With rising energy costs and the increasing need to make business both environmentally friendly as well as efficient, saving energy on your workplace photocopying is a great way to reduce your bills and minimise your environmental impact. Save energy and money while copying without reducing your company’s productivity

Make sure you are fully aware of your printer device’s functionality. Relatively new photocopiers often include scanning, printing as well as faxing and can be internet connected too. Your existing photocopiers may do much more than you think. It will be easy to work out whether you’ll be able to save, once you’re completely au fait with its capabilities.

If your photocopier doesn’t possess all those attributes and you are buying again, it might be more cost effective as well energy efficient for you to opt for a multifunctional printer device. When used correctly, multifunctional printers (MFP’s) can save on the amount of photocopies and prints that you make and will often cost less in terms of both the finances and energy consumption than if you were to run several single function printer devices separately.

Making sure that everyone in the workplace only uses your printers and photocopiers when necessary is very important. Even at first glance around most organisations, you will find far more paper goes to waste than is necessary, often simply because people have formed bad habits. For instance, copies of a document may be made when it could just as easily be scanned in and emailed around to colleagues. Engaging your people to think whenever paper is consumed is essential and can make a substantial difference both in terms of energy and financial costs.

Everybody in the office should make sure to check that all photocopiers are turned off before leaving the office. A number of photocopiers automatically switch into standby mode, so energy can be saved this way even during the working day, potentially reducing your energy bills significantly as well.

Select a photocopier’s duplex function for automatic double sided printing. This should in fact be set to default, which will greatly reduce the amount of paper that is consumed and also lower your office costs.

Always choose a copier/printer that is good enough for the job. For instance, don’t copy or print with a much larger colour/gloss paper MFD (multifunction printer) when a smaller, simpler black and white, matte paper printer would do.

Always examine the photocopier’s graphic display carefully and only press the green button when you’re confident of the result. It is worth familiarising yourself with the machine’s on-board menu before you actually need copies. This way, you’re in no rush to find the function you require or at risk of frantically making unnecessary photocopies.

It may sound simple, but when placing your document in the document handler, ensure it is the correct way up. You’ll always know, as somewhere closely in view, will be a relief image of a typical document, clearly indicating which side should be facing up and which down.

When buying a new photocopier, printer, scanner or multifunction printer (MFP), please be sure to check the new printer’s environmental credentials. Various organisations, such as Energy Star, based in the US, set out very specific and rigorous criteria, to ensure only the most efficient printers bare its logo. At any one time, no more than fifty percent of products in any particular appliance market should have Energy Star accreditation, so you can be confident; both that standards are high and continually rising.

Software packages are available that monitor employees’ print/photocopy usage, so you can determine where in your organisation, resource and energy may be being wasted. Other applications allow you to configure copiers and MFP (multifunction printers) to work in the most efficient way, so printers aren’t misallocated or misused.

One of the best ways for workplaces to limit their environmental impact and save energy is to recycle. Providing simple and convenient waste paper disposal arrangements makes recycling your unwanted waste paper quick and easy. As a general rule, keep large waste paper bins right by your photocopiers – large so they don’t fill up so quickly and close, so the lure of nearby general waste bins is never that strong.

Ensure your organisation disposes of its other printer consumables in the correct way. Most printer cartridge manufacturers will provide instructions for disposal, which will usually involve simple repackaging and labelling to be sent away for recycling. This way the environmental and energy impact of your photocopying is kept to an absolute minimum.

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