A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the fact that printing doesn’t seem to be getting the green IT focus it deserves. Well research from Kyocera seems to back up the need for more effort in the area.
The research was conducted by Loudhouse on behalf of Kyocera UK and comprised 1,000 online interviews with UK office workers and another 200 with IT managers. The interviews were with companies of 500 or more people. The full report is here.
The survey initially asked about attitudes towards environmental issues amongst UK businesses and found that the percentage of UK employees stating that they were concerned about environmental issues fell from 77% in 2008 to 63% in 2010. When asked specifically about climate change, the figures were even starker, with concern down to 50% from 65% in 2008.
When it comes to printing, the survey found that there had been a net increase over the last year.
The chart below shows the extent to which various green policies and practices are in place around printing. While more than three quarters of the IT Managers interviewed said that they had paper recycling facilities available, there is little being done to limit printing in the first place. The only other action taken by the majority of IT managers was to put a ‘green’ printing message on the bottom of emails.
The office workers reported the major reasons for ‘wasted’ printing were printing the wrong document, leaving printouts behind on the printer, printing too many copies and preferring to read on paper. But they also freely admitted that it was their own efforts that would have most positive impact, rather than being forced to by company policy.
There is also some clear resistance from office workers to some aspects of reducing printing. For instance, there are significant concerns about confidentiality and convenience in sharing printers, although those that already shared were less concerned than those that had their own printers.
There’s clearly much to be done to reduce wasted printing, but simply introducing policies and procedures is not enough. Printers need to be set up to make it as easy as possible for users to avoid wastage, but beyond that a great deal of education seems to be in order. But apart from the green benefits there’s much cost to be saved for the effort.