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The Environmental Impact of Business Printing

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What is document control?

The environmental impact of business printing

Offices have, over time, become more and more reliant upon technology. While some technological advances have helped to reduce the amount of printing that is carried out, the reality of a paperless office still appears to be some way off. With COP27 and a host of commitments being made by countries across the world, eco-friendly printing is becoming inevitable.

While your business may be just one office, the truth is that every office counts. Environmental printing isn’t just an issue for large corporations: it’s a consideration for every company that relies on paper documents.

Have you ever considered the impact that your printing has on the environment? Have you ever searched for eco-friendly printing solutions? We’re here to fill you in on just what printing can do and to let you know just how your business can help make a difference.

Paper waste

What is meant by ‘document control’?

When you consider environmental printing, you need to take a moment to consider just how much paper your office is using. To be honest, it’s rare that people print only the things that are necessary. How many emails are needlessly printed? How many documents really needed to make their way to paper? As it stands, the UK gets through around 12.5 million tones of paper every year and this usage has huge negative impacts on the environment.

Think before you print have estimated that over 50% of pages printed are never looked at. This means we could potentially reduce our usage from 12.5 million tones to just over 6 million tones, every year. The more paper that we get through, the more paper we need and without eco-friendly printing solutions, we can be sure that there will be more issues around deforestation. If this isn’t enough, the production of paper also leads to the release of gases, such as CO2 and nitrogen dioxide, which are harmful potentially harmful to the earth.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are many new technologies and innovations coming to the market that are helping to reduce this impact and help business become more sustainable. These include planting trees to offset the paper, carbon offsetting with brick stoves for rural parts of the world and recycling solutions for many office technologies.

The impact of deforestation

The impact of deforestation

The next time that you consider printing a document, it’s worth pausing for a moment to think if it’s necessary. As more paper is used, and deforestation increases, more issues are caused for the environment. With world leaders pledging to reverse deforestation by 2030, the impact that it’s having right now includes:

Loss of habitat

When considering how important eco-friendly printing is, it’s worth looking at the impact that current practices are having on the world’s wildlife. One of the biggest impacts of deforestation is the loss of animals’ habitats. Around 70% of land animals live in forests and as printing habits lead to the need for more and more paper, these animals are losing their homes. It may be hard to believe but the truth is that the printing that you carry out right now could well lead to the extinction of a host of animals.

Increased greenhouse gases

It’s not just the impact that is had on animals: ignoring environmental printing is impacting the whole world. The battle to control the rise in global tempratures has been declared an emergency and a lack of action now spells disaster for the future of the planet. It is well-known that forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As more and more trees are destroyed, we’re left with more carbon dioxide and a planet that will continue to warm and will accelerate extreme weathers.

Water in the atmosphere

Trees play an important role when it comes to regulating the amount of water that’s in the atmosphere. In areas where deforestation is an issue, there is less water returned to the earth and this leads to dry soil and the inability to grow crops. The long-term impact? Potential famine.

Soil erosion and floods

Deforestation also leads to soil erosion and increased flooding in coastal areas. It is trees that help the land retain water and as they are destroyed so is the ability of the land to deal with excess water.

Printer cartridges

Printer cartridges

Eco-friendly printing needs to have a focus on cartridges and how these are used and disposed of. Across the globe, around 1.1 billion cartridges are used every year. Each of these cartridges contains toxins that, in sufficient levels, are poisonous to humans. While a single toner cartridge isn’t enough to harm a human, the issue comes when these are disposed.

When cartridges are simply thrown away, the impact on the environment is vast. That’s thanks to the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These pollute the soil, and water and take thousands of years to degrade. We’ve partnered with many of the world’s leading manufacturers to provide a toner recycling service to help mitigate this impact.

The key features of a document control system

The impact of VOCs

If you’re not sure that your ink cartridge really poses a threat, here’s a look at just what exposure to VOCs can do:

Short-term exposure

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Impact on asthma

Long-term exposure

  • Cancer
  • Liver and Kidney damage
  • Central nervous system damage

Is it time to panic?

So, is it time to panic?

The reality is that the need to print is not going away anytime soon, as it is still a critical part of any business’s functionality. However, you will now have more of an understating of what environmental printing is and why it is such as issue. If you’re looking for eco-friendly printing, there are simple steps that you can take yourself. These include:

What about eco-friendly printing solutions?

What about eco-friendly printing solutions?

At Landall, we’re the experts when it comes to office technology solutions. These solutions are popular with businesses since they help them to be more productive, but they also help to save money. How is money saved? Well, that’s down to the fact that usage is reduced, and this is good news for the environment.

We also partner with Print Releaf to ensure that printing is eco-friendly. This is a company that measures your consumption of paper. From this, it can calculate how many trees have been destroyed to supply that paper.

If you’re serious about eco-friendly printing solutions, then we’re serious about helping. By getting in touch, we can help you to learn more so that we can save the planet together

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