The negative environmental impact of paper production and consumption make the reduction of paper use urgent. Reduced use of paper directly pays back into a favorable effect on the environment, but is also financially beneficial because of considerable cost savings. Print Management Software like SavaPage makes printing behavior within an organization visible and can enable or enforce a reduction of the number of prints per user. Additional measures like standard duplex printing and using selected papers provide additional savings.
Climate change and environmental degradation are global problems that are getting plenty of attention. Therefore, environmental awareness increasingly determine our actions everyday. Indeed, the sense of urgency to address the current environmental problems has never been greater. An example of a problem that everyone has to deal with every day is the use of paper. Because the production of paper is a very energy-intensive process, with numerous negative environmental effects, reducing paper use is a measure that provides direct financial benefit and a reduced impact on the environment.
Since the 19th century paper is made from wood. The modern production process roughly consists of the following steps:
During the production of paper, the environment is affected in various ways.
As a result of environmental campaigns that have encouraged consumers to recycle paper, in Europe about 70% of the paper is produced from recycled waste paper. That is certainly an improvement, but this alternative requires much energy and does not guarantee a clean manufacturing process. More reuse does also not necessarily mean proportionally more savings. It is a case of diminishing returns 1). Moreover, after 6 to 7 times of recycling the fiber is too small and is no longer usable 2). New fresh wood fibers remain needed. Reuse is therefore only part of the solution. Namely, in those cases where the use of paper is absolutely necessary. The biggest gains can be achieved from reduced use, where paper is not necessary.
Electronic distribution of documents has caused a shift from “print and distribute” to a model of “electronically distribute and print” where each individual makes his own prints. While distribution costs are reduced by electronic distribution, the total costs are nonetheless higher due to the unfavorable cost-per-page for low-volume printers and the additional time required by users to manage their own printing.
A study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley Labs shows that a typical office worker uses approximately 10,000 sheets of paper per year. While the cost of the paper itself are approximately € 75, amounts discounted for the entire printing process, €425 3). This amount consists of the following direct costs:
Of course it is again a case of an indirect environmental impact for the production of electricity, toner and ink, etc. So, in addition to the production of paper, the consumption of paper brings extra financial and environmental cost.
It is a paradox that, despite all efforts to achieve a paperless office, the paper consumption is growing every year. Globally, the use of paper in the last five years increased by 20 percent. The message is that the ideal of a paperless office is not real. Using paper remains useful in many areas 4). On the other hand in many areas an unnecessarily large amount of paper is used with wastage as a result. It is therefore important to encourage efficient use of paper.
Print Management is the process whereby the efforts and activities of all organizational stakeholders are coordinated and handled to encourage efficient use of paper. In striving for efficiency the usefulness of paper is recognized, but at the same time waste reduction is the norm. By reducing the paper flow in the organization financial and environmental gain is achieved.
Because every organization is unique, the strategy to reduce costs also vary by organization. But whatever the strategy is, the targeted cost savings will have to be translated into policy with measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound targets. To check whether the objectives are indeed achieved deploying Print Management Software is indispensable. The same software can optionally also be used to enforce the savings targets.
SavaPage provides feedback on the financial costs and environmental effects of all print jobs executed on the network. It works as a silent guard behind the scenes or as explicit agent to keep printer costs within budget. Statistics on printer use are available to evaluate saving policy effectiveness.
SavaPage has features that allow users to further reduce their printing impact.
Gartner research shows that organizations can annually save 30% on paper costs as duplexing is set as standard option on all printers 5).
The use of selected paper is highly recommended, namely: