How Information Technology Can Help Save the Environment

Earth Day is April 22
Information Technology has a HUGE impact on our environment. Printing a single piece of paper produces a larger carbon footprint than you might guess, and being more efficient in the way we print can have very positive consequences.

Fact: The EPA estimates the average office worker prints 10,000 pages a year.

April 22nd every year is Earth Day, a day to reflect on the impact we have on our environment, and how we can contribute to the sustainability of our planet. In 1970, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day (he later received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts). Every year more people come to realize we all have responsibility to keep our planet’s eco-system intact.

Office Printing – a Great Place to Start Your Green Plan

Everyone prints, so it’s a natural place to look at becoming more efficient and eco-smart. But guess what – the more paper, ink, and energy you save – the more it helps your bottom line. I’ve heard printing costs can be 3% of revenue. That is a big chunk of change. What if you could cut that cost in half, AND reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Sounds like a win–win situation to me!

Reduce paper usage

The EPA says paper is the biggest waste in the IT environment. Consider the resources required to produce it.

Question: How much water is used to manufacture 1 single sheet of paper?

Answer: 13 ounces!!!

Here are a couple of key areas that can dramatically affect your printing efficiency. They are simple – but most businesses don’t manage these areas nearly as well as they could.
You can reduce paper usage by 25%, simply by setting auto-duplex on your printers. Print management software HP Web Jetadmin can do this in seconds.

Another easy fix is to enforce “pull-printing”. Studies show 15 to 30% of paper is wasted when people print jobs, but never pick them up. Sounds strange I know, but hey, it happens all the time. You go to get your printout, and there’s one already sitting there. It’s probably still lying there hours later. Eventually, it gets thrown away. Pull-printing relies on a user authentication at the printer, before the job prints. This not only saves paper and energy, but creates a more secure, compliant environment.

And, here’s one more paper saver - reduce fax-related paper waste by using digital images that can be captured and sent directly from a scanner or computer without requiring a printed hard copy.

Conserve Energy

Just like your mom always told you, shut the refrigerator door and turn the lights off.

Turning off your printers (and PC’s, monitors, copiers, etc….) during “off” business hours can save up to 66% of normal power consumption. Example: A large enterprise printer in sleep mode still uses 26 watts, compared to less than .5 watts when turned off. That is a 52x difference!

Printing wisely helps the environment and reduces printing cost

Lessen your environmental impact – and save money at the same time – by managing your print environment more effectively.
For other ideas about saving money in your IT environment, please contact To learn about how HP printing solutions can help you save money while being environment friendly, please visit the HP Printing Solutions page.

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