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ISM Article

How Small Offices Can Make a Big Impact

24 Oct, 2008 By: Jim Rise

How Small Offices Can Make a Big Impact

Considering the pace at which the environment is changing and the mounting
scientific evidence showing man as a contributing factor, the phrase “Think
globally, act locally” quite possibly has never carried as much weight as it
does today.

Corporations and small businesses are doing their part to contribute to the
betterment of their surrounding environments. And while much progress has been
made, there is still a lot that can be done by companies to conserve energy and
reduce waste, while also improving efficiency and productivity.

Think a small business can’t make a big impact? Think again. According to
U.S. Small Business Administration figures, small businesses - those with fewer
than 500 employees - represent 99.9 percent of all U.S. companies. When a group
this big takes similar actions individually, collectively, it can have a
tremendous and swift impact.

Wasted Paper

A typical office generates about 1.5 pounds of wastepaper per employee each
day. The majority of this wastepaper is from single-side copying and printing.
By simply selecting to print on both sides of a sheet of paper whenever
printing, businesses will conserve storage space and reduce handling costs.

Another way to cut down on paper usage and increase productivity is to
introduce workflow technologies through copier/printer devices. Most
sophisticated multifunction products (MFPs) come with workflow capabilities,
such as, scan-to-network or scan-to-e-mail. These features allow a person who
wants to make a copy to scan their document directly into an email instead. As a
result, paper usage is cut, and energy consumption reduced. \

Energy Use

Take a hard look at your current peripheral network. Documents are created,
copied, printed, scanned and faxed on a daily basis. A copier, two printers and
a fax machine can consume 1400 kWh of energy a year. You can replace stand-alone
office products with a single multifunction system that performs all of the same
functions and uses only 700 kWh annually.

Truth About Trash

The next time you toss that empty toner or ink cartridge in the trash, stop
and think. According to the Cartridge World North America, 300 million
cartridges end up in landfills each year. This is anticipated to increase at a
rate of 12 percent each year, so by 2015 the U.S. should be looking at
991,177,578 cartridges ending up in landfills.

Not all printers are alike when it comes to the amount of waste generated.
Compared to traditional laser printers, Xerox’s solid ink printers create 90
percent less consumables waste. After 100,000 prints, a solid ink printer
produces only five pounds of waste compared to a color laser, which can produce
157 pounds.

Small steps really do make a difference. By incorporating procedures to
reduce, reuse and recycle, offices of any size can help improve the health of
the environment one step at a time.

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