Most people don’t give much thought to office printing. Because printing is a habitual part of everyday office workflows and processes, it’s often taken for granted. This tendency even applies to the people who are tasked with managing print for their organizations. Typically, cost management strategies for office printing are focused only on print devices and related supplies, rather than the big picture.
But printing is more about people than it is about printers. Most people print at the office for one of two reasons: business processes and workflows, or just out of habit. On average, employees print about 6,000 pages every year, and more than half of those pages are wasted or unnecessary, which isn’t altogether surprising: Employees acknowledge that a large chunk of their printed material could be read on a computer screen instead.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize printing this much has significant consequences on both the environment and profits. Each year, an average of 18 trees are cut down to accommodate the paper usage of every 10 employees. And don’t forget about toner and ink cartridges: It takes one gallon of fossil oil to produce a single laser cartridge.
Most business leaders underestimate the number of printing devices they own throughout the enterprise, so it’s no wonder that so many of them are surprised to learn they’re spending 1 to 3 percent of their annual revenue on printing. The true cost of printing is difficult for most companies to gauge because so much of it is hidden. Beyond the cost of printers, paper, toner, and routine maintenance, add the energy consumption costs of a large device fleet.