Environmentally Friendly Trends in the Office Printer Industry

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Businesses still rely on their printing equipment to produce reports, invoices, payroll stubs, and other physical information documents that back up digital information. Reducing the waste from this daily output of paper and ink is good for both the planet and the bottom line of the company. Voluntary compliance was easy to attain since there was money to save so business interests led the way, realizing that every method of belt-tightening was in their best interests to compete in a stagnant economy.

With the advent of Energy Star qualified machines like large format printers that can reduce energy, there has been a reduction in the chemicals and particle emissions that are health hazards with older printers. There has been an entire industry sector created for recycling toner cartridges. For years they were a constant source of toxic waste. Each year, almost one billion empty printer cartridges collect in landfills and release toxic fumes that pollute the environment and compromise the health of populations exposed to them.

Paper accounts for ten percent of emissions for the entire manufacturing sector and one-third of the waste in municipal landfills. This waste produces methane, which is even more damaging to the ozone layer than is carbon dioxide. Due to the recession many people are involuntarily helping the environment since their paychecks are no longer being issued so there are fewer envelops and pay stubs to add to the garbage. A sick joke to be sure, but in these days of oil disasters even the most optimistic environmentalist could easily despair and drag his carbon footprint over to the liquor cabinet when he sees all the progress made saving the Earth take such a giant step backward.

Even now with this awareness less than half of North America's paper is recovered for recycling. Recycled paper is one aspect of materials; the printers themselves should be updated. If a company is planning to purchase big printing machines like hp large format printers they should determine how much electricity it will use and how much it will conserve in downtime. New printers will cover their purchase cost in energy savings in time.

Raw materials and energy are two major recurring costs companies must bear to operate. Recyclable materials reduce waste and trim the budget. Better energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gas emissions and can reduce the cost of electricity by up to half when modern products such as high-tech printers are used. Companies who lag behind in setting these areas as a priority simply won't be able to compete; there is an incentive to develop innovations that can make optimal use of resources.

It was expected years ago that computerization would eliminate the need for paper. Instead, it has allowed for business expansion on such a scale that service and retail sectors have grown, along with their need for flyers and correspondence on a large scale. Paper still thrives in the office environment and it will only be through a monumental effort that everyone will be computerized to a level that paper use can be drastically reduced, as was forecast by the futurists so long ago.

Pat Boardman is a Toronto SEO consultant writing in respect to CELL-A-NET HP Printer Maintenance in Ontario, who provide Managed Print Solutions for the GTA, Mississauga, and Burlington region.

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