Reduce Business Costs While Improving Sustainability

Reduce Business Costs While Improving Sustainability

With temperatures soaring, the urgency of Net Zero and environmental sustainability goals for UK companies becomes ever more clear. That UK businesses take these goals seriously is apparent:

  • 38% of UK businesses have taken at least one action to improve sustainability
  • 24% intend to take action within the following 12 months
  • A stunning 28% of UK businesses reported producing no emissions in October 2021

But the cost of reducing emissions and also knowing how to do it are two major barriers facing UK companies who do want to implement more sustainable business practices.

And pressure is mounting: The UK government has been ordered by the High Court to redraw its net zero strategy after it was found to be inadequate and in violation of climate laws, reports The Independent.

The attack on climate change is therefore two-pronged:

  1. Bringing legal pressure to bear on entities to carry out effective environmental sustainability actions within their respective zones
  2. Knowing how to implement those changes, and being helped to implement them cost-effectively.

In this article, we’re going to cover point #2 above, talking specifically about the technological breakthroughs in workplace printing that can both reduce workplace costs while greatly helping businesses achieve their sustainability goals.

Inefficient technology impacts both profits and the environment

Inefficient technologies can have a tremendous impact on the environment. Not only is switching to newer, more energy-efficient methods better for sustainability, but these technologies are also often more cost-effective.

For example, one little-known area that has quietly contributed to high emissions is company data centres. A 15-megawatt data centre uses 130 million gallons of water a year. And data centres are major contributors to what are called Scope 2 emissions — the use of electricity and gas provided by an external company. Such emissions will eventually count towards the company’s overall carbon footprint, possibly leading to penalties if these are too high.

But the solution to this has been found to invest in cloud data centres with massive companies such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, as these companies have invested in the resources necessary to optimise emissions and energy usage to as high a level as possible.

Moving to the cloud also reduces workplace costs, as cloud data centres have been found routinely to be cheaper overall than locally managed centres.

Inefficient printing technology and sustainability

A research report published by Epson in conjunction with the University of Cambridge reveals that, to achieve Net Zero by 2050, overall appliance energy usage must fall by 60%. Failing to meet predetermined Net Zero scenarios established by the IEA (International Energy Agency) “risks a 100% increase in the frequency of extreme heat waves and a 40% increase in ecological droughts,” the report says.

The potential consequences are too grim to consider.

Several breakthroughs have been made in the area of printing to help achieve these targets. For example:

  • Highly efficient inkjet printers can be up to 90% more efficient than laser printers
  • A worldwide switch from laser to inkjet printers could mean a global reduction of energy emissions of over 52%
  • A global switch to inkjet printers could save 2,240 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity each year

As companies join forces to tackle this very serious problem, breakthroughs in technology which previously seemed impossible make the target of achieving Net Zero seem far more realistic. Such is the case of the revolutionary heat-free printing method used by Epson.

What is Epson’s heat-free printing technology?

Laser-printing is heat-dependent. To produce this heat, energy must be consumed, making laserjet printers far more damaging to the environment than properly designed inkjet printers.

Inkjet printers use one of two methods to function:

  1. Thermal
  2. Piezoelectric, which does not use heat

The thermal method uses heat to fire ink through the printhead.

Piezoelectric refers to a property of certain materials where electric charge can be generated through mechanical stress. The word comes from Greek and literally means  “pressure electricity”. Piezoelectric materials have the ability to produce internal electric charge when subjected to mechanical stress, such as crystals and even bone.

In printing, the Piezo method simply uses mechanical pressure to fire the ink through the printhead.

Epson has adopted the Piezo method in all of its modern printers, resulting in less power consumption and a far lower environmental impact.

Using Piezo technology, printing is always done at a high speed because the printer does not need to heat up. This both reduces workplace costs and improves environmental sustainability.

These types of printers also have significantly reduced downtime, requiring less intervention and so increasing productivity.

The final piece of the puzzle: Managed Print Services

Just as companies have discovered managed data centres as a method of reducing both their carbon footprint as well as their workplace costs, so are companies now turning to managed print services to achieve similar gains in the workplace printing sector.

A managed print service is when an external company manages every aspect of your company’s printing, optimising each device for maximum efficiency and minimum environmental impact.

Investing in a managed print services provider such as United Business Group means that your company’s printing costs can be lowered exponentially as a result of the economies of scale.

United Business Group provides proactive monitoring of your company’s entire printing infrastructure to ensure minimum downtime. Our technicians are DBS-checked and hold military-grade security clearance.

As the world scrambles to get an urgent grip on spiralling global temperatures, two solutions have become clear:

  • Better technology is needed, such as Epson’s heat-free printing
  • And managed service providers and cloud service providers are needed, who can invest in the resources to achieve sustainability while also reducing costs as a result of the economies of scale

Click here to learn more about how United Business Group has embraced modern, heat-free printing hardware as a core part of its managed print service offering.

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