From old printers that are always on but in use only a few minutes a day to unnecessary print jobs, a fleet of printers, copiers and multifunction printers are probably more wasteful of energy than the server farm everyone wants to turn green.
Xerox customers are getting some idea of just how wasteful print is using Sustainability Calculator software, announced by the company March 25, which identifies and attempts to quantify wasted printer assets and processes. It works on Xerox and competitive products.
The software evaluates an office's current environment of printers, copiers and multifunction devices, based on user-provided data including equipment specifications and usage patterns. Using proprietary algorithms and document assessment research, the tool then generates an Optimized Scenario that reduces the number of devices and processes and calculates the resulting environmental and cost benefits that could be achieved in terms of energy and paper use, solid waste, water, air and greenhouse gas emissions. (The calculator even factors in the manufacture, use and eventual disposal of devices, but not transportation.)
The Sustainability Calculator can also analyze the impact of specific activities such as relocating devices, replacing personal or single-function devices with multi-function devices, using different types of paper, or printing on both sides of a page.
"This gives customers the first fact-based measurements of their environmental footprint," said Patricia Calkins, Xerox's vice president of Environment, Health and Safety. "The goal for the Xerox Sustainability Calculator is to help customers identify opportunities where the reduced impact to the environment can be balanced with boosting the bottom line."
Northrop Grumman, a Xerox customer, used the program in one of its regions to drop from more than 2,000 printers and several hundred MFPs and copiers to less than 1,100 devices. It also reduced energy use by 27 percent, greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent and solid waste by 33 percent.
Xerox is also offering a free Web-based, printer-only version of the Sustainability calculator.