Is it time to put your printing on a diet?

How to create a healthy diet

Is it time to put your printing on a diet?

There are two important elements to a healthy diet: reducing how much we eat, and maintaining a good balance of nutrition.

Dieting can not only improve our health, but reduce the expense of the weekly shop. And by eating less meat, we are now told, we can also help protect the environment.

In many ways the same is true of printing. By reducing print consumption, it’s possible to improve business sustainability, the environment and reduce costs.

But can you really put your printer on a diet?

Overconsumption in the developed world

World Bank research shows that annual CO2 emissions per capita in Burkina Faso were as low as 0.2 metric tonnes in 2013, and the average individual in Afghanistan had a footprint of 0.7 metric tonnes. By contrast, in the UK that figure was 7.1 and in Germany the average carbon footprint rose to 9.2 metric tonnes.

It’s important that we reduce our carbon footprint.

In 2008 Epson set out to reduce CO2 emissions by 90% across the lifecycle of all products and services by the year 2050.

When we applied this target to our business printers, it didn’t take long to define the carbohydrates, sugar and fat of office printing. Since then we’ve been working to reduce the energy, paper, waste and raw materials consumed by our machines.

Low energy, low emissions:

Energy efficiency has long been considered the low-hanging fruit of global emissions reduction.

By designing and manufacturing energy efficient products, companies like Epson can help to lower resource consumption without changing human behaviour. That makes things much easier.

For example, we’ve calculated that if every business in Western Europe was to make the switch to our WorkForce Pro business inkjet printers, we could save enough power to run over 507,000 households each year. An alternative comparison, is that these printers could reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by the same amount as absorbed annually by 26.9 million trees9.

That’s possible because our WorkForce Pro business inkjets use up to 96% less energy and emit up to 92% less CO2 than comparable laser printers6.

Moving the waste mountain

If consuming paper is a printer’s equivalent of a carb binge, packaging waste is the equivalent of eating fat: an important constituent part of some other consumables that can accidentally mount up.

‘Landfill’ is not a word that any manufacturer feels good about. And it’s fantastic that through initiatives like the European Union’s WEEE Directive, there are clear processes and obligations on companies to address waste and end-of-life products.

However, in the traditional printing model there a number of regular by-products, like printer drums, fuser units and waste toner cartridges that can slip through the net.

Over the life-cycle of a printer these consumables and their packaging can generate a lot of waste.

In the WorkForce Pro range we’ve managed to reduce lifecycle waste by up to 94%. To continue the comparison above, if businesses in Western Europe were to make the switch to these printers, we could reduce printing waste by more than 221,000 tonnes a year.

We’ve achieved this by swapping ink cartridges for super-high-yield ink supply units, known as the Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS). Each of these ink units can print up to 84,000 pages1 between ink changes, almost eliminating user interventions and minimising physical waste.

How do you solve a problem like paper?

A printer manufacturer leading the way in reducing paper consumption may, on the face of it, seem like a contradiction. But far from it. Ensuring Epson has an environmentally sustainable business model is crucial for our future economic sustainability.

We know, however, that there is a strong demand and benefit to paper use and printing.

Even in today’s digitally powered world, the printer is considered an essential business tool by 77% of employees in the EU54.  Research also confirms better comprehension, concentration and lower stress levels result from reading printed text as opposed to digital screens5.

We, therefore, decided to help companies limit the impact of paper consumption in two ways.

Firstly, we revolutionised paper recycling.

We’ve created a totally new product called PaperLab: the world’s first in-office paper recycler that uses a dry process. With a single PaperLab in your office, you can now recycle approximately 5,760 fresh sheets of A4 paper during an eight-hour working day.

This breakthrough helps businesses to securely lower their virgin paper consumption, lower paper costs, and avoid emissions from the traditional paper recycling loop.

Did you know that in 2015, 59 million tonnes of paper waste were transported to and from recycling plants in Europe, much of it ending up back in businesses?

Secondly, we’re helping more companies have greater insight, and ability to manage, their printing. We’ve launched the first ever managed print service for SMEs (called Print365). Companies with as few as one printer can now benefit both financially and environmentally from this service.

It includes automated ‘just in time’ delivery of paper, inks and other consumables that reduce storage costs. More importantly, Print365 also includes access to data analytics on company print use via on online portal. This data can help office managers identify and quickly address any wasteful printing behaviours.

Before and after

No dieting feature would be complete without the before and after comparison.

Part of our success in reducing print consumption has been our focus on making printers smaller. In fact, we specifically challenge ourselves to make compact, high precision, energy efficient products.

This also reduces the environmental impact of printer manufacturing and supply chain logistics. For example, the Expression Premium XP-630 printer has been redesigned to be as compact as possible, using fewer materials and making much more energy efficient to ship.

We’ve achieved this through careful product design and materials selection.

The easiest resolution you can make

Business sustainability can be a bit like trying to improve your diet. It’s something we all mean to get to grips with, but can be hard to commit to. Once we do though, the benefits speak for themselves.

But now there are no excuses. Epson has done the hard work for you.

With the WorkForce Pro business inkjet, PaperLab in-office paper recycler, and our managed print services, you can transform the sustainability of your business printing operations without needing to think.