Epson’s first European Sustainability Report quantifies the environmental and financial benefits of business inkjet devices
European companies could save a collective €176 million on energy bills and over 333,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions over four years by switching from laser to Epson inkjet technology, claims Epson following the publication of its first European Sustainability Report.
It says that UK businesses alone could cut their electricity bills by almost €33 million.
Epson bases its calculations on the fact that its business inkjet printers consume up to 96% less energy than comparable laser devices and produce up to 99% less waste thanks to long-lasting consumables, including high capacity ink bottles and RIPS ink sacks.
According to The Green Choice Report, up to 92% fewer CO2 emissions are produced in the sourcing of raw materials and the manufacture of RIPS sacks than in the manufacture of laser cartridges.
When Epson Europe analysed the impact of these benefits over a four-year period, it worked out that European customers who bought an Epson business inkjet in 2016 and 2017 could look forward to collective savings of €22.2m on electricity and a 42,000 metric ton reduction in CO2 emissions – the equivalent, it says, of taking 8,994 cars off the road for a whole year.
Rob Clark, Senior Vice President at Epson Europe, told PrintIT Reseller that these figures have added weight because they have been validated by a third party.
“Two years ago, and again last year, we ran a campaign in Germany talking about electricity savings and CO2 emission savings. At the time, there was only our word to go on, so we decided to get third party endorsement. We went to TUV Rheinland and said ‘This is what we are doing, please tell us if we need to change anything in the methodology’. They made some tweaks and we now have a methodology certified by them that we can use to calculate energy and CO2 emissions savings for EMEA, a single country, a reseller or even a single deal,” he said.
Head of Business Sales Claire Robinson adds that the calculator is a good example of the kind of value add that Epson resellers can offer.
“We encourage our resellers to use our energy calculator with the end user’s actual cost per kilowatt hour, so they can calculate the cost savings they will actually make. There are a lot of tools we can supply to ensure our resellers have a value-add to take to the market,” she said.
Dan Wogan, Product Manager, Market Development Business Imaging at Epson Europe, says that the scale of the savings highlighted by the tool resonates with businesses that are showing renewed interest in sustainability.
“We’ve seen interest in sustainability increase quite considerably over the last couple of years, starting in Germany and gradually spreading across Europe. We are finding that the proposition of sustainability, low emissions and low power consumption is being taken up more and more as a reason to purchase. Of course, we have to be commercially competitive but, where we are, the sustainability message tips the balance for many people, because they believe they ought to be buying into sustainable technologies,” he said.
Clark points out that sustainability is a real differentiator for resellers that are crying out for something to help them stand out in a crowded marketplace.
“As the senior management team in Europe, we try to visit our resellers as much as possible to get feedback from them. When I’ve visited resellers in the UK, that differentiator is what they are all crying out for. They don’t want to be talking about the same technology, they don’t want to be chasing down to the bottom. They want to move the discussion on to something different. That’s what we give them with our technology,” he said.
Wogan adds that as well as appealing to existing resellers, this clear differentiation is helping to attract a new base of partners, including copier dealers, MPS providers and VARs and IT resellers that might already be selling some of Epson’s other product ranges.
“We have a really strong footprint in projectors and people in that space are seeing opportunities to reach existing customers with a different product portfolio. With the new enterprise devices and advancements in RIPS technology, dealers who classically wouldn’t be interested in ink are knocking on our door and asking to speak to us. It’s a really nice position to be in,” he said.
Wogan points out that Epson has been developing new services to support these new types of reseller, including basic managed print services, which the likes of IDC expect to cover 45% of devices by 2020. It has also been expanding its business inkjet product range, which now covers 70% of the laser and business inkjet market.
Wogan concedes that in speed terms there is a small gap in the middle of Epson’s range, but say this need not be a problem due to the fast first page out time of its devices.
“We’ve had lots of occasions where a faster laser device has been proposed, which wasn’t suitable for the customer as they were producing lots of jobs with a few pages. In those cases, inkjet is far, far quicker. Depending on how the products are being used, our RIPS devices can move up into a space or our Workforce Enterprise products can move down to fit most customer needs,” he said.
The future is inkjet
Epson still sells laser devices for customers that want a mixed printer ﬂeet, but, according to Rob Clark, its focus is very much on inkjet.
“We do still have lasers in the business, but our future is inkjet. We are investing very, very heavily in inkjet and all our development work is in inkjet. If the customer decides they don’t want to go in that direction they can always choose from our laser range, but it is not something we push,” he said.
Nor, Clark argues, is it something that end user customers are greatly concerned about.
“When we talk to resellers and ask how people are reacting to having an inkjet device, they say ‘We don’t tell them because as long as it produces the print they are looking for, in the time they are looking for, they don’t care what the technology is. They care about the sustainability message’,” he said.