Sustainability is a hot-button issue in the 2020s. Almost all large companies have a sustainability report that examines the effects of their practices on the environment. Furthermore, over 2,000 companies have science-based carbon targets, with a third of Europe’s large public companies aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050.
Despite this dedication to sustainability, the average American uses about 650 pounds of paper every year.
Paper is one of the biggest sources of waste in the United States. With managed print services, your company can reduce paper usage and become more sustainable.
The Scale of the Paper Problem
According to the St. Charles County government website, American businesses get through approximately 21 million tons of paper every year. It also states that businesses make a combined 750,000 copies every single minute.
This is an enormous amount of paper.
Worst yet, so much of this paper gets wasted. Consider your own office as an example. How many times do your people print documents that don’t require printing? What about the documents that get lost due to complex filing systems, or documents that need reprinting because they contain mistakes?
This combination of problems leads to American companies contributing massively to the waste of billions of trees cut down every year. The scale of the paper problem leads to widespread sustainability issues, both in terms of the environment and the cost of burning through so much paper.
How Managed Print Services Improve Business Sustainability
With paper wastage becoming such a major problem, the need for managed print services is higher than ever before. Managed print services optimize an organization’s document output by offering access controls and ensuring that workers don’t print more than needed.
How does this contribute to a more sustainable business?
There are four key ways that managed print services make your company more sustainable.
Reducing Paper Waste
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average employee uses approximately 10,000 sheets of paper per year. According to the EPA, this extensive usage means the United States consumes around 30% of the world’s annual paper supply.
Much of this paper usage comes from the fact that printing is such a standard office routine. If you need to check a document with a manager, you print it off and speak to them. When customers want to check your paperwork, that’s even more printing. In an increasingly digital world, this scale of printing is excessive and unnecessary.
Managed print services provide your business with more control over what it prints. That increases network visibility, allowing you to identify departments and employees that print more than needed. Plus, these services allow your business to ensure that only authorized documents get sent to a printer. The result is that your company wastes less paper because it only prints the documents it requires.
Almost every element of an office’s print environment generates carbon dioxide or similar greenhouse gases. Every printer and copier you use requires electricity, which creates carbon emissions. Even the dry toner many printers use emits ozone, which causes issues with photosynthesis.Consequently, plants struggle to produce the oxygen needed to combat climate change.
Managed print services solve these greenhouse gas emission issues in two ways. The first comes from the previously-mentioned reduction in paper waste. When your company prints less paper, it doesn’t need to keep printers active for as long. You can reduce energy usage by turning off printers and copiers that aren’t in use for the day.
Second, managed print services often incorporate recycling programs that help you to reuse old toner cartridges. Recycling reduces the need to manufacture more cartridges out of plastic and keeps cartridges out of damaging landfill sites. As such, your company can use managed print services to offset its carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It costs anywhere between 5 and 15 cents to print a document, depending on whether you print in color or black and white. That means every document your people print has a direct effect on your company’s bottom line. If that effect is too pronounced, business sustainability becomes an issue. But how can your company follow through on its environmental commitments when it can’t sustain itself?
The true scale of this problem becomes obvious when we incorporate the EPA’s figure of 10,000 sheets of paper per employee per year. Let’s assume your business has 10 employees. Each employee’s print usage costs between $500 and $1,500 annually. Across all ten employees, this amounts to between $5,000 and $15,000 per year.
These figures show us that a company can save thousands of dollars annually with managed print services. By cutting down on the printing in your business, you save money you can put toward other environmental initiatives.
Access to Multifunction Printers (MFP)
An MFP is a device that combines printing, copying, scanning, and faxing into a single machine. Managed print services offer access to these devices because you work directly with professionals who can implement modern technologies into your office.
There are several sustainability benefits that come with using MFPs. The most obvious is that installing a managed MFP reduces the number of machines your company needs to power. Beyond saving your organization money on its energy bills, this reduction in machines means you use less energy. Thus, your business generates a smaller carbon footprint.
Furthermore, MFPs simplify your print environment. It becomes easier to track printer usage, allowing you to identify and curtail excessive use.
Improve Sustainability With Managed Print Services
Managed print services make your business more sustainable by giving you full control over paper usage. The result is less paper waste and a reduction in your company’s energy usage. Both help to shrink your carbon footprint, making your company more environmentally friendly.
However, gaining access to these benefits hinges on finding the right managed print services partner. At Buckmaster, we provide managed print services to clients throughout Sacramento. Beyond advising you on the best print solutions for your office, our experts can help you to reduce wastage and cut costs. If you’d like to learn more, contact a member of our team so we can discuss how to manage your printer fleet better.