Now more than ever, companies are calling on managed print services (MPS) to save money and spur growth. CIOs and IT managers recognize the need to proactively manage the costs of printing, sharing and updating documents as a strategic imperative.
One of the simplest ways to think about the impact MPS can have on your business is to consider what went into the decision-making process for the current print environment. Your organization needed to print, so you bought printers. Most businesses gave little thought to paper usage, power consumption, IT management needs or protecting intellectual property.
And while cost reduction – up to 30% of print-related expenses – is what motivates many to seek an MPS strategy, reducing the environmental impact is increasingly climbing to the top of the list of priorities for businesses large and small. From Boeing, Cisco and Procter & Gamble, to the cities of Dallas and Colorado Springs, impact on the environment is at the heart of MPS decision-making – almost as much as cost savings.
The concept is fairly simple. By decreasing the number of printers, copiers, fax machines, you hit environmental sustainability goals by reducing paper consumption, decreasing power usage and eliminating landfill waste. And to reduce waste and costs even further, many companies introduce an incentive program to make the workforce more conscious of print volume and efficiency. Adding a Web portal so employees can send larger print jobs to the print center for better management of jobs can also have a sustainable impact.
Here are some other things to consider regarding a “green” MPS strategy:
Prove it before you do it: When assessing your current printing situation, your MPS provider can input the data into a tool such as Newfield IT’s DB Asset Green Calculator to show the total cost of ownership (TCO) and the environmental impact of existing devices. Then together you can come up with a plan to improve it.
The printer fleet itself can be eco-friendly: There are a variety of products that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rigorous ENERGY STAR® requirements, such as multifunction printers with Xerox solid ink technology. With the cartridge-free design, solid ink products generate 90% less supplies waste and reduce the effects of manufacturing and transportation on the environment. A study by the Rochester Institute of Technology estimated that the Xerox ColorQube series uses 9% less lifecycle energy and produces 10% fewer greenhouse gases than a comparable laser device.
Employee education is critical: Providing employees with more environmentally sensitive ways to work with documents can be as simple as offering a succinct overview of specific print and document features, providing reminders to invoke duplex printing to use less paper, or asking them to cut down on “orphaned prints” – documents that sit unclaimed at the printer.
As green IT strategies become more mainstream, it’s evident to business leaders that waste is about more than cost. And as organizations increasingly promote corporate responsibility and environmental initiatives – even create jobs and compete for talent with sustainability or “green” training – MPS can be an important strategy to ensure your own facilities meet environmental sustainability goals.
Kevin M. Warren is president, United States Client Operations (USCO) for Xerox
PREVIOUS ARTICLE«Is Today’s Data Scientist 1995’s Webmaster?
Kathryn Cave looks at the big trends in tech
Mark Chillingworth on IT leadership
Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond