The overwhelming majority of small to medium-sized businesses say they want to reduce the environmental impact of printing, but many say they are actually printing more, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by Lexmark International.

Questioning more than 1 400 companies with up to 250 employees in seven countries*, the study found that although SMBs are aware of the impact of paper on the environment – over half (54%) think office paper wastage causes the biggest impact on the environment – their good intentions are not necessarily being put into practice. Six out of 10 (61%) SMBs noted an increase in the volume of printing compared to two years ago. Just 17% of companies reported a reduction in the number of printed pages.
Half of SMBs (51%) say they have an environmental strategy in place. To reduce their impact on the environment, they say they are ready to commit to switching off electronic equipment (96%), recycling cartridges (93%), and reading documents on screen instead of on paper (93%). Some have already enforced two-sided printing (18%).
Overall, reduction in printing was due to an increase in electronic communication (58%), rather than greater awareness of cost or environmental impact (6%).
SMBs should realise that reducing costs and implementing environmental strategies often share the same tactics and outcome, according to Branislav Zivkovic, MD of Lexmark SA.
“At Lexmark, we offer solutions that help our customers minimize their environmental impact without compromising productivity," Zivkovic said. "We provide exactly what they need to get the most value from their printing infrastructure, in the context of creating a greener, more efficient working environment.”
Lexmark is committed to helping businesses become greener and reduce their printing costs through a wide range of high-performance, eco-friendly and optimized output solutions. Our environmental programs focus on the design of printing solutions that better serve customers as well as the education of users on printing best practices, such as:
* Use of two-sided and multi-up printing by default, and the sharing of printers;
* Preview of documents on screen before printing;
* Scan to e-mail or scan to disk when possible instead of copying pages; and
* Use of only high quality cartridges and free cartridge collection programs.