Office paper is readily recyclable, yet so much still gets wasted. In this decade alone, Americans will throw away over four and a half million tons of office paper.1 Almost all of this could be recycled, but how much of that output was necessary to print in the first place? In many cases, waste reduction makes a better sustainability strategy for enterprises.
“Waste reduction is more cost-effective than recycling because it reduces the amount of material that needs to be collected, transported and processed. Waste reduction can save money for businesses and institutions of any size,” according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The costs of using paper in the office can run 13 to 31 times the cost of purchasing the paper alone. This is due to expenses like storage, consumables and energy.
The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year,2 so there’s plenty of opportunity to cut back. Most employees would support reduction efforts, but the best intentions get buried in the chaos of the workday. So how can enterprises significantly and measurably improve waste reduction strategies at the user level? Active sustainability management brings both incremental cost savings as well as direct sustainability improvements. The drawback is the time it takes to manually monitor and track print reduction programs.
Daily Motivation from the Desktop
What if there was a “sustainability coach” right on every employee’s desktop? But more than that, what if it was an interesting dashboard that assigned end users an individualized print budget with savings goals, privately compared our savings performance to our peers, and offered tips on more efficient printing?
The new, patented Xerox Print Awareness Tool pioneers this automated but personalized approach to help enterprises reduce carbon footprints and motivate employees to print less and more efficiently. Gamification via a desktop software widget monitors and analyzes each user’s print history and points out wasteful habits. The tool provides real-time print metrics and suggestions on how to voluntarily change behavior to support print reduction goals. For example, it might report that 15 percent of your print jobs were greater than 20 sheets of paper and suggest you try printing the page range you need instead of the entire document.
The unique Xerox Print Awareness Tool promotes sustainable habits at a personal level, and that’s a good place to start. When everyone works together in an organized way, many small steps every day add up to significant sustainability achievements.
Watch this short video to learn more about the new Xerox Print Awareness Tool.