Vendors Stream to Greener Printing

By Daniel Dern  |  Posted 2008-03-14

Vendors Stream to Greener Printing

Vendors are jumping over themselves to prove there are printer- and MFP-related ways to reduce energy use and be kind to the environment.

Samsung Electronics America announced March 12 at the spring Press and Reseller Summit the launch of its PrintCycle program as part of the company's newly redesigned PrintCentives campaign.

According to Samsung, PrintCycle is a printing and toner recycling program for a number of Samsung's professional CLP color and ML monochrome laser printers and CLX color MFPs.

To help reduce the consumption of natural resources, PrintCycle will also offer participating businesses a three-year product refresh, along with a toner purchase and recycle program. "Samsung is continually trying to find ways to be environment friendly," said Jay Allan Shears, director of Office Automation in Samsung's Information Technology Division. "The PrintCycle program is our commitment to the participating customer to ensure that our printers stay optimized for environmental efficiency."

Another relevant Samsung environmental initiative is its STAR (Samsung Takeback and Recycle) program, in conjunction with FedEx's facilitation of toner recycling.

"The laser and inkjet cartridge industry is doing a pretty good job of making sure that products are being recycled or reused," said John Shane, director of Communication Supplies Consulting Service for market research firm InfoTrends. "OEMs are introducing programs so users can send cartridges back for recycling. And the aftermarket is collecting and refurbishing toner empties for reuse."

HP Instant-On Technology

Shane also mentioned Hewlett-Packard's recent announcement that the company is using multiple grades of post-consumer recycled plastics, which range from water bottles to used HP inkjet cartridges, in the production of new HP inkjet print cartridges. According to HP, over 200 million cartridges have been manufactured using this process so far.

"There are many aspects involved with being environmentally conscious, such as reducing power consumption of products, designing products capable of running recycled paper, incorporating automatic duplexing and reducing the company's overall carbon footprint," said Marlene Orr, senior printer analyst for Buyers Laboratory. "Companies that are instituting hardware and cartridge recycling programs for their printers and MFPs are definitely taking a step in the right direction."

Another related HP initiative is its IOT (Instant-On Technology). "IOT prints a first page in just a few seconds from Ready or Powersave modes, which can save customers up to 50 percent on power consumption versus competitors without IOT," the company said. "We estimate that for our monochrome LaserJet products alone, the total energy consumption saved from 1993-2005 from use of Instant-On Technology may represent as much as 4.1 million tons of CO2, equivalent to removing 870,000 cars from the road for one year." New products with IOT include the HP Color LaserJet CP1515n and CP1518ni models and the HP LaserJet M1522 MFP series.

For managed environments, HP is also adding print management tools that it says can help companies reduce their printing costs, reduce waste and conserve energy. For example, it says HP Web Jetadmin software can be used to save paper by preconfiguring all duplex-capable multifunction printers to produce double-sided copies, and the Powersave mode reduces power use by allowing users to preschedule sleep and wakeup modes.

HP also has a number of programs for used assets that allow recycling of cartridges and IT equipment, and a trade-in program for both HP and non-HP gear. HP currently offers a program through May 3, 2008, in which Staples will recycle any printer for free and give customers $50 toward any new HP printer that costs $159 or more.

Other printer vendors with environmental or recycling initiatives include Konica Minolta and Kyocera.

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