Research has shown that even now, SMEs are lagging behind when it comes to eco-friendly technology. In fact, just 24% of them are willing to spend on improving sustainability. But with employees to pay, bills to meet, and clients to please, is it really surprising that smaller businesses – with smaller budgets – have greater priorities?
In short, it should be. While many consider sustainability to be an expensive add-on, the fact is it doesn’t just benefit the environment, it benefits the organisations that implement it too. With cost, energy and ROI gains – as well as the positive effect on the planet – eco-friendly technology is an outstanding investment for businesses of all sizes.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy to know where to start though. And with that in mind, we’ve put together this list of the best ways to make your business’s printing more sustainable – and earn fast return on your investment.
- Assess the damage
Look for a managed print service provider that offers environmental calculators, which assess energy consumption, paper use and waste across your printer fleet. The assessment should focus on identifying areas where you can lower your environmental impact – and from that, recommend a balanced deployment of hardware and software to decrease energy, paper and consumable requirements.
- Consolidate your devices
Multifunction printers present an opportunity to consolidate numerous devices into one machine, and this can lead to several cost benefits – including less consumables, less admin time, and less resources to manage.
- Be energy efficient
Consider energy-efficient products that meet eco-labelling qualifications, such as ENERGY STAR or Blue Angel. Devices that meet the most recent ENERGY STAR requirements can be up to 40% more energy-efficient than others2. Look for printers and multifunction devices with fast warm-up times, as well as deep-sleep and toner-saving modes.
- Make your printing secure
Often, people send jobs to the printer, then forget to pick them up. Then, the resulting prints are thrown straight in the recycling bin, or worse – they fall into the wrong hands. Secure printing enables users to release documents at the printer once they’ve authenticated themselves using a smart card or PIN. That way, you get less wastage, less unnecessary expenditure, and higher levels of security.
- Set the rules
By applying print rules based on attributes like colour, number of pages, and more, you can re-direct print jobs to the most cost-efficient device for that particular job – wherever it is on the network. In turn, you’ll make savings every single time you print.
Ultimately, a sustainable print infrastructure won’t only enhance your environmental credentials – it will reduce costs, improve productivity and lessen risk. And organisations that have already taken steps to implement sustainable printing are reaping the benefits.
Studies show that they’re outperforming their peers across the board; not just in terms of environmental impact, but also in device reliability, document security and cost savings. Once you’ve taken care of all of the above, your business will be ready to enjoy the same benefits.