Printing remains a necessity in many officers and with climate change a growing problem, most businesses and organisations are pushing for more eco-friendly printing solutions.

There has never been a more important time for businesses and organisations to become more aware of how their printing is affecting the planet.  Global warming is real, and it is happening, glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and temperatures are increasing yearly. It has become even more clear over the last decade that the level of Co2 emissions released into the atmosphere is caused by humans who are powering their modern, and digital lifestyles.

As businesses and organisations becoming more digitally focused, printing will continue to remain an essential resource to the modern-day workplace. It is easy for them to discount the environmental concerns regarding unsustainable printing.  However, technology is making it easier for companies to give their users tools to optimise their printing environment, thus saving money, increasing security and improve operational efficiencies, which is often a higher priority than sustainability.

What is relevant today is the environmental impact your business or organisation has on the world. It is important to consider sustainable printing practices in a more digitally influenced workforce. We are not talking about making sure paper goes into the recycle bin – but green initiatives that will change your employee’s behaviours and attitudes towards a more sustainable workplace. Here are four green printing strategies to consider at your workplace,

1. Change our office culture

Changing the printing culture in your office is an effect that can be seen and felt, however, can prove to be difficult to achieve as behaviours from leaders and employees are often complacent with familiar habits and social movements, which historically focused on operational excellence and efficiency.

Begin with adding to your company values and/or mission statement. Company values and mission statements reflect on your brand and are the reason why your employees are a part of your team, because they believe and share similar values. Adding a positive green thumb will set the right attitudes to a sustainable culture to existing and future employees.

Get your employees involved. Create a committee of passionate team members who can be the voice of sustainability in your business or organisation. By involving employees actively in decision making, businesses and organisations can affirm their environmental and sustainability values, especially in the printing environment, thus creating a sense of accountability.

Cultural change cannot be achieved instantly. It takes time, and collective hearts, and habits of leaders and staff members in the workplace to make smarter sustainable printing choices that help minimise your carbon footprint. Its never too late to start now!

2. Only use environmentally friendly printing consumables 

Previously, purchasing environmentally friendly printing consumables was costly and difficult to source, this is no longer the case. Now more than ever, using recycled consumables are increasingly accessible for businesses and organisations, due to the global push to see more companies do its part to help the environment.

Printing consumables are always on the list of supplies needing to be restocked, on your next printing supply order, consider only using environmentally friendly printing consumables – 100% recycled paper and soy-based or vegetable-based inks cartridges. Using 100% recycled paper is the greenest option, it uses less energy, water and produces lower Co2 emissions to manufacture. Also, move away from using common printing cartridges as they use harmful chemicals to produce the colours needed for your documents. Whereas soy and/or vegetable-based ink cartridges,  are non-toxic and a renewable resource.

The bottom line, simple changes in the way your business or organisation source and use environmentally friendly printing consumables, will help make your workplace more resource-efficient. Begin setting new policies that mandate the purchasing of green printing goods.

3. Set the right expectations and examples

It is far simpler, cost-effective and efficient to outsource your printing needs to a Managed Print Service provider, who tailor print management solutions to your business and/or organisational needs. Not only does a print management solution help you boost the way your business or organisation manages their printing, it automates all your printing environment into one network, allowing you to have full transparency to see who prints and when – giving you the power to see who is really considering sustainable printing practices in your workplace.

Hold your staff accountable. Unfortunately, there will be some people in the workplace who are repeat offenders and are not as dedicated to following green printing initiatives like the rest of your employees. This can be frustrating and can also negatively impact the printing culture you are trying to set. Use print management software such as Papercut, its access control features allow you to apply restrictions to who can print and what they can print. Setting limits to printer access will help keep printing secure and sensible. Also, only print in colour when needed, encourage the use of double-sided printing and hold all print jobs until staff members release them, the use of secure printing release will put an end to uncollected printouts.

Leaders must also lead by example. The office printing culture is influenced and shaped by those who sit atop the hierarchical tree. There is no point in heavily pushing for more eco-friendly printing best practices and policies if the leadership team are not displaying the right attitudes and behaviours. Make sure the leaders in your company are showing your people that they really care about the environment.

4. Using the right printers 

With a variety of printing models available in the market today, running multiple operating systems, and varying in price, choosing the right printer for your organisation can be a tedious task. Investing in a printing device that can print documents quickly and reliably is always a priority for many ICT and business managers, however, organisations must consider green factors when choosing the right printer.

Outdated, energy-consuming printers on each desk are normally seen in a traditional office layout. With more organisations shifting to open workspaces in order to adapt modern-day workplace initiatives, consider using printing devices that are energy-efficient and, make sure they have modern sharing capabilities that allow you to connect to the network. By consolidating your printing fleet using energy-efficient printers, organisations can reduce its carbon footprint, and with the ability to connect to the network will enhance sharing capabilities, improving workflow efficiencies with added security benefits. At CT, companies such as Hewlett Packard (HP), Lexmark, and Kyocera are the preferred print brands, they have been identified to offer the best output capacities with considerations to the environment and sustainability. Remember choosing the right printer is not about the quantity, it’s about the quality, providing modern-day efficiencies with a green thumb.

The possibilities for reducing print wastage and carbon emissions are endless. It takes conscious decisions to ensure smarter and more greener printing choices are adopted by your company and its people.

Being environmentally sustainable has become a standard industry practice. Businesses and organisations need to set themselves apart by making an environmental difference in their workplace, and that means going above and beyond simply recycling.