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10 tips to help companies save on printing

perspective "Sustainability" techniques help organizations to continue being environmentally friendly even while they go on satisfying their printing needs.

perspective Being eco-friendly is important to reduce the deleterious effects of global warming. For this, companies today are following a new process called "sustainability" as they take steps toward eco-friendliness.

Sustainability is essentially a way of balancing economic, social and environmental objectives through the integration of energy and resource-saving principles in products, systems and lifestyles to create a better world.

A good idea of how much can be saved from a simple process is in the estimate that the recycling of one newspaper daily could save 41,000 trees from being cut down.

If your company is looking to contribute to a sustainable world, here are some simple steps to start with:

1. Print less
Fact: It takes about 10 times more energy to manufacture a sheet of paper than to copy an image onto it.
Action: Use half as much paper by printing in duplex.
Action: Choose the paper that's right for your printing job.

2. Reduce using color toner cartridges
Fact: By printing draft quality, you will conserve more paper and documents print faster.
Action: You can set Word to print in draft quality to save money on ink.

3. Manage printing supplies responsibly
Fact: 90 percent of returned toner cartridge material can be reused or recycled into new products.
Action: Take advantage of vendor programs to return used toner cartridges.

4. Conserve energy
Fact: Energy Star-qualified imaging equipment that meets the new imaging equipment specification is 25 percent more efficient than conventional models. Such equipment also run cooler, last longer and may save on air conditioning and maintenance.
Action: Buy Energy Star-compliant devices.
Action: Select the most energy-efficient models when you replace your old appliances so you can conserve energy and reduce the devices' carbon footprints.

5. Buy paper responsibly
Fact: According to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), only 10 percent of the world's forests are certified to be "sustainably" managed.
Action: Use recycled paper that has at least 30 percent post-consumer content and that is not chlorine bleached or de-inked using chlorine or its derivatives, as recommended by Green Seal.
Action: Buy paper with chain of custody credentials sourced from "sustainably" managed forests. Read more at the Web sites of the PEFC Council, Forest Stewardship Council and SFI.

6. Consolidate devices
Fact: One multifunction printer (MFP) can use less energy than a copier, a printer and a fax machine.
Action: Replace single-function desktop machines with a shared MFP.

7. Distribute information electronically
Fact: Save on postage by sending electronic files.
Action: Use an MFP to scan documents to e-mail, FTP, shared folders, or a USB flash drive. Also, create an electronic document repository and online content management system.

8. Choose your printers carefully
Fact: When buying a printer, you should select the one that is perfect to your needs. Photo printers will normally contain more ink cartridges to the standard inkjet printer in order to duplicate the color range.
Action: Be aware of how much recycled material the printers contain. Review their environmental policies and ISO 14001 certification.
Action: Affordable printers are available for double-sided printing and faxing reducing paper consumption.

9. Rectify your bad printing habits
Fact: Individuals, who have access to alternative printing resources, tend to have "carefree printing habits".
Action: Avoid printing hard copies wherever possible.
Action: Set and reinforce good habits that change wasteful printing behavior.

10. Practice responsible device lifecycle management
Fact: Singaporeans sent 2.56 million tones of refuse, equivalent to 300 soccer fields filled with rubbish, to their four waste-to-energy plants and landfill in 2006.
Action: Take advantage of end-of-life take-back programs of various authorized distributors.

Benoit Chatelard, is vice president and general manager Asia Pacific at InfoPrint Solutions.