Efficient businesses are always looking at ways to improve their bottom line without sacrificing quality or output. Right? And while big item costs such as wages are usually first to come under scrutiny, printing and paper costs tend to fly under the radar.
It’s an interesting oversight because there are many ways to reduce printing costs in the workplace - and it’s something that can be easily implemented and quantifiably measured, all while saving money and improving sustainability.
Not sure if printing and paper costs warrant your attention? That’s okay, we’ve put together some fast facts to get you thinking and some tips on how you can reduce printing costs:
- Did you know Australians use on average 230kg of paper per person, per year? That’s almost three times the average body weight of an Australian adult.
- It’s said that every Australian office uses up to 10,000 sheets of A4 paper per year, and that half of that paper goes to landfill. That’s 5000 sheets of A4 paper in landfill from only one workplace.
How much paper does your workplace waste?
- Did you know a printer cartridge takes between 450-1000 years to decompose? That equates to almost 10 generations or human lifetimes for one cartridge to break down properly.
- In Australia 34 printer cartridges go to landfill every minute.
Do you know how many cartridges your office is using each year and how those cartridges are being disposed of?
Now that we have some context around printing and paper costs - both economically and environmentally - we can look at how to reduce printing costs in your workplace to actually improve your bottom line while giving your sustainability profile a boost.
Easy ways to reduce printing costs at work
1. Double up
Implement a double-sided print protocol into your workplace and ensure printers have a default setting programmed to print double-sided.
This alone will significantly reduce paper usage and reduce the amount of paper the office is buying. That equates to cost-savings right there.
If you don’t know who is printing what and how much printing your office is doing, then it might be time to look at doing an audit of your workplace.
These numbers can be quite shocking but will also be inspiring as you’ll be able to identify ways in which you can significantly reduce wastage and output and reduce your carbon footprint while saving money in the process.
Do your systems need an overhaul? It could be time to look at internal documents and processes that could be digitalised in a bid to reduce the amount of printing your office is doing.
Things like procedure manuals, induction programmes and large corporate documents could all be placed on internal shared drives so staff can access them digitally rather than print them out.
If you’ve had your printing and document handling equipment in place for a number of years, it might be time to replace your devices to make way for more innovative systems and equipment that are more sustainable and cost-effective to run.
Set up stringent office procedures around recycling and be sure there are paper recycling stations handy to every printing device so it’s easy for staff to just pop wasted paper into the recycle bin, rather than toss it into the rubbish bin.
Where possible, re-use single-sided printed paper by stapling it up in groups of 20 sheets and distributing it to office staff to use as a makeshift scribble pad.
6. Get it right
Are you happy with your current print provider and do you believe they genuinely care about your printing costs and bottom line? It might be time to look towards finding the right provider who can assist with all facets of your printing and document handling.
Do your research and find a reputable print provider who can assist with managed print services (MPS) to ensure maximum printing efficiency that will also help you reduce your printing costs in the process.
Printing is typically the third-highest business expense after rent and payroll, but it's often overlooked or calculated using only the sticker price. Download our Total Cost of Ownership Guide to learn how to calculate your real printing costs and significantly reduce them.