More than ever, we’re discovering the importance of running a business with sustainable practices. Not only are green workplace strategies great for the planet—they also cut print costs and boost workplace efficiencies. It’s an all-around win!
First off, though many printer manufacturers have significantly boosted their efforts to create more environmentally friendly workplaces, none have done quite as much as HP. For those reasons—and as certified HP partners—we’re going to focus mainly on their efforts.
However, similar programs, techniques, and tools are offered through other manufacturers as well. So, even if we’re talking HP, do take a look at your preferred brand and see if they provide similar eco-friendly print options.
1. Recycle Cartridges and Printers
One of the best ways HP stays green is through its fantastic product and cartridge recycling program. With this program, HP users can send in any used plastics from their ink and toner cartridges. From there, HP will repurpose the materials to make remanufactured products or reuse the materials for something else entirely.
As a testament to its commitment to sustainability, HP expects to recycle 1.2 million tons of materials between 2016 and 2025. Currently, over 80% of their ink cartridges and all of their HP LaserJet toner cartridges are made with recycled materials. Their goal is to keep as many plastic materials in circulation as long as possible.
This program also applies to the entire HP device, as long as you’re replacing it with a new HP device. They’ll take away the used product and repurpose it or recycle its materials.
HP’s product recycling program is also incredibly easy. Just put your used items in a box (and they don’t have to be all OEM HP products), print out the provided shipping label, slap the label on the box, and ship it away. HP will take care of the rest.
2. Use Products that Use Less Power
One reason that HP has made waves in the printer and copier industry for its sustainability efforts is its dedication to designing products and devices that are increasingly energy-efficient.
Printers and copy devices can soak up a ton of power. This isn’t just bad for your energy bill. It’s bad for the environment. That’s why their products continuously evolve to require less energy while still delivering stellar results.
For example, their current OEM toner products melt at a lower temperature than their past toner options, and than most competitor toners as well. Melting toner at lower temperatures means that less energy is necessary for the toner to liquefy and print a document.
Also, HP consistently releases print and copy devices that require less energy overall to run every generation. The average office printer runs at around 300 to 500 watts when printing. Most of HP’s devices either land in the low 300s or even less.
3. Try Software That Reduces Paper Waste
Let’s take a step away from HP and talk about reducing office paper consumption.
The unnecessary use of paper products has a massive impact on the environment. For example, the average office worker goes through about 10,000 sheets of paper every year! Even if your company does have a robust paper recycling program, tons of energy still must be spent in the form of wasted time, transportation costs, recycling program fees, etc.
One of our favorite paper reduction solutions doesn’t cost a penny—employee education. Frequently, employees simply aren’t aware that their small actions can impact the environment, or which small changes they can make to cut down on their paper use.
Here are a few easy paper-saving tips you can ask your team to implement:
- Print pages double-sided or duplexed
- Think twice before pressing “Print.” Do you really need this on paper?
- Email company-wide information whenever possible
- Reuse or share documents
Some great programs can also significantly cut down on the amount of paper used at your office. Our favorite is called PaperCut which has hundreds of useful functionalities. However, when it comes to saving paper, there are two we recommend most often:
Two-Step Print Authentification: How often do you send a document to the printer only to realize it's the wrong document? Or that you need to make a quick change? Or maybe you just forgot to pick it up altogether?
A two-step authentication process solves this common problem. Now, every time an employee sends a document to print, it is initially sent to a queue in the cloud. There it waits until the employee releases the job at the device itself using a PIN code or card swipe.
It’s also great for office print security as it verifies that the right person is picking up the final document.
Notifications: When an employee decides to print certain documents, you can enact a setting where a pop-up will remind them (or even require them) to, for example, print large jobs as double-sized/duplexed or consider printing in black and white vs. color. It even adds how much money the company will save by the employee making this adjustment!
4. Digitize and Automate Your Documents
These days, more companies are going paperless. This is great for efficiency, cost-cutting efforts, and sustainability.
By installing document management and automation products like Laserfiche, employees can significantly reduce paper waste by redesigning traditionally paper-heavy workflows and turning them into a digital, cloud-based solution.
Increasing digitization at your company is also possible without purchasing any new software. For example, rather than print paper packets for meetings, on-boarding documents, etc., make a PDF or PowerPoint that employees can use instead. After all, we all have computers, smartphones, tablets, or laptops that can easily be accessed from anywhere.
Ultimately, integrating these sustainable office print strategies will not only help save the environment. As a bonus, it’ll save your company time, money, and get you closer to running a modern, paperless company.
Ready to have a more environmentally-friendly office space? We’d love to help! Contact the imageOne team today by setting up a free, 15-minute consultation. Together, we’ll make your print workflow more Earth-friendly than ever.