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Green thinking, green printing: 5 tips to reduce your office's environmental impact

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More than ever, businesses across the world are working hard to trim their environmental footprint. And for good reason. Every business, both big and small, contributes to the wider impact on the environment. In Britain alone, businesses account for 31% of all of the country’s emissions. That’s why it makes sense for those with an environmental conscience to adopt planet-friendly practices in the office, as well as at home. 

Tackling your office’s environmental impact can be done in all manner of ways – whether that’s through the reduction of water wastage, cutting down on heating bills or implementing a comprehensive recycling program. One great way to start though is with your office’s printing habits. Printing plays an integral role for many businesses on a daily basis and its impact can soon add up. If you want your office to adopt a green printing policy but don’t know where to start, here are a few ways to become both more economical and environmentally minded with your office printing.

Always choose recycled products
It goes without saying that businesses can improve their environmental impact by recycling where possible. However, that can be taken one step further by choosing to buy products that are the result of recycling. Offices all over the world consume paper in vast quantities every year, so opting to use recycled paper can help reduce your business’ environmental impact – even by a margin. The same can be said for using recycled printer cartridges – not only can they save you money in the long term, they can also bolster your green practices, too. 

Try greyscale printing and economy mode
If you work in an office where many drafts of the same document are often printed or intricate colourful graphics are frequently included on primarily internal documents, greyscale printing could be a green solution for you. Simply put, greyscale printing is using your black ink cartridge rather than your colour ones whenever possible. The end result is a perfectly legible document produced only in shades of grey and black, which is better for your budget, as well as the planet. Most printers also have an economy mode, which, like greyscale printing, is a money-saver. If you’re not looking for a pristine finish but you need a print-out to share with colleagues, select economy mode for a more lightly printed (but still legible) document. 

Train staff to print cost effectively
One study found that the average company print spend is typically in the region of 1-3% of an organisation’s revenue – which can really tot up. Not everyone across a business will be aware of escalating print costs but one answer to this issue is staff training. By educating everyone in the workplace on how to minimise costs daily and redirect all print jobs to the most cost effective source, businesses could save money while simultaneously cutting down on wasted resources. 

Minimise power consumption
Choosing to take the time to properly turn off electrical office equipment when it’s not in use is a no-brainer. From lighting to laptops, coffee machines to phone chargers, the savings can add up. This is especially true when it comes to printers. Some makes and models of laser printers actually use more electricity while in stand-by mode than they do in use, due to remaining idle both during the day and at night. This makes it especially important to turn them off or unplug them at the end of the day. 

Select an eco-friendly printer
Eco-friendly printers are more than accessible, with a wide variety available to purchase. They’re a great choice if you’re serious about improving your business’ green credentials but just like any piece of important office equipment, they do require financial investment. Designed to use less energy than other printers on the market, eco-friendly printers don’t compromise on performance. Do your research before you add one to your shopping trolley to ensure you get the best model to suit your business and you’ll soon be saving energy and cash as you print. If you are unsure where to start, get in touch with a member of our friendly team who can provide expert opinion and advice. 

Office printing can be a costly endeavour, both in terms of environmental impact and financial outlay. However, by adopting some of these ideas and slightly tweaking how you and your office print documents, you’ll be able to go green each and every time you send to print.

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