A Sustainable Print Agenda
© Quocirca 2013 - 2 -
Across both the private and public sector, rising energy prices, mounting regulatory pressures and increasing environmental awareness by stakeholders is seeing sustainability gradually moving higher up the corporate agenda in Europe. According to The Economic Intelligence Unit
sustainability remains a strong focus for European companies, despite the challenging economy, 52% of companies maintaining their commitment to sustainability objectives.
Carbon reporting has now been mandated by many regulators across Europe,
hrough the Climate Change Act and the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. Carbon footprint reporting is mandatory for UK listed companies from 2013, and since 2012 the Grenelle II law has required companies in France to report on their environmental and social performance. As organisations work to reduce their environmental impact, they are putting their IT infrastructure under increasing scrutiny. According to the European Commission
, addressing IT has the potential to cut economy-wide carbon emissions by up to 15% by 2020, primarily through improved monitoring and management of energy use. Indeed, effective use of IT can facilitate a more sustainable organisation, as illustrated by the virtuous triangle of green IT
(Figure 1). One area where this model can be applied to great effect is the enterprise print infrastructure. Many organisations still have a patchwork of energy-inefficient printers and copiers, leading to excessive use of paper, ink and toner
each of which has its own environmental impacts. Whilst some organisations have taken steps to reduce the energy consumption associated with their printer fleet through device consolidation, further environmental savings can be made by minimising wasteful printing through the use of intelligent print management tools. This can help accelerate the move to a less-paper office, which lowers costs
both financial and environmental
while improving productivity and enhancing document security. This paper highlights the environmental impact of printing, and recommends strategies for achieving a cost-effective, reliable and sustainable print infrastructure.
Reducing the paper trail
Despite the era of mass digital communication and the almost ubiquitous mobile device, the much-talked-about
remains a myth rather than reality. Printing is still central to many business processes, with much communication and documentation still conducted via a paper trail. This is highlighted in a recent Quocirca survey
where over 60% of enterprises indicated that printing is very important or critical in supporting their business activities. Almost half of respondents said they were seeing rising levels of colour printing, driving up usage of consumables such as ink and toner as well as paper. Left uncontrolled, printing can be a huge drain, financially and environmentally. Many organisations operate a fragmented print infrastructure
a disparate mix of printers, copiers and scanners with different supplies, support and maintenance requirements. This leads to escalating consumables and paper costs, and unmonitored and uncontrolled energy consumption, particularly when printers are under-utilised. On top of this, few organisations have the tools to track and monitor print usage
with 55% of
organisations in Quocirca’s survey indicating that they are strugglin
g to understand usage (Figure 2).
Figure 1. The virtuous triangle of green IT