The survey of more than 4,500 public and private sector workers reports that four out of five (83 per cent) organisations are not implementing basiwasted printed material.
According to research from InfoTrends, 779 billion sheets of paper were used in homes and offices across Western Europe last year alone; enough paper to fill Wembley Stadium five times. In the current economic climate, and with environmental concerns front of mind, there are easy ways for businesses to reduce the volume of paper used.
Not managing the use of printers inevitably leads to waste, yet according to the survey, only 11 per cent of organisations have introduced a simple PIN printing solution to track the amount of printed material individuals and departments are creating. At just 5 per cent, even fewer have a system where users need to swipe a card to claim their prints. Businesses in Italy are most likely to control wastage, but still only a quarter (26 per cent) are taking advantage of PIN or swipe card systems. Sweden has the lowest uptake of these solutions, with just one in ten respondents having them in their organisation.
“We have found that over half of all document output costs are associated with purchasing paper and toner,” said Graham Long, Vice President, Samsung European Printing Operation. “Reducing waste is an ideal way to minimise not only costs, but also a company’s environmental footprint. With workers still dependent on the printed page, simple technologies can help companies reduce print volume in the short-term, and educate users about suitable printing behaviour in the longer-term.”
Increasing reliance on PCs, the Internet and communication tools such as email had led to widespread expectations for a “paperless office”. However, the results of the survey show that workers’ preference for the printed page remains strong and therefore conserving resources will need to be led by technology.
Across all age groups, over two thirds (69 per cent) of workers say that they prefer to read documents on paper rather than on the screen. While it might be expected that older workers would prefer hardcopy, the survey has found the opposite; almost three quarters (73 per cent) of those under the age of 35 find it easier to read documents in hard copy, in comparison to two thirds (67 per cent) at age 35 and over.
While high volumes of printing are here to stay, a PIN or swipe card system can help make employees accountable for their printed output. This means users prioritise what they need to print, thereby reducing the amount of paper and toner wasted through unnecessary and abandoned print outs.
What can companies do to reduce print waste?
Minimising wasted paper and toner in the office environment is critical for businesses looking to reduce costs and improve their environmental footprint.
Companies can implement simple solutions to help track printing volume by individual or department, enabling them to instantly identify areas for saving. These solutions, for example the Samsung SyncThru Web Admin Service 5, allow IT managers to control and report on printing devices. Many enable passwords and usage quotas, for example volume of colour prints, to be set for individual users or groups. With reporting features, system administrators can generate custom reports of print volume by device, user, group or department.