Did you know that the printing trade lies within the top 10 industries in the UK who are polluting our environment? This occurs because of the large energy usage, alongside chemical use and other waste.
Almost any business these days will rely on printing to some degree, some maybe only a few hundred pages a week, others could run off millions of printed sheets in that time. This poses a significant environmental risk, so why no look at the benefits of going green and reducing your business's carbon footprint.
Carbon Footprint is the term used to describe the total amount of greenhouse gasses that an organisation emits during operation. It is the production of these greenhouse gasses that is creating the 'global warming' dilemma.
Global warming is the effect of greenhouse gasses being trapped in the earth's atmosphere, causing an increase in the earth's temperature, leading to ice caps melting, sea level increases, more frequent and extreme weather events, along with many other negative effects. An organisation should look to cut their overall carbon footprint, and with printing being such a high polluter; it makes sense to target this area.
So, how can a business adopt green printing and reduce their carbon footprint? Well, there are a number of changes that can be made; several of the key changes will be discussed below.
Use of recycled paper
Trees are good for the environment; they absorb the harmful carbon dioxide, process it and release oxygen in its place. By not using recycled paper within your organisation you are reducing the amount of trees in the world, thus the carbon dioxide absorption is reduced, and more of these harmful gasses can enter the atmosphere. There is the added benefit that some recycled paper brands are cheaper than their regular counterpart.
Reduce the amount of printing overall
This is the most direct way to cut the negative effects that printing have on the environment. A paperless organisation (or in most cases a paper-limited organisation) can save a substantial amount of money and seriously cut their carbon footprint. For a big change like this, you will need to get buy-in from the top of your organisation, and policy changes need to be adopted and policed to maintain the savings to both the organisation and the environment.
Replace printers with eco-friendly alternatives
There are many eco-friendly printers available on the market that can reduce the damaging effects printing produces. Along with a lower energy usage than normal printers, they can reduce toner usage up to 30% and with duplex printing, can reduce the amount of paper used. Although there are savings to be made in respect of toner and paper usage, there is the initial outlay to install these printers that needs consideration.
Change to an eco-friendly printing provider
If your organisation uses another company to do large print jobs, maybe publications, brochures, flyers, catalogues and the like, you could swap your current supplier for a more eco-friendly one. There are many high street print shops as well as online printing companies out there that offer these services, some advertise that they can save you money on your printing requirements and still offer the eco-friendly service.
There are a plethora of ways your organisation could help the environment by reducing their carbon footprint and save money whilst doing it. Buy in from management for your organisation is essential, but the potential cost savings should help those conversations.
Avery Bale is a business consultant working with www.DoxDirect.com, a fully-integrated online brochure printing company providing printing services for SME's and home users/workers - a unique and secure desktop to door printing and binding experience.