Posted On 11 Feb 2020
Paper and printing costs are a major expenditure for many businesses: it has been suggested that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per annum, and 70% of that ends up being thrown away.
The costs are monumental; Citigroup carried out research that showed that if every employee saved a single sheet of paper a week by using double-sided copying, the company could save $700,000 a year! Below are some tips to cut down the damage unnecessary paper use and printing does to the environment and your balance sheet.
Cut down on your printing: It seems obvious, but lots of printing is unnecessary. Many people make multiple copies for meetings and presentations when they could simply send the information online. Online documents are preferable for sharing annotations and notes as well. A simple sign by your printers asking employees to think about how many copies they really need can work wonders. Modern printers often have the facility to monitor how much printing is done by each employee, and research has shown that those who know they are being monitored will be more careful about waste.
Join the digital revolution: Across the USA, companies spend a staggering $120 billion a year printing out forms that are usually thrown away in favor of an updated form within three months. Furthermore, it is estimated that every employee wastes up to $700-worth of work time each year searching for forms, etc. in filing cabinets. It is easy to create and update electronic forms on your computer system, saving paper, printing costs, and employee time.
Adjust your settings: If you must use hard copies, there are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce paper waste and printing costs. Set your printers and copiers to automatically print in black and white and double-sided, so that workers have to make a positive decision to use more expensive settings. Set narrow margins in your Word documents, which can save a surprising number of pages over a long document. Similarly, significant savings can be made by making the company default font size 10 instead of 12. You can even save (a little) printer ink by using sans serif fonts like Arial instead of serif ones like Times New Roman.
Recycle: Recycling doesn’t just mean separating your paper from your other trash for the municipality to recycle (although you should do that, of course): make sure employees have made the most out of their paper before it goes into the recycling. If anything is printed single-sided, or uses only half of the sheet of paper, when it’s ready for the trash, use the spare white space for notes, lists, and reminders before you throw it away instead of starting everything on a pristine new sheet.