Just Good Business profile : Printing Footprints – How to shrink them

It’s human default setting – you peer at some document on the screen, decide to look at it later, hit the “P” button and move onto the next email. The result? whole bunch of printed things politely waiting on the printer… and waiting… until someone bins them.
Research by HP has found that around 30 percent of the jobs submitted to printer queues are never picked up. Excess paper use is one of the biggest areas of waste – and one of the easiest ways to reduce the overall cost of printing for business, says HP NZ’s country manager, imaging and printing group Daryn Rickwood.
“You can minimise your waste by up to 30 percent just by doing couple of key things in the process. If you’re spending over $1 million year on paper, that actually saves lot of money.”
Simple things like “pull” rather than “push” printing, where users employ swipe card or code to pull their printed documents from the printer memory only when they visit the machine. Digital sending software helps convert paper documents to digital ones so they can be emailed or saved rather than printed, and policies around double-side printing can be enforced centrally via “universal print driver”.
It’s case of every little bit counts and as companies undergoing HP’s printing fleet audit discover, it tots up to quite lot in terms of cost savings – as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And that’s certainly become growing area of interest for business, says Rickwood.
“It’s definitely ramping up. Carbon footprint became bit of buzzword that everyone was latching onto year or so ago. Now the focus is more on energy efficiency, power savings, and reducing the waste that’s being created in the business. So more and more of our tenders are around those sorts of issues.”
Businesses like NZ Steel and AgResearch are not just looking for good product but cost reduction in their own business, which ties in with the drive toward more environmentally friendly operation, he notes. The audits analyse requirements across the business and look at where efficiencies can be achieved.
“They might have 100 printers printing in colour when what they need is 50, some black and white only or dedicated to specific areas or people – that’s the starting point,” says Rickwood.
Post audit, NZ Steel was able to nearly halve its printing fleet from 160 or so to around 85 for 1400 employees and managed printing service brought down the cost of consumables, servicing and maintenance.
“When you are doing managed print service for someone like NZ Steel or AgResearch, it’s really about total solution – not just putting in the product. It’s really about working with them to
reduce their costs as business – creating partnership.”
AgResearch, for instance, has been working with HP for the past nine years to streamline what had become fairly motley assortment of printers and photocopiers spread between 1300 staff across four sites. Treating each printer investment decision as an isolated commodity purchase rather than as an integrated part of the company’s investment strategy had resulted in mismatched technologies, time-consuming and costly service support, software incompatibility issues and user challenges.
The other issue AgResearch faced was lack of control over who was printing what, making it impossible to track and apportion printing volumes – and cost. Allocating cost where it’s actually generated has been proven to reduce the amount of printing.
AgResearch’s national supply manager David Scampton notes that the changes have helped cut annual paper usage down from seven million sheets to four-and-a-half million sheets. Other benefits include reduction in IT administration as consumables are automatically sent before toner runs out and all repairs, parts, labour and maintenance is covered by the service contract.
For HP, product is really just means to service provision – hardware is just the starting point and its approach is to take cradle-to-grave stewardship for that. The company has long history of voluntary corporate responsibility and commitment to designing products to be more energy efficient, easy to recycle and built from materials that minimise environment impact.
Its printing and imaging products are typically 70 to 85 percent recyclable or recoverable by weight. Amongst the company’s environmental goals are increasing the use of recycled material in inkjet products by three times relative to 2007, improving energy efficiency in both ink and laserjet printers by 40 percent by 2011, and, ensuring all HP paper stocks derive from sustainable forest-certified supplies in 2009.
Over the past decade, HP worldwide has kept around 59,000 tonnes of used cartridges out of landfill and recycled more than 47 million via its Planet Partners recycling programme. This allowed customers across New Zealand to return cartridges for environmentally sound recycling (including plastics, aluminium, steel and toner powder components and ink) free of charge. It recently launched new take-back programme for SMEs, which means they can now drop end-of-life HP products at six sites around New Zealand.
For those customers intent on counting carbon emissions, it offers carbon footprint calculator that analyses printer use – covering 20 years of performance data on HP devices and 10 years on non-HP across some 3000 products. This highlights the degree to which organisations can reduce their impact on the environment, estimating energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions from production of that electricity, paper usage and estimated monetary costs during printing.
This month, the company launched global “power to change” campaign designed to encourage personal computer users to take responsibility for reducing their energy consumption and their environmental impact. That includes the ability to download new “desktop widget” that tracks the cumulative energy savings associated with participants turning off idle PCs and displays the global energy savings the campaign generates through the power of behavioural changes across individual and global users.
While individual turn-off seems like small gesture, the idea is to demonstrate the cumulative impact of changing PC-use habits. If 100,000 users shut down at day’s end, HP estimates energy savings would total 2680 kilowatt-hours while carbon emissions reduction totals up to more than 1500 kilos day – the equivalent of eliminating more than 105 cars from the roads each day.
The company is keen to see businesses get involved in the campaign and encourages employees to take part. Other tips it offers include:
• choosing energy star rated devices;
• using laptops, flat panel monitors and multifunction printing products because they gobble less power;
• avoid using screen savers but opt for “sleep” settings;
• print (preferably recycled) paper on both sides;
• switch electronics and lights off when not in use;
• pull the plug on them as well to conserve energy use; and
• recycle consumables.

Visited 9 times, 1 visit(s) today
Close Search Window