Office workers throw away 45% of documents within 24 hours of printing them.
This is the finding of a survey conducted on behalf of Xerox. Accordingly, the company has compiled five simple tips for smart paper use.
"Paper is a renewable resource," says Rob Abraham, MD of Bytes Document Solutions, distributor of Xerox products in 24 sub-Saharan countries. "If you think before you print and choose the paper that's right for the job, you can reduce the environmental footprint of your office."
As one of the world's largest suppliers of papers for office printers and copiers, Xerox is sharing its philosophies with regard to paper:
* Use both sides of the paper. It is called "duplex printing" and it is the single best way to reduce paper use. So choose copiers, digital printers and multifunction devices that can print on both sides of the paper. Set duplex as your default mode.
* Go digital. Save on postage by sending electronic files and let your recipient decide whether to print them. Replace paper files with electronic ones using the scan-to-file option on multifunction devices.
* Be selective. Print what you need when you need it. For example, print only the portion of the report you need, not every page. Preview your print to avoid printing pages with boilerplate. Print on demand. Don't stockpile forms, letterhead, or instructions that will go out of date.
* Reach for the right paper. A number of options promote sound environmental practices. Print on papers certified through global organisations, such as the Forest Stewardship Council or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, both of which have strict international standards for sustainable forestry. Use paper with recycled content.
* Recycle. Collect used paper so the fiber can be used again. Recycling the fiber saves trees, reduces energy and water use, requires fewer chemicals, and keeps paper out of landfills.
"It may be a surprise that Xerox is concerned about excessive paper use. After all, we're in the business of putting marks on pages," notes Abraham. "But the hallmark of our business has always been operating in an environmentally responsible way. That means holding our suppliers to tough standards on how they make paper, improving forest management and protecting endangered forests. As important, through Xerox innovation we help our customers minimise their impact on the environment while meeting their business needs."
Xerox applies stringent requirements on all its paper suppliers and is working with The Nature Conservancy to identify and promote best practices that will enable environmental scientists, forest managers and paper suppliers to work cooperatively toward sustainable forest management.
Long an evangelist for greener operations, Xerox believes that environmental sustainability isn't a cost of doing business, but a way of doing business that benefits shareholders, customers, employees and the world in which we work and live.