Photocopiers & Printers vs Climate Change

Have you ever asked yourself if you could be more environmentally friendly? Most of us have systems in place within our homes to ‘do our bit for the planet’, such as recycling, but could we extend this to the office environment? This month we will consider how modern photocopiers and printers are helping our fragile environment and doing their part to combat climate change, and also give you a few ideas to change your ways, in an effort to help you to reduce your carbon footprint.

Did you know?

  • Turning your photocopiers and printers from standby to off overnight can save enough energy to power both your LCD TV and your refrigerator at once!
  • Leaving your photocopier on standby overnight releases as much greenhouse gas over a year as driving from Cambridge to Paris and back again, and wastes enough energy to make 30 cups of tea.
  • A photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy to produce over 1500 copies and you'd need to plant 10 trees to offset the carbon produced by doing this!
  • If photocopiers are left on all day and are only used for 20% of that time, this will use about £350 worth of energy each year.

So, what can companies do to minimise their costs and save the planet?  

Recycle and Reduce

Obvious things like recycling and reducing office waste are indeed very important, as although many offices have a range of modern technology at their disposal, huge amounts of paper are still being used, often unnecessarily.  The paperless office still therefore appears to be a distant dream!  However, the use of email, intranets, document scanning and online information can help to reduce paper use and purchasing costs, if managed carefully.  So why not try encouraging staff to save and read documents electronically rather than always printing out hard copies?  You will be surprised at the amount you can save.

Remember: 'The easiest way to minimise waste is to avoid creating it in the first place.'

Review your photocopying / printing practice

Before printing or photocopying, consider if you really need a hard copy.  If you do, then try printing double- sided.  Many of the newest printers, photocopiers and MFDs, (Multi- functional devices), not only save time but money too, as they help us to be smarter with our printing.

Consider more energy efficient and environmentally friendly photocopiers and printers

If you really want to make a greener, more energy efficient office, and you are committed for the long term, then try to dispose of outdated and 'energy gobbling' equipment.  The new generation range of printers and photocopiers now available will save you energy in three main ways:

  • They have a lower energy rating than older printers and copiers.
  • They are multi-function, and more efficient, enabling you to reduce the number of devices, such as scanners, by more than 30%.
  • They reduce printing by around 10%, by requiring staff to swipe their pass before they can print, ensuring that documents aren't printed, and then left uncollected.

Case studies of larger companies who have replaced all their old network printers with newer, faster, more powerful and more energy efficient devices, have revealed that the new printing systems will reduce their emissions by around 15 tonnes a year.  Other reported benefits have included a reduction in toner and paper costs of about 10%, and a reduction in waste paper of around 4.5 tonnes.

Further proof, if you are still not convinced about the energy efficiency of newer machines compared to older devices, is highlighted in the table below.

(These figures are based on a nine hour working day and show the difference in power usage between a new generation and an older device.)

Newer devices:

Printer State

Time

Power used

Total time actually printing per day

= 8 minutes 20 seconds

= 0.694kWh

Time spent in Idle per day

= 20 minutes

= 0.0167kWh

Working day spent in Deep Sleep
/ Auto-Off per day

= 8 hours, 31 minutes 40 seconds

= 0.00853kWh

Overnight time in Deep Sleep
/ Auto-Off per day

= 15 hours

= 0.015kWh

Power used per working day

= 0.73423kWh

Power used per working year

= 185.76kWh

Non-working days per year spent
in Deep Sleep / Auto-Off

= 112 days

= 2.688kWh

Total power used per year

= 188.45kWh

Cost of power per kWh

= £0.2 per kWh

Total cost of power used per year for 1 device

= £37.69

Older devices:

Printer State

Time

Power used

Total time actually printing per day

= 8 minutes 20 seconds

= 0.694kWh

Time spent in Idle per day

= 20 minutes

= 0.0833kWh

Working day spent in Power Save
per day

= 8 hours, 31 minutes 40 seconds

= 0.1799kWh

Overnight time in Power Save
per day

= 15 hours

= 0.375kWh

Power used per working day

= 1.3322kWh

Power used per working year

= 337.05kWh

Non-working days per year spent
in Power Save

= 112 days

= 67.2kWh

Total power used per year

= 404.25kWh

Cost of power per kWh

= £0.2 per kWh

Total cost of power used per year for 1 device

= £80.85 

Although this doesn't sound like a massive difference in power usage for a single device, if you multiply this outlay by say, 400 for larger businesses, or perhaps even by 4,000 for huge global corporations, we are then talking about a huge difference in cost of power per year. 

