Printing in a green world: sustainable printing strategies for a greener future
As the world progressively veers toward a more sustainable future, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to adapt. Sustainability is no longer a ‘nice-to-have,’ but a crucial aspect of operations. This shift is particularly noticeable in the office printing sector, a field traditionally associated with resource-intensive practices.
Customers are now more conscious about the environmental impact of their purchases and favour companies that prioritise sustainability. A good environmental reputation not only attracts customers but also retains them. While implementing sustainable initiatives in printing practices might seem challenging, it’s entirely achievable with the right strategies. Here are some of these effective strategies:
1. Look for eco-friendly suppliers
Office printing involves various suppliers, from those providing hardware to those supplying paper and ink. Ensuring these suppliers have, and consistently uphold, eco-friendly practices is a daunting task. However, given the growing desire to become an eco-friendly business, most suppliers are willing to go the extra mile to attain certification. Businesses can visit their supplier’s website to check their certifications, or simply talk to them over the phone.
2. Prioritise mindful printing
Printing costs money and uses resources, which can strain the environment through waste and landfill. Creating a culture where employees double-check their need to print is an effective sustainability strategy. Some businesses also incorporate a double-confirmation system in their printers, which queues print requests and requires a specific passcode or user authentication for confirmation. This discourages unnecessary printing and conserve resources at the same time.
3. Minimise recycling by reducing waste
While it’s important to recycle, the recycling process still results in greenhouse gas emissions. Aiming for waste reduction, which minimises the use of resources from the onset, is the ideal solution. The principle is straightforward – print only what’s necessary, reducing the need for both raw materials and recycling. Konica Minolta sorts its used packaging into various waste streams for recycling and disposal – cardboard recycled normally and polystyrene going through a crushing process in order to manufacture different types of diesel fuels. It has also succeeded in raising the percentage of post-consumer recycling (PCR) in the raw material used for toner containers to 40 per cent and intends to increase it to 100 per cent in the future.
4. Invest in quality recycled paper
The quality of recycled paper has improved drastically over the years, offering businesses an eco-friendly alternative without compromising quality. Konica Minolta bizhub devices are compatible with various recycled paper types, produced specifically for use in laser printers.
5. Transition to paperless operations
Digitising operations wherever possible can significantly reduce paper consumption. Paperless operations conserve resources and enhance organisational efficiency, making it a win-win for businesses and the environment.
6. Recognise and value green certifications
Green certifications provide tangible proof of a business’s commitment to sustainability. Achieving such certifications enhances a company’s reputation and is a powerful statement of their dedication to eco-friendly operations. Konica Minolta's shows this commitment to sustainability by meeting numerous environmental certification standards, including: International ENERGY STAR rating; Blue Angel Mark; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); ISO 14001:2004; Ethibel Sustainability Index; Eco-Mark' EcoLeaf’, and EPEAT.1
Moving towards more sustainable printing practices
Investing in more sustainable technology is a critical step for organisations that want to reduce their environmental impact. That’s why Konica Minolta developed bizhub Refreshed, a program that provides access to high-quality pre-owned bizhub multifunctional printers (MFPs) that help our customers meet their sustainability goals.
Our pre-owned MFPs offer a balance of cost-effectiveness and unmatched performance, all while significantly reducing the need for producing new devices. An added advantage of choosing our pre-owned MFPs is their affordability compared to their brand-new equivalents. This cost-effective solution lets you exercise better control over your technology budget, making it a smart choice for businesses looking for high-quality, eco-friendly, and budget-friendly printing solutions.