The TDSIT Blog

The 2012 TDS Green Office Print Challenge!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 @ 02:11 PM

tds green office print challenge

This year, April 22nd is Earth Day. As the 42nd day to appreciate, celebrate and work to protect the earth approaches, it’s the perfect time to consider what effect your office has on the environment. Perhaps last year, or in previous years, you made a commitment to do better at operating a green office environment, or have made such a resolution in previous years. If you’re wondering how green your office really is, or how you could improve even more, take our 2012 Green Office Print Challenge!

1. How many pages does a typical office worker in North America print each year?

a) 5,000 pages        b) 7,500 pages        c) 10,000 pages

If you chose a), you’re only half right. According to the Go Paperless website 10,000 pages are printed by the average office employee each year. So the correct answer is c), 10,000 pages. Does that seem excessive?

2. What is the average life span of a printed page in a typical office environment?

a) less than two weeks    b) less than one day           c) less than five minutes

We’re willing to bet you chose b) as your answer, but to get this one right, you would have to once again select c). According to MPS Insights, the average life span of a printed sheet is a shockingly short five minutes before it is – hopefully – recycled. This begs the question: was there truly a need to print it in the first place?

3. What is the average cost for the energy required to operate a single laser printer during the course of one year?

a) $100                            b) $225                       c) $300

The correct answer here is b), $225 per year to power a typical laser printer. Do the math, and you’ll find this translates to a possible monthly savings of $18.75 if you can reduce or optimize your print fleet by removing even just one laser printer.

4. With all this printing and discarding of paper going on, there must be a lot of waste being produced. How many pounds of waste are generated by that same single laser printer? Consider the use of paper, packaging and print consumables before selecting an answer to this one.

a) 50 pounds                             b) 100 pounds                  c) 200 pounds

The correct answer here is b). 100 pounds of waste are created each year by just one typical laser printer. Now imagine how many laser printers are at work each day around the globe…that’s a lot of waste!

5. According to Print Audit, a company that provides print monitoring software, a decline in the amount of printing occurs when office workers believe their printing habits are being monitored. On average, what percentage of the print volume is reduced?

a) 5 percent                     b) 10 percent                   c) 15 percent

The answer to this final question in this year’s Green Office Print Challenge is b), 10 percent. This is the average drop in print volumes experienced in offices where employees have simply been advised that their print behaviors are being monitored.

Based upon the information in the challenge, it is easy to see how some simple steps, such as eliminating a printer or controlling the output of printed material, can help make your office greener and also reduce operational costs. 

There are a variety of ways you can optimize your office print environment to reduce costs and minimize your impact on our planet. Using appropriate hardware or implementing a Managed Print strategy are a couple of examples. The best way to determine the appropriate solution that fits your organization’s needs is to complete a no obligation print assessment.

Are you concerned about the impact your office’s printing practices have on the environment? Do you acknowledge Earth Day in your office? We welcome your thoughts and comments on this important issue and encourage you to share your “green office” print best practices with us!

Tags: environment, green office, Earth Day, print challenge