sustainability in printing


Reducing Carbon Footprint in the Print Industry: Innovative Strategies for Sustainability

1st September 2023

sustainability in printing

It may surprise you to hear that your office printer can seriously be adding to your carbon footprint. On average, each piece of paper printed with a laser device produces 1mg of carbon. Multiply that by the average office worker printing 8,000 sheets of paper per year and you’re looking at some serious damage to the environment from working in an office or working from home. So, what can be done to reduce this? 


Reduce Your Paper Waste

This may feel like an impossible task as a business owner, trying to account for all your staff, but it can be very easily implemented. Paper from the printer is a major source of wasted paper. We’ve all been there when we’ve clicked ‘Print’, only to then notice a mistake – but it’s too late to cancel, and the document is printed. 

Fear not! To overcome that situation from happening, PaperCut printing integration allows each employee to delete and release print jobs at the printer. This means that you can resend multiple versions of documents to print, but only ever print the correct one, therefore reducing the amount of printing time and paper wastage. 


Recycling Paper and Printer Disposables

Recycling might seem like an obvious strategy, but everything makes a difference! Reducing your paper waste is a great start, but the chances are, you’re bound to make the mistake of printing off the wrong document every once in a while. Ensuring additional recycling stations are closeby to desks and printer areas will make it more likely for your team to ensure that any waste is recycled.

Along with this, certain printing manufacturers, like Brother, offer a free printer disposable recycling service. The majority of printer consumables are made of plastic, but Brother ensures that every part of their printer is recyclable and environmentally friendly. You can recycle your empty toner cartridges, drum units, waste toner boxes and belts all through their website.


Switch to Cloud Software and Go Paperless

Cutting out paper and printing altogether isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great way to cut your carbon emissions as a business. Softwares like DocuWare allow for secure storage of documents that can be accessed anytime and anywhere by people in your team. 

DocuWare automates business processes by managing documents digitally. Whether you’re receiving attachments via email, or scanning documents, they can be automatically stored within DocuWare, safely and securely. To top it off, it can be integrated with your email software, printer and scanner – so every single document that is passed through is stored on the DocuWare cloud-based server and automatically filed by DocuWare’s smart automation software, which saves you time and improves productivity. Safe, secure, paper-free, and environmentally friendly!


Go Heat Free With Epson Heat-Free Printers

As previously mentioned, printers can be guilty of producing high of carbon emissions, mainly from the printing process. Epson have recently released their Heat-Free Printing Technology, and working with the University of Cambridge, their aim is to help reduce carbon-emissions, with the aim of becoming carbon neutral.

Most laser and thermal inkjet printers require lots of heat and energy to print, whereas Epson’s Heat-Free technology uses a Piezo element, specifically engineered by Epson, to apply pressure which flexes backwards and forwards firing the ink from the printhead. 

Laser printers use heat of up to 200c to fuse toner to paper, and thermal inkjets heat to around 300c, which is why when you pick your document up from the printer, it’s hot.

Here’s where Epson heat-free inkjet printers enter; designed to compete with traditional office laser and thermal inkjet printers, they can produce high-quality print capabilities without the need for heat. Which lowers carbon output and decreases the energy usage of your business.

Other benefits of heat-free printing also include quicker printing times. The technology is engineered to require a much shorter start-up period, meaning that you’re only using the exact amount of energy needed to print, rather than waiting for it to heat up. This can improve workflow and job efficiency. 

Finally, Epson has ensured to produce recyclable, high-yield ink packs to help with businesses’ environmental impact and create a high-speed printhead unit that takes up less space than the leading technology without having to sacrifice the performance or quality of your physical documents. Furthermore, the ink packs rarely need to be changed so you can save time on changing and ordering new ink packs.


epson heat free printers


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does printing less paper reduce carbon footprint?

A: Reducing your paper consumption is one of the easiest ways to reduce CO2 emissions. To put it into perspective, an average tree can produce an estimated 17 reams of paper, and trees can take up to 100 years to grow. The growth rate does depend on the species and several other factors.

Q: How can we reduce the carbon footprint of paper?

A: Simple – follow the steps outlined in this article and remember to do your part to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Q: How do I know if my printing equipment needs replacing with more sustainable equipment?

A: Outdated equipment is likely to have a higher impact on the environment and contribute towards your carbon footprint. Replacing it with eco-friendly equipment, like Epson eco-friendly printers, or integrating document management systems for example, is the way forward. At Insight Systems, we conduct FREE print audits to assess your current setup and provide you with an effective, affordable solution to not only streamline workflows within your organisation but to get you on the right path of sustainability. 


How Insight Systems Can Help With Your Printing Needs

At Insight Systems, we like to stay ahead of the curve with powerful and high-performing printers and software solutions (DocuWare, PaperCut) that help streamline and grow your business. 

As an industry leader, we take great pride in providing customers with solutions that are cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, we highly recommend and encourage you to have the right setup for your business, first and foremost. This is how we can help:


  • We are proud partners of some of the biggest printing brands in the world, who have the same carbon-neutral vision as us, including Epson, Ricoh, Brother, Kyocera, Konica Minolta and more.
  • We provide managed print solutions tailored to your business needs. This helps streamline processes, reduce your costs and waste.
  • We work to automate and streamline workflows, helping you and your team get more done without having to perform day-to-day tasks manually, saving you time and effort.
  • We’re the ultimate partner to help optimise your printing needs.

Get in touch with one of our experts online today, either by filling out our contact form or giving us a call on 0800 046 1332.


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