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 user 2009-12-21 at 10:26:50 am Views: 41
  • #23261


    The UK is the worst country in Europe for sustainable
    printing, with companies wasting up to five percent of their turnover in
    printout, according to research by Ricoh

    The UK’s
    adoption of sustainable document strategies is the worst in Europe,
    according to new research by printing specialist Ricoh, suggesting that
    British enterprises are unaware of the potential to use green practices
    to cut costs.Ricoh’s Document Governance Index – which assigns a
    numerical value to environmental aspects of document governance such as
    recycling, setting targets, auditing and employee behaviours – placed
    the UK in seventh place out of seven, scoring only 38.5 out of a
    possible 100.

    France came top the league with 43.5 percent,
    followed by Italy (42.7 percent) and Germany (41.7 percent). However,
    none of the countries surveyed scored more than 50 percent of the total,
    suggesting that there is still significant room for improvement in
    sustainable printing strategies across Europe.

    According to the
    report, most European organisations are failing to centralise their
    document governance, with only 33 percent of companies claiming to have
    implemented a fully developed strategy to deal with paper and energy
    wastage. This means that many companies are overlooking tactical actions
    they can take, not only to improve sustainability but to reduce costs
    as well.

    Paper wastage is one of the highest costs to businesses,
    with the total spend on document management in Europe currently
    exceeding 14 billion euros per year – up to five percent of annual
    turnover. Despite this, 32 percent of business leaders allow employees
    to do what they like with regard to duplex printing (printing on both
    sides of the paper) and 19 percent are either still in the planning
    stages or have no plans to implement a duplex printing policy. Only 18
    percent have implemented a such a policy company-wide.

    One of the
    main obstacles for companies attempting to develop a green printing
    strategy is a lack of awareness among employees. The report found that
    almost half (47 percent) of European business leaders are unfamiliar
    with their company’s recycling policy and 40 percent with their toner
    recycling policy.

    “Despite sustainability being an important
    fixture on the business agenda, and documents making up an essential
    part of day-to-day business operations, there remains a lack of
    awareness of the role that document governance can play in driving both
    environmental and business efficiencies,” said Tom Wagland, manager of
    Ricoh’s Environmental Management Group. “Businesses need to act now by
    taking some simple steps to improve the way they are managing and
    controlling their document workflows.”

    One of the ways that Ricoh
    proposes to combat this problem is with its Pay Per Page Green
    consultancy service, which it claims can highlight an organisation’s
    current costs and environmental impacts and propose an optimised
    solution, offering lower, visible costs, reduced environmental impacts –
    on average of between 10 and 30 percent – and improve business

    “We take a cradle-to-cradle approach to sustainable
    innovation; offering products and services that contribute to
    environmental preservation from design to recycling,” said Shun Sato,
    vice president of Ricoh Europe in a statement in February.

    to sell green printing strategies generally rely on having fewer
    printers, under tighter central control, with some sort of
    “pull-printing” service so users can’t get their output without a
    security token, reducing the dangers of a shared output tray. “We must
    constantly be rethinking current practices in the light of new
    technologies and sustainability issues,” Lexmark’s director of
    sustainable affairs Béatrice Marneffe told eWEEK Europe in June.

    printer manufacturers’ motives are arguably mixed, since they profit
    from extra output, they say customer demand is helping the sustainable
    approach: “It’s not in our interest for customers to print less, but it
    is our business to make a profit from what the customers want,” Graham
    Long, vice president of Samsung’s European printing operation, told
    eWEEK Europe in July.Earlier this year, HP launched a similar service to
    that of Ricoh, which it says will cut enterprise printing costs by over
    15 percent, and reduce carbon footprints, if companies sign up to a
    total print service managed by HP.