10 Signs You Should Invest In a Sustainable Print Strategy
‘Sustainable print strategy.’ When you read a term like that you can be forgiven for thinking of it as a kind of new-age approach to printing in the workplace. Recycled paper, signs and email footers encouraging everyone not to print things unnecessarily, that sort of thing. But it goes way beyond that. Designing, implementing and maintaining an efficient and sustainable print strategy can transform your business in more ways than you might imagine.
Face it; your organisation spends a lot of money on printing. Certainly much more than you’d like, anyway. If you added up the actual cost, you’d probably be a little shocked. Companies can shell out anywhere from 1% to 3% of their annual revenue on printing – which is just crazy. So there’s a real business case for being smart with what you commit to paper and how you go about it.
Developing a more sustainable approach to your printing isn’t just about ticking a few ‘environmental’ boxes, though. There’s so much more to it than that.
Here are ten indications that your working environment could benefit from a more sustainable print strategy. If you can identify with any of the signs below, we think it’s about time you looked to revolutionise your business’ print strategy…
1. Our Running Costs Are Running too High
Offices packed full of large whirring printers, continuously producing copies, reports and other documentation… It’s costly. There’s the price of buying or leasing the units, the maintenance contracts, the consumables, plus those pesky energy bills. If your running costs are running away, something needs to be done.
But just how much money can you save with a sustainable print strategy? Well, why not find out an approximate amount by using a tool like PaperCut’s ROI Calculator or this Print Awareness Tool from Xerox?
2. We’re Spending Too Much on Print Consumables
Xerox specifically design next-generation printers to use the same consumables as previous models, so you never build up an enormous stockpile of toners in your stationery cupboard that you’ll never use. But most other printer manufacturers do not.
The more printers you have and the more printing you do, the more consumables you’ll need and the more money it’ll cost you. A smart print strategy avoids this.
3. We’d Like to Make Our Workforce More Personally Accountable
Hopefully, you already ask your employees to adopt a ‘Think Before You Print’ mindset. But to truly reinforce that approach, you have to lead by example. People are creatures of habit, but once the benefits of sustainable printing are presented, you’ll soon find that everyone embraces it. After all, who doesn’t want to help save the world?!
4. Some of Our Workflows Could Be More Efficient
Sloppy or even non-existent print strategies allow for inefficient processes. So there’s too much printing going on and too much filing? A little thought and a new approach will see your workflows run a lot leaner and a lot more coherently.
5. Printers are Affecting Our Working Environment
Put one too many printers into an office, and before you know it, the room is no longer a pleasant place to be. There’s the heat factor, of course. And the smell. But more worrying than that, there’s the health aspect. Ozone emissions are a real threat with particular types of printers. The gases, fumes, and particles found in spaces with too many large and active printers can pose a real problem. It’s your responsibility to do something about it. You have a duty of care.
6. Our Energy Consumption is Currently Too High
If your offices have too many printers and it seems like they’re always in action, then your energy bills are going to, understandably, reflect that. Energy conservation is vital in cutting unnecessary costs in the business. Turn off lights at night. Make sure computers and equipment are fully shut down at the end of the day. Don’t have large printers working from 9-5 when they don’t need to be.
7. There’s Pressure on Us to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
There’s ‘pressure’ on all businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. But don’t see it as an obstacle, see it as a challenge. Embrace it. Print less. Waste less. Making changes to how you organisation prints is an excellent way to do your bit and cut down your impact on the environment.
8. We’re Worried About Sustainability Fines
Okay, this isn’t going to be a huge concern for most small to medium-sized enterprises, but for larger firms? Legislation around environmental impact is tougher than ever before, and fines and levies can be steep. Bring in a sustainable strategy for your printing, and that’s one less thing for you to have to worry about.
9. Our Brand’s Image Could Be Better
There are plenty of excellent reasons for rethinking your approach to printing in the office. Not least of all is PR. That may sound a little tacky and superficial, but if you embrace change and reduce your carbon footprint, it reflects well on you. If anything, it’s expected of you nowadays. Not doing your level best with regards to the environment can be a big black mark against your company’s name.
10. Our Employees Are Concerned About Our Environmental Impact
Maybe you’re slacking behind your employees. If there are whispers about the place that the business’ policy around printing isn’t green enough, then take note. It’s probably not. Rectify it, though, and you’ve listened to, responded to and rewarded your staff’s feedback.
Congratulations, you’re now saving money, running a more efficient, cleaner and nimble operation and you’ve motivated your workforce. That’s good work!
As you’ve seen, there are a plethora of reasons to establish and maintain a sensible, efficient and sustainable print strategy in your organisation. But why stop there? Think about it. Do you even need to print as much as you do? If you automated your workplace, would you even need to print at all…?
It’s certainly one to ponder.
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