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5 Sustainable Printing Tips Everyone Should Follow

5 Sustainable Printing Tips Everyone Should Follow
By Simon Williams
December 18, 2019

Sustainability is an issue that has taken the stage across all industries, including printing and the office environment. The general idea of minimising waste and exploring environmental options is something that everyone agrees with, but might not know what that looks like in practice. If you’d like to level up your sustainable habits in 2020 and work to reduce your waste and carbon footprint, here are 5 sustainable printing tips that everyone should follow. 

1. Select the right suppliers

The responsibility of sustainability doesn’t only fall on those using the printer, it starts well before then. Your procurement team should design selection criteria that qualify potential supplies based on their environmental and sustainable measures. A company that invests time and care in this space are future-focused and will be the right option if you are looking to increase your stake in this movement. This should include purchasing recycled paper or finding a cartridge supplier that contributes to the reusable cartridges program. 

2. Assess your energy use and recycling habits

Monitoring energy usage is something that offices do not do well, and this is typically due to the fact that there isn’t a champion to take on the responsibility. Give yourself a head start by first recognising what the energy ratings are of your devices, and use this as a yardstick for future tech purchases. Before you beat yourself up too much, know that modern printing technology is far more energy-efficient than it once was, and so you are in a strong position from the outset. You can also take it a step further and use only recycled paper to close the loop further and give old paper new life. 

3. Establish smart print capabilities

There is more to printing than simply hitting CTRL + P, with offices taking advantage of the many authentication processes so avoid wastage. Many businesses deploy this function to ensure that sensitive documents are not carelessly left in the printing tray, with the responsible printer having to go to the printer to authenticate the print job. Naturally, this has a passive benefit of avoiding unnecessary prints that all offices are guilty of. This is where a managed print service (MPS) holds value to a large business, acting as an invisible partner that works to optimise your printing environment and suggest actionable changes that will minimise your carbon footprint and energy bills.

4. Tighten your processes

This might seem like low hanging fruit, but tightening your printing processes will make a huge impact on your sustainable efforts. So, what does this look like? You can explore the option of bringing in a second screen to reduce print reliance or establish a cloud-based folder where documents can be added and shared so users can view online without needing to print. You can also communicate with your key stakeholders and clients to learn whether they would accept digital copies of collateral and contracts instead of hard-copies, which might actually propel your position as an ethical business.

5. Define the lifecycle of your printer

Knowing what to do with your printer when it expires is something that needs to be discussed in any workplace, as there are correct and incorrect procedures to follow when discarding technology. All future technology is being created with recycled materials, and so businesses should continue this circular economy by returning printing technology to the manufacturers so that they can extract the materials and reuse them. This is actually an easy solution for busy workplaces, as these units will be collected by relevant representatives so that you do not need to discard them yourself. It may also be worth having a maintenance professional review the unit before you replace it as the unit might be able to be rented out to another office who are in need of a cheaper solution.

These are just five sustainable practices that you can implement in your workplace to create a significant impact. By leading with an environmental and ethically-focused stance, your team will also be empowered to follow these procedures. If you would like to learn more about how CartridgesDirect contributes to this necessary movement, contact us today.