Don’t Print This Blog Post!—the losing fight for paper conservation.

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Please don’t print this blog post! Ach, who am I kidding, paper conservation is a losing battle.  Don’t believe me? Check out this survey of 1000 employees in the UK conducted by consultancy firm Loudhouse on behalf of Japenese manufacturing giant Kyocera. Here’s the most pertinent part of the executive summary:

Employers are right to be concerned about their employees’ entrenched printing habits. Despite the much-trumpeted rise of tablet/ mobile computing, and the ever-present rumour of the impending paperless office, office workers are printing as much as ever, with no signs of an imminent change. 40% continue to describe themselves as ‘paper people’ and a similar amount (39%) admit they could do more to reduce their printing.
In the last 12 months, little more than a fifth (22%) of office workers claim to have reduced their printing. 37% have actually increased the amount of printing they do, and 40% have made no change. The net result of this is that the average office worker prints as many as 10,000 sheets of paper in a year (45 per day). Of these, around 6,800 sheets can be considered as wasted or unnecessary. There is a clear disconnect between employees apparent environmental concern and their unwillingness to make changes in their printing behaviour….
Printing policy in most organisations tends to be either absent, or leaning towards ‘advice’ rather than regulation. 46% of companies have ‘loose guidelines relating to printing’ in place, against only 24% who have a formal written policy.

The average UK office worker prints 45 pages per day? That’s an incredible statistic, isn’t it? The report found that of the 6,800 paper sheets wasted by an employee in the average year, around 2,100 can be attributed to printing single-sided rather than double-sided. Food for thought. So please folks, save some trees, help slow climate change. Don’t print this blog post (and if you must, do so on double-sided paper).