How Much Paper Does Your Office Use Each Year? Tips for Reducing Paper Use and Waste

Did you know the average office worker uses around 10,000 sheets of paper every year…?

If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. The bottom line is that the average worker uses far too much paper. To put it in perspective, here are some facts to consider:

  • 4 billion trees are cut down each year to make paper
  • 16% of landfill solid waste is comprised of paper
  • In one year, the average person will consume 800 million pounds of paper
  • It requires three gallons of water to create a single piece of paper
  • Forty-two percent of the world’s wood is harvested for paper
  • Producing a ton of paper generates 5,601 pounds of greenhouse gases; producing the same recycled paper products 3,533 pound

If you’re having a hard time imagining just how much paper that really is, imagine 5.5 million printed copies of the Hunger Games Trilogy. In terms of trees, you would have to cut down every tree in New York City’s Central Park, or enough trees to build a city with 25,000 houses. [1]

No two Offices are the same.

The real issue is how that paper is being used or, in this case, not used. According to a recent survey, 70% of the total waste in offices is made up of paper and as much as 30% of print jobs are never even picked up from the printer. Even  worse, 45% of printed paper ends up in the bin by the end of the day. When you consider that the total amount spent annually by companies on printed documents is £90 million, it’s clear that there is a lot of pointless printing in modern offices (and a lot of wasted money).

Given that different departments in companies have different needs there is no one size fits all solution.  Instead we need to understand your needs.  For instance within a customer support team everything is computer based and automated with minimal printing,  a multifunction machine would suit their needs.  However, a marketing, sales and support team have multiple printers running all day to publish reports, marketing materials, and more, and lots of unread documents ended up being piled in bins next to the machines, in this instance a Managed Print solution would be of benefit.

Think Before You Print

It might surprise you to know that even though we sell and service printers, we want you to print less.

Reducing paper usage isn’t just good for business; it’s good for the planet. Take a look around the office. What do you see?

  • Reams of wasted paper in the recycling bin?
  • No strategic supply management process?
  • Under-utilised or inefficient printers?
  • Colour copies that should be printed in black and white?

If that sounds familiar, then you need to manage your printers more effectively. We recommend a three-step approach to designing a print strategy that eliminates wasteful printing and matches your business needs.

  1. Evaluate your device use, output, supplies and viability to align them with a purchasing process
  2. Integrate best-of-class software and printer hardware into your current system
  3. Continuously assess your consumption based on actual usage — because it will always be in flux

Managed Print is ideal for controlling costs and can help ensure that your machines are helping you better serve your clients. To see how such a print partnership can benefit your company, contact us for a no obligation assessment of your company’s print environment.

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