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Office Technology Companies Can Up Their Sustainability Game

3 Mins read

According to GreenPrint’s second Business of Sustainability Index, 66 percent of Americans across all age groups are willing to pay more for sustainable products as compared to less sustainable competitors. As more organizations seek durable, versatile products that are also eco-friendly, B2B tech companies, especially office technology companies, should note the features that customers find the most valuable and efficient and step up their game to provide products built to last while educating buyers on what constitutes sustainable technology.

Sustainable printing is meant to offer a means that blend innovative approaches into a business workflow. In this article, we will explore sustainability in printers specifically and three things customers should be aware of when selecting printers to help up their sustainability game in the workplace.

Supply-conserving features extend the overall life of printers, cut waste and omit emissions

Some printers include sleep mode, auto power off, toner save mode, default duplex printing, and print release functions. What do these features do? They are all designed to conserve the number of supplies used every time someone prints. Take sleep mode, for example. Employees save energy by not worrying about switching off the printer if there’s a lull in activity. It will go into a low-power sleep mode by itself. With auto power-off mode switched on, the machine will shut down automatically at a set time daily to conserve power during nonworking hours. Toner is an expensive ongoing cost, so toner save mode allows the printer to use less toner on each page. This extends the toner cartridge’s life, reducing the number of replacements and the number of cartridges that need to be recycled – including fewer shipments with the added plus of reducing cost. And we cannot forget about paper consumption. Default duplex printing saves half of the paper since users can print content on both sides of one sheet. Print release features hold a print job until the user physically goes to the printer to release it, reducing paper waste and eliminating uncollected prints or prints made by mistake.

Building these types of features into new lines of printers creates sustainable products that meet the needs of a hybrid workforce while helping customers save supplies and money and be socially responsible.

Sustainability certifications are markers of environmentally friendly devices.

Today’s modern printers are all equipped with environmentally friendly technology. When launching a new line of sustainable printers, office technology vendors can get their devices certified by a well-known organization such as Energy Star or the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). While Energy Star has a bunch of different product specifications, each with a separate process, its overarching purpose is to certify products as energy efficient. Earning a certification like this ensures that the device has undergone rigorous testing by experts. Customers can use certified printers with ease because they know that the latter contributes to a smaller carbon footprint while also meeting their business needs for a longer period than uncertified devices.

Periodic firmware updates give printers an upgrade without replacing the entire machine.

It might be time to replace those unused or outdated printers with more energy-efficient models.  But if replacing these models is not an option, businesses can practice sustainability by choosing printers with the option of firmware updates to continue meeting business needs, maintaining productivity, and ensuring cyber hygiene. These updates refresh the software in printers so that employees can use the latest technology and functions without needing to replace the whole printer as often. Firmware updates allow companies to save costs on machinery, enabling smarter spending on quality devices that meet their business needs over an extended period. Let’s face it, you don’t want your employees to miss out on the latest product functionalities, especially if it increases office productivity. And in today’s business world, some of the older models may not be equipped with the suitable device security needed for a distributed workforce. As of right now, if an organization still relies on outdated models, it should consider replacing them, or those models can become a liability to the business.

As companies strive to be more sustainable, when it comes to office technology, the printer is only a part of the whole picture. In-house efficiency, especially when it comes to printing, can lower costs, reduce waste and achieve performance milestones. On top of reducing an office’s carbon footprint, hone in on the features that align with how work now works, promote sustainable printing practices, and determine if any existing printers can be upgraded to more efficient models (such as multi-function printers). Last, if the printer is no longer needed, organizations should do whatever is possible to properly discard this equipment (using the right environmentally friendly methods, of course).

Bob Burnett is the Director of B2B Solutions Deployment and Planning at Brother International Corporation. Using his decades of business technology experience, Bob oversees the collaboration of the product marketers, field engineers and business analysts, and helps to facilitate partnerships with enterprises across the United States to collaborate on their unique document-imaging and workflow requests. Bobs role focuses on supporting Brother customers to simplify company-specific business processes while maximizing cost efficiency and security.

 Sustainability image courtesy Brother.

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