The importance of sustainable print management

The list of unethical and unsustainable companies is endless but luckily, during a time when social media is becoming a powerful social activism tool, businesses are now being held to high standards by the consumers themselves.

There are many facets of a business that require a sustainable outlook but there’s one that is glaringly obvious, and that’s the printing sector. Unless a company has implemented an effective print policy, you can guarantee that there is a tonne of unnecessary waste and a leak of energy. This is where print management comes in; print management is the handling of a company’s print tasks.

>See also: Effective print management benefits the enterprise

Although many are of the opinion that a company’s only printing job is that of the occasional work- related document, there are in fact many more printing jobs occurring in a company on a day to day basis, such as business cards, signage, brochures, mousepads, mugs, etc.

All of these print jobs are either taken care of in-house or with an external printing shop, such as the likes of Saxoprint.

Regardless of the method of print, applying an effective and sustainable print management system to a company is of extreme importance and does
not only reflect well on the business externally, but also internally amongst the staff.

Features of a bad printing practice

 A lack of monitoring: there is very little to no monitoring process in place.
 Free for all: there are zero regulations or rules when it comes to printing.
 Resources: resources are not used sparingly.
 Products: products are not environmentally friendly.

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 Default settings: printer does not have any economic defaults in place such as double sided printing or black and white printing.
 Recycling: the recycling of materials, paper, cartridges, etc. is not taken seriously.

Most businesses are extreme offenders of causing printing waste. The prime issue is the lack of a monitoring process. By monitoring a company’s printing, a clear impression of product and energy waste can be gained; it will quickly become obvious where exactly energy is being leaked and where improvements can be made.

Businesses that allow printing without any form of approval or any vetting process are at risk of being taken advantage of. Although it may be difficult to implement
with small printing jobs, larger items like ad posters and business flags should certainly require approval.

An obvious element of a green printing process is using recyclable materials such as recycled paper, soy and vegetable-based inks or remanufactured cartridges. In addition to this, by encouraging digital solutions to paper such as tablets, PowerPoints and laptops, a company’s waste can be cut in two.

>See also: The rise of digital printing in a paperless world

Despite how obvious these techniques may seem, there are still plenty of companies that don’t reap the rewards from such standards.

The facts and figures at a glance

According to The World Counts,“324 litres of water is used to make 1 kilogram of paper; 93% of paper comes from trees; 50% of the waste of businesses is composed of paper; and recycling 1 ton of paper saves around 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 litres of water and 17 trees”.

When faced with such startling figures such as these, it’s no wonder that there is more of an emphasis now on sustainable print management than ever before.

The advantages of print management

By taking on board a print management system, a business dedicates a certain amount of the budget towards the environmental responsibility of the company in terms of printing.

There are three main options for this: an internal print management department, an external print management company, or a print management software. A print management software is usually installed on the office computers and aims to establish good printing habits across the board.

It does so by identifying the company processes, suggesting other alternatives for communication, setting print policies and assembling analytic reports as well as a specially tailored how-to guide.

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Installing a print management system can be advantageous to the entire enterprise and can benefit a business throughout. In opting for a print management system, businesses not only reduce their environmental impact, but also save on costs, energy and efficiency as well as increased security.

In addition to this, it helps craft a positive public image both internally and externally. Customers or consumers will admire such company ethics while respect will be evoked amongst the staff, as well as loyalty.

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