With Keep Australia Beautiful week in full swing, it’s great to focus on all the things we can do as individuals to reduce, reuse and recycle. But what about at the office? One place where it’s easy to make small changes with big results is at the printing station. For many (most?) SMBs, going completely paper free is not yet a reality. But reducing ink, paper and energy usage is an achievable goal.
Did you know? Of all the trees harvested for industrial use, more than 40% goes towards making paper…
Five-step plan to greening your office
Step One: Gather Information
Every business is different and the first step towards reduction is identifying how your business does business (in regards to printing and paper usage). Items to assess include routine printing, draft documents for review, mailings, billing and receipts, reports and forms. Don’t forget to check not only how much paper is used, but also colour versus black-and-white usage and single-sided versus duplex printing.
Step Two: Assess
Document all costs associated with printing and paper usage (you’ll be surprised how it adds up!). And don’t forget the environmental costs – the pulp and paper industry is a thirsty one, using huge amounts of water in production and emitting plenty of pollutants in the process.
Step Three: Set and Promote Goals
Get your team on board and work together to set clear and measurable goals over a specific timeline – then get the word out. It may sound cheesy, but have fun with promoting your new paper- and ink-reduction ambitions (and try not to use paper in the process!)
Step Four: Implement Solutions
There are heaps of ways to reduce printing and paper usage in the office – a simple Google search will bring up plenty of ideas. Using technology to assist you, however, is a great place to start:
- Cloud Computing – Create, share and edit documents in the cloud – reducing the need for collaborative print-outs. For more benefits of moving to the cloud, read our blog here.
- Networking your Business – A business network also has multiple benefits. As with cloud computing, a network server allows files to be accessed by multiple computers – providing ease of access for multiple users and reducing the need for paperwork to be printed in hardcopy. Depending on the needs of your office, you may wish to connect an on-site server to your network or use an external network provider – Geelong Technology Group can undertake a business audit to assess what set-up will work best for you.
- Electronic Management Software – Make the switch to more accurate and productive electronic solutions that include paperless invoices and statements for customers, and electronic invoicing from, and payment to, vendors. Also consider using electronic signature software such as DocuSign to minimise the need for printing, signing and mailing documents.
- PIN Printing – This print management tool allows users to release print jobs by entering a personal code on the printer. PIN printing reduces unneeded and accidental prints and helps to ensure confidentiality.
- Duplexing – Ensure printing on both sides is set as default across your computer network to (literally!) halve your printing output.
Step Five: Track and report your success
Are the measures you selected working? How much money have you saved? Are there other paper and ink reduction opportunities available that you haven’t yet initiated? Tracking progress provides valuable information you can share with staff members to reinforce their efforts. Go team green!
Computer and printer e-waste – including printer cartridges can be recycled. For recycling opportunities near you, check out Planet Ark.
Need more information?
Whether you’d like to discuss a tailor-made computer network, cloud computing technologies or just want to chat about greener, eco-friendly office options, our expert technicians are on hand.
Geelong Technology Group – the tech experts – service individuals and businesses in Geelong, Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Torquay, Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast, Golden Plains, Colac and Warrnambool in store or on-site (or anywhere across Australia with remote IT support). Give us a call or drop by today!