Printing Sustainability Tips

Note: This is a guest post written by Dante Armistice

Ricoh Printer

For many years, the issue of climate change cast an ominous shadow across the printing industry as a cesspit of unsustainable, planet ‘unfriendly’ practice. From tree to trash, sustainability encompasses an array of issues closely tied to printing. So in order to go officially green, the entire life cycle of printing has been forced to undergo a complete overhaul to satisfy society’s growing eco conscience, and minimise impact to the wider environment.

From the manufacture of equipment, to the recycling of consumables such as papers, inks and toner, going green has been about working to ensure less waste – reusing rather than destroying, and avoiding the use of toxins. Equipment manufacturers and paper companies have seriously addressed the environmental and sustainability issues as part of respective ongoing corporate strategies.

The Australian government has even hopped aboard the green bandwagon, having devised an environmental purchasing checklist to guide in the investment of fundamental office equipment – namely printers, photocopiers and multifunction devices. The checklist focuses specifically on the environmental impacts, bearing relevance to purchasers of office equipment. (A separate checklist is available for office equipment consumables.)

The checklist outlines a number of easy to follow criteria designed to facilitate a greener office environment, and a happier printing planet:

  1. Undertake life cycle costing of your purchase options incorporating cost of consumables, power and paper
  2. Request products with enabled Energy Star capability
  3. Utilise recycled office paper and set up duplexing as a default setting
  4. Switch off equipment overnight and when not in use for energy conservation
  5. Repair, reuse or recycle equipment and consumables to reduce overall waste

Most paper waste generated in Australian offices stems from printers, photocopiers and faxes. Paper and consumables efficient equipment that supports the use of recycled paper not only minimises waste, it can also lead to significant financial savings. Well-designed equipment will reduce waste and utilise fewer resources… leading to even more savings. For example, most of the life-cycle cost of a printer is usually spent on cartridges and paper – costs that can be reduced by purchasing consumables-efficient equipment.

So ‘print’ is no longer a dirty word – thanks to industry sustainability practices, and surprisingly easy in office measures designed to lower environmental impact. An avalanche of online information places sustainability principles at your fingertips, so there’s no excuse to think anything other than green in today’s office environment.

Note: This guest post was written by Dante Armistice, a technology enthusiast focused on projectors and printer technology

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