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Don't toil over how to reduce the amount you print

Don't toil over how to reduce the amount you print

Reducing print is a meaningful and impactful green initiative

Author: Jeff Armstrong/Wednesday, August 21, 2013/Categories: Green Initiative

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It is often said that companies looking to initiate a meaningful green strategy are encouraged to start with the low hanging fruit.  Projects that get employees engaged with green ideals, deliver quick results and don’t cost much to implement are great places to start.  

Company printing is one of the easiest and most impactful places to start a green initiative in the workplace.

Think for a moment about what print is.  When someone clicks print, a witch’s brew of electricity, dead trees and toner come together to produce a simple page.

You can almost hear the Macbeth witches every time a document spits out:  Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn, and caldron bubble.  Eye of newt, toe of frog… well, you get the picture.

When companies look for ways to temper the caldron fire and analyze what really needs to be put on paper, the most logical place to start is with who is doing the printing – their employees.  Most of us go about our day, unaware of the dramatic, compounding cost associated with clicking print.

How can you get people to think before they click?

Measuring and creating awareness of print activity through reports is a powerful first step toward changing user behavior.  Measurement should include data on what is being printed - where and by whom – as well as the financial and environmental costs of their print jobs.  This not only helps shape an overall printing strategy, but will also allow you to provide feedback to your end users about their printing behaviors.

Software apps like PaperCut help organizations reduce their print costs and environmental impact.   Behavior modification occurs in a rewarding way by calculating the financial and environmental impact each time a user chooses to print or not to print.  End users are shown how they are doing right by their employers and the environment through pop up boxes tabulating the on-going dollars, trees and energy they have saved through their decisions.

The end-users get the warm fuzzies, the company saves money, less is consumed and users generally find that their work becomes easier when paper is removed from the process.  It is good all the way around.

The tools are out there to help users question what really needs to be put on paper and help simmer down that printing caldron.  Is your company ready?

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