Reducing Office Paper Waste

Attacking paper waste is not only environmentally beneficial, it is economically crucial to a business. Even if paper is relatively affordable, the cost of using it is many times higher. After each sheet of paper is purchased, a company then pays for its copying, printing, postage, storage, disposal, and recycling, making the true cost of that ream of paper somewhere in the ballpark of $155! Since the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, reducing the paper waste in your office will bring this business expense down while simultaneously saving the planet.

Become Electronically Efficient

Businesses that have converted to electronic forms, data storage, and filing systems have found they can retrieve information much more efficiently since fewer sheets of paper means less time spent looking for those that are misplaced or lost. Use e-mail whenever possible to exchange documents and work on drafts electronically, using documents with editing and commenting features instead of working on paper.

Think Before You Print or Copy

Put a message at the bottom of all emails suggesting that recipients not print the email unless absolutely necessary. Since it is sometimes necessary for documents to be printed, print responsibly. Proofread documents and use the spell/grammar tool to edit, then preview the document using print preview to spot formatting errors and blank pages before you print. When printing information for meetings, print only the number of copies necessary for the meeting, don’t make extras. If possible, reduce page sizes to fit two pages of a report on to one side of paper or if only a few pages of the document are needed, print only those pages instead of the whole report.

Set New Printing and Copying Defaults

Set your business computers’ defaults to print double-sided to cut your paper use and costs in half. You can also adjust fonts, margins, and spacing to fit more text on a standard sheet.

Reuse and Recycle

Save and collect all paper that’s been printed on one side and use for internal memos, scratch pads, or leave it near each printer for drafts. If you don’t recycle your office paper…start now. Set recycling bins throughout your offices. Educate your staff on what can and cannot be recycled and post signs to encourage reuse and recycling.

Buy the Best Paper

Buy paper with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content available and  always choose “processed chlorine free” (PCF) paper. On your printed materials, make a note about the paper’s environmental characteristics. Also look to buy in bulk or in larger containers with less packaging.

Take Care of Your Copiers and Printers

Regular copier and printer maintenance is important since copier and printer jams waste paper. Schedule regular copier and printer maintenance and make it policy to only purchase copiers and printers that make reliable double-sided copies.

Establish an Office Paper Policy

Create a corporate purchasing policy that clearly outlines your office’s paper goals and preferences including a fiscal analysis, strategic ideas, and practical day-to-day advice.

Successful paper reduction plans take time and commitment. If you are ready to take the next step in reducing paper waste in your office, let Superior Document Solutionss assist you. Together we can help you run a more efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly office.

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