How a business can save money by printing smarter

Image: How a business can save money by printing smarter

Saving energy, using less fossil fuels and becoming more sustainable are all hot topics for politicians, the public and businesses alike. It can be especially hard for SMEs to make the transition to becoming a ‘green’ business. Although print costs add up to nearly £9,000 per year in the average UK business, employees in UK SMEs often don’t see the detrimental impact of spontaneous print jobs in the office. A change in attitude amongst employees is an ongoing task in many workplaces across the UK.

Excessive printing uses a large amount of energy at a high cost. We’ve put together some tips on how to print effectively, with one eye on the environment and the other on your wallet.


Recycling in the workplace doesn’t just mean throwing your used paper in the bin after one use and hoping it ends up in the recycling bin. Instead of throwing away reports, printed emails and documents, try to re-use them as note paper. A recycling bin is also a worthwhile addition to the office to reduce your carbon footprint and make your effort to look after the environment.

Page setup
A few simple clicks of your mouse can transform your standard document into an energy saving one. As default, most printers are set up to print one sided and in colour. By changing your printer’s selection to duplex, you will use half the amount of paper you normally would. Similarly, you can also print in greyscale, as black toners are much cheaper to replace than colour ones and also often last a lot longer.

It seems obvious, but when you’re not using the printer, switch it off! This not only saves energy, but money too. A massive effect for such a small action that takes only a matter of seconds for your employees!

Preview and review
One of the most underrated and useful functions on office-based software is the print preview capability. By doing this, you can see the layout of the document and how many pages it requires before actually sending the job to print. The majority of the time, you won’t actually need to print every page in the document, saving paper, ink and energy. For bonus eco points, you can decrease your line spacing, make page margins smaller and use the ‘shrink to fit’ function to really make the most out of your paper.

Print less
Unnecessary printing is the main source of swallowing up printing resources and money. It is best to implement a ‘think before you print’ strategy which will encourage staff to be more resourceful with their printing habits.

By taking note of the above points and adopting an effective printing strategy, which instills environmentally friendly principles, businesses can join the carbon-friendly movement which is currently sweeping the nation.

Do you have any cost saving tips to your printing habits? Tweet us at @Altodigital

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