How to Reduce Printed Paper Waste

john.b

Involved In Discussions
#41
I was trying to instead ask about what software applications could replace the paperwork circulating in our office. There is a small stack next to me now. Restricting unneccessary printing is valid, but a different story.

I'll start by answering a small part of that question, with the qualification that just because I work in IT I don't know that much about the entire scope of the industry. Or within some of my own job scope, but that's another story.

We use a somewhat dated service desk application and newer versions of that have functions that do what I'm talking about for limited functional scope. Electronic forms can be created from templates, modified for specific content, used for routing through email electronically, include approval sign-off functions, etc. It would be hard to manage incidents (service disruption resolution) without it. I've also evaluated another software package that does the same thing for an overlapping scope, for a range of different process compliances (think business continuity, policy awareness, etc.).

The downsides of both are significant: eye-watering expense, limited functional range, and significant time, effort and additional expense to customize. I bet a lot of this applies to the HR package we're only now evaluating: it will cover some of the paper form and record scope but not much, and not easily or all that cheaply.

It seems like a simple thing, to do what Sharepoint wants to say it could do, to take something like a simple Word or Excel template and add shared access and routing functionality. I'm sure it's out there, and that the drawbacks are familiar, that you get high function at cost and effort and minimal function with less of each. But I'd like some shared input on all that, if possible.
 
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T

The Specialist

#42
Hi,
If it for the benefits of the clients yes this is a a measure you have to take to ensure that only customer get to see the proper printing in colour.
but if think that everyone in the office print their own personal item and bring home what they print then you should have the office manager to check every bag and make sure they pay for the paper, ink and electricity.
So this is not too draconian but a measure of trust for every employee to not waste company time and money and just do what is right in their professional working life.

I agree with JaneB. I am sorry, but I don't like the 'Nanny State' method of control.

As a professional, I feel it is up to me to determine what is acceptable behaviour in the workplace and to consider my actions when printing.

The idea (as mooted by many already) of raising awareness and inviting personnel to engage in a waste reduction drive is a much better solution in my opinion.

This thread has made me think a little about my own habits and I can hold my hand up, guilty of being unnecessarily wasteful at times.

Bringing issues like this to the fore and initiating a waste-reduction drive (i.e. 20% target for reduction – as suggested by another poster) is a better management method… allowing other professionals to engage, rather than feeling constrained or being treated like infants.
 
S

simonyeeklang

#43
I was trying to instead ask about what software applications could replace the paperwork circulating in our office. There is a small stack next to me now. Restricting unneccessary printing is valid, but a different story.

In My office we use a Ricoh Aficio 3045, with photostat, email and scanner capability only can scan black and white and then it automatically save to the users desktop as a jpeg, tiff or pdf format.
Alternatively if you created the document on the computer you can download at www.download.com as software "PDF Re-direct" to print it straight into PDF format.

I'll start by answering a small part of that question, with the qualification that just because I work in IT I don't know that much about the entire scope of the industry. Or within some of my own job scope, but that's another story.

We use a somewhat dated service desk application and newer versions of that have functions that do what I'm talking about for limited functional scope. Electronic forms can be created from templates, modified for specific content, used for routing through email electronically, include approval sign-off functions, etc. It would be hard to manage incidents (service disruption resolution) without it. I've also evaluated another software package that does the same thing for an overlapping scope, for a range of different process compliances (think business continuity, policy awareness, etc.).

inside microsoft office 2007 and 2010 also can save and publish directly to PDF. You can consider buying Adobe PDF professional with a form creation section to create the forms you need and want

The downsides of both are significant: eye-watering expense, limited functional range, and significant time, effort and additional expense to customize. I bet a lot of this applies to the HR package we're only now evaluating: it will cover some of the paper form and record scope but not much, and not easily or all that cheaply.

It seems like a simple thing, to do what Sharepoint wants to say it could do, to take something like a simple Word or Excel template and add shared access and routing functionality. I'm sure it's out there, and that the drawbacks are familiar, that you get high function at cost and effort and minimal function with less of each. But I'd like some shared input on all that, if possible.
You might remember that using a file and print server help to save most files and sharing using username and password but you also can have alternative like a linux driven file sharing system using a external harddisk bay whereby you have 2 harddisk bay and 1 will have raid functionality.
 
J

JaneB

#44
I was trying to instead ask about what software applications could replace the paperwork circulating in our office. There is a small stack next to me now. Restricting unneccessary printing is valid, but a different story.
May I suggest it might be worth starting a new thread with that as the topic and possibly even in a different forum? You might get some more specific replies, as the title of this thread, and conversation to date, wouldn't immediately suggest that question.
 
G

GreenQuality

#45
Here is a path to paper waste reduction we used:
Determine how much paper is purchased each month (average) for copiers.
Determine if employees are already recycling a significant percentage of paper.
Survey employees from multiple departments and have them describe what they typically print and why they have to print it out. Ask for comments on employee ideas to reduce usage.
Review survey and usage data health of paper recycling process and determine if reduction is necessary, (determine if current activities are wasteful or necessary) and would further reduction be a cost effective use of company resources.
Many of our QMS and EMS forms were stored in PDF format on the network and filling them out electrically was not a provision.
By changing the format of these file documents to user friendly electronic forms and creation of network folders for electronic records we reduced our paper usage significantly.
We still have technical personnel that want to print out technical manuals, data sheets and such but by requiring 5S in the office, it makes people think twice before they bring paper to their desks that add clutter and require filing.
 
J

jorgea

#46
I would create realistic goals for reducing and recycling paper for my employees. Then hose who achieve these small goals, recognize them to encourage this continued behavior..
 
M

Michael.Anishton

#48
I would recommend to promote recycling as the best option you can implement to reduce paper wastage. Or, you can minimize the paper wastage by only producing a limited number of paper in a day [say for example, only 200 paper a day] You can start a short session for the employees and bring about an awareness about paper wastage - and how they can help lessen the negative effects of it.
 
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