Therefore, the new generation laser printers with an auto-on / off, or automatic 'deep sleep' mode, will undoubtedly save businesses a lot of money in the long run, making today's machines much more environmentally friendly than those from only a few years ago.

Other features to look out for in the new generation of photocopiers and printers, which will help the environment

Recyclable Cartridges/Toners

Many major manufacturers such as Canon now offer "green" recycling programs that reuse certain parts and recycle the remaining materials, often providing free return for cartridges bearing the company's brand name.

Low Melting Point Toner

Some of the newer photocopiers use a low melting point toner. These can save up to 40% of the energy used by reducing the warm up time, which also reduces staff waiting time because copying and printing have a faster recovery time from stand-by mode.

Double Sided Printing Feature

Duplex or doubled-sided copying allows printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. By reducing consumption, this feature is one way many companies are making significant reductions in paper and ink. 

Faster Print Speeds

Unlike older models which could only produce around 30 pages per minute (ppm), newer digital copiers can print anywhere between 22 ppm to 100 ppm with deluxe models. Reducing warm-up requirements, "first copy out" speeds, have also improved, and now range between 3.5 to 7.5 seconds.

Power Management Features

These will help you to manage your office equipment and energy use better. It will also save energy and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 'powering down' the device when not in use.

Energy Star and RoHS

Many ranges of copiers and printers now have the American 'Energy Star' rating. Products which have earned this qualification feature energy efficient designs, which use less energy on everyday tasks and have less of an environmental impact. Its introduction goes some way to protect the environment by assessing the energy efficiency of products, thus saving consumers money.  Energy Star rated products will have an 'energy saving' mode as standard.  By choosing a product with this rating, you can reduce your energy needs in times of low activity by around 60%.

By comparison, a European directive called RoHS is concerned in restricting the use of hazardous substances in electrical equipment that could have a detrimental effect on the environment. Essentially this directive bans any new electronic equipment within the EU, that contains more than the agreed levels of the following; cadmium, lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, PBB, (polybrominated biphenyl) and PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ether).  Looking for this rating when buying your copier will ensure you are reducing unnecessary risks to the environment.

Conclusion

So there you have it... by putting a range of measures in to combat climate change and help the environment, you can save significant amounts of money in the long run.  There is no doubt that there needs to be a real change of attitude to making savings, both in the home, and in the office. Producing less waste and recycling more will go some way to reducing our carbon footprint, along with conserving power through turning down heating and making the most of the new printing and photocopying technology around us. By taking responsibility in promoting energy efficiency, you can do your part to help to rebalance our fragile ecosystem, and save money too! A win-win situation. 

Paragon Comment

There is some excellent advice here to help businesses who are aiming to become more environmentally friendly.  Let's face it… by taking responsibility now we can look forward to a greener future. Many organisations have become increasingly aware in recent years of the need to implement more energy-efficiency measures.  This not only helps businesses to raise profitability, but also goes some way to reducing climate change. Environmentally friendly photocopiers and printers are crucial to energy-saving and waste-reduction in the office. Such technology is helping to address the need for increased energy efficiency.  At Paragon we have a range of the latest photocopier and printer models from leading manufacturers like Canon, Kyocera and Toshiba, which include all the major energy-saving features mentioned above.

You can buy, rent or lease a photocopier or printer with Paragon or let Paragons Managed Print Services handle all your office printer & photocopier requirements and make your office more effecient. We only provide the best brand machines so you enjoy a hassle free, greener working environment. We provide leasing on printers & photocopiers for companies of any size in London & across the UK, all at an unbeatable price.  So why not give us a try, you won't regret it.

Your local photocopier leasing company:

Paragon are the photocopier company you can rely on:
Serving, London, Surrey, Essex, Kent, Middlesex, Hertfordshire & Nationwide

Request a call back

We will match any other photocopier leasing price, guaranteed!
Lease a photocopier, get a FREE ipod nano!
Find out how Paragon can efficiently & effectively transform your document environment and your business!