear some space on those desktops around the office.
3. Power down
Set the power save option on all printers and copiers to reduce electricity use during downtime and when the office is closed.
4. Use default preferences
Set the default printing preferences to black and white, or greyscale, for all devices with the option for color output. Black toner and ink is much less expensive than yellow, cyan or magenta.
5. Go two-sided
Paper comes with two blank sides—consider using both when printing. Most devices offer two-sided printing and almost all copiers have the duplex feature as well.
6. Try the print draft option
Unless you are printing a document for distribution or a presentation, choose the print draft option to reduce the amount of toner required per page.
7. Spread the word
Identify the departments or individuals who tend to print relatively high volume amounts and share these tips with them to reduce waste.
Ask your copier company if they have a recycling program for empty toner cartridges. When ordering new cartridges, check if reusable toner cartridges are available for your printer model.
9. Get efficient
Replace old copiers and printers with newer more energy efficient devices that have built in private print and user authentication options.
10. Consider print management software
For businesses with 20 or more users, consider investing in a print management system. One I highly recommend at a reasonable cost point is PaperCut. This software helps you save money and reduce printer waste and supports all major operating systems, including mixed environments.
It’s important to establish a culture that understands reducing the use of paper isn’t a one-time event. Printing is an important part of any business and can be effectively managed to minimize costs and reduce the impact on your budget.