This week we’re looking at how a managed print service (MPS) can support your business in reducing the volume of waste paper in your office. With so much focus on the environment and a need for consumers to make significant changes, more and more businesses are implementing processes to reduce waste, and in some cases even transitioning to a completely paperless office.

As an MPS provider, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste and as part of this we help businesses make more effective use of our advanced MFPs and their functions. 

As a starting point, let’s look at some figures and see how much paper is still being used and more importantly, being wasted. Restore Datashred recently published a report, which revealed these paper waste statistics…

  • The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. That’s 20 reams of paper (500 sheets per ream) or four boxes of paper in total with an estimated cost of £10 per box
  • 6,800 of those 10,000 sheets used are wasted 
  • Reasons for the high wastage include printing emails unnecessarily, failing to use the duplex print function, printing duplicates and forgetting about documents left on the printer
  • Global consumption of paper has increased by almost half since 1980
  • Every person in the UK consumes the equivalent of 4.48 trees per year
  • 40% of the people surveyed described themselves as “paper people”. They like to have the paper in their hands rather than looking at a screen
  • 76% of respondents admitted to printing non-work related documents every day

Non-essential printing

These figures prove that there’s no doubt about it, consumers continue to churn through high volumes of paper. Realistically, there will always be a need for paper documents – particularly within office environments – but the issue lies with “non-essential” printing. 

This non-essential printing currently occurs in many offices that doesn’t have the tools to monitor their print activity. Examples of this type of printing includes duplicate printouts, single-sided printing, and personal printing. Studies have indicated that businesses could reduce paper consumption by as much as 50 percent by simply eliminating this.

The challenge for a large number of businesses is that they operate on what could best be described as a hybrid environment, whereby mobile technologies and cloud-based solutions are changing the way they work with documents, yet for so many, paper-based processes remain in place. 

How our MPS has helped customers

We know from our own customers, that our MPS reduces print volumes by identifying and eliminating all of the non-essential printing. Here are some of the ways our customers use our solutions to reduce waste paper…

  1. Using the features on an MFP.Waste has been reduced for many of our customers by simply setting double-sided printing as default or introducing booklet printing. Pull printing and PIN printing have also helped avoid misprinted, reprinted or unclaimed prints by saving jobs on a server until users authenticate the job at the printer. 
  2. Encouraging recycling.Responsible paper management for many organisations starts with using more recycled paper and recycling paper waste. Lots of our customers are making a conscious effort to recycle paper, print cartridges and older printing devices, and setting recycling guidelines for these items. We have supported many of our customers with their recycling strategies. 
  3. Digitising documents. With networked MFPs documents can be scanned, stored and shared digitally, and this is one of the biggest – and most overlooked – benefits for our customers. Document workflow solutions can lower paper usage and also improve productivity by reducing the reliance on paper trails. 
  4. Focusing on security.Ensuring privacy and confidentiality of paper files is typically a separate process from security measures around electronic files, and for many organisations it is still an afterthought. This can lead to potential gaps in security policy with the added risk of not meeting compliance measures. Paper also restricts access to information because it is not as sharable as digital content.

Through our MPS, your organisation can not only reduce paper usage, but also reduce the carbon footprint of your printing by cutting energy consumption and streamlining recycling processes. Give us a call to find out more about how our MPS can help your company’s environmental strategy.