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Accueil | Responsible paper management at the office
17 June 2020

Responsible paper management at the office

While the advent of information technology suggested a reduction in paper consumption, unfortunately the opposite happened. Did you know that printing costs are between 1% and 3% of a company’s expenditures and that, on average, an employee prints 700 to 1,000 pages per month?

This overconsumption of paper should encourage us to change our behaviour at the office and adopt more responsible practices. Source reduction  not only has an economic impact, but also an environmental impact.

Economic impacts

Printing less reduces the cost of buying paper, but also reduces the costs associated with using printers: replacement and maintenance of their components, energy consumption and ink cartridges.

Environmental impacts

Not surprisingly, paper production is costly for the environment: tree consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas production and releases of toxic substances into ecosystems. The pulp and paper industry still accounts for almost 20% of the energy consumption of the industrial sector!

Although the ideal would be to achieve “zero paper,” each of us can act on a daily basis to conserve the environment by adopting some simple and inexpensive actions.

  • Only print documents if absolutely necessary.
  • Set your printer by default in black-and-white, economical or draft mode and print on both sides.
  • Work on the screen whenever possible. For example, annotate your documents using the “Track Changes” feature in Word.
  • Use the “Print Preview” feature to ensure optimal layout and reduce the size of characters, margins and spaces. A page is often wasted only to print the often useless bottom part of web pages, for example.
  • Reuse the sheets printed on one side as draft paper–this  good practice is applied at EBI; we collect printed papers on one side to make notebooks.
  • Consider having your ink cartridges refilled more than once before buying new ones, if possible. Ink cartridges are among the most polluting elements in an office.

Yes, recycling helps to mitigate the consequences of paper consumption, but we must keep in mind that we must produce less, but better!

Sources:

https://www.picbleu.fr/page/l-eco-citoyennete-au-bureau

http://www.environnement.gouv.qc.ca/developpement/outils/Fiche_13.pdf

https://www.futura-sciences.com/planete/questions-reponses/eco-consommation-economiser-papier-bureau-maison-583/


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