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Sustainability climbs the corporate agenda: Part Two

The second edition of Quocirca’s Print 2025 market insight study found that sustainability has leapt up the corporate agenda. The majority of respondents expect sustainability to be highly important to their business by 2025, while 52 per cent of IT decision-makers state that lowering environmental impact is the number one print management challenge they face, outweighing cost reduction and security

Almost two-thirds of respondents to the study said they expect suppliers to adopt a leading position on sustainability by 2025. In light of this, PrintIT Reseller invited a panel of industry leaders to explain how they have embedded sustainability within their own business and how they are helping clients to reduce the environmental impact of print.

Dom Gryszan, Managing Manager,

“At Apogee, the choices we make and our mind-set towards discovering technological advancements are deeprooted within our corporate policies. We ensure that these choices are in line with our Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) and environmental policies.

“An over-reliance on paper use by more than 82 per cent of companies, is contributing to the destruction of forests globally. We’re aware of how we might be contributing to this problem directly and indirectly, hence we have modified our business model addressing this issue throughout our value chain.

“We manage the impact of our upstream supply chain by selecting products and services with good sustainability credentials.

We continuously work to reduce environmental impacts within value chains and we work only with OEM partners with a record of good environmental practice. The majority of our hardware is supplied by our parent company, HP, who are known for their exceptional environmental practices. Over 90 per cent of paper used at Apogee comes from certified forests. Our printing arm is FSC-certified and we work with products that have built-in and addon features designed to boost energy efficiency, such as multifunctional devices with eco-modes.

“We carried out a comprehensive assessment last year and implemented the following. We replaced lights in our largest sites with LEDs and plan to roll this out to all sites and we trialled a number of electric and alternative fuel vehicles to determine the most suitable for business activities. Additionally, we recycled more than 80 per cent of waste materials generated from operations in 2019. This year, we aim to increase this by more than 10 per cent. We also started a series of behavioural awareness campaigns to promote good environmental stewardship with employees.

“By helping clients make practical choices that reduce their environmental impact, we have extended green practices across downstream supply chains by developing technology to prevent unnecessary printing alongside using innovative products and services to improve operations and create collaborations, whilst decreasing travel and ultimately carbon footprint. These include Apogee Cloud Print, Apogee’s Remote Management Application (ARMA), and our new partnership with PrintReleaf.”

Pete Lunn, Sales Director,
Kyocera Document Solutions UK

Pete Lunn,
13.03.19 – Reading, UK.
Pete Lunn, Kyocera.
Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

“Any company, regardless of size, that has not yet embraced sustainability should view it as an area for immediate focus. Proving an organisation’s commitment to sustainability is fundamental for a successful long-term business strategy and future growth.

“Showing commitment to sustainability is a great way for dealers to build trust and reinforce their values. Kyocera is built on a culture of sustainability, in place since its founding in 1959 by Kazuo Inamori, who promoted the principles of ‘doing what is right as a human being’. We have sustainability factored into all our manufacturing, supply chain and business expansion practices and we also incorporate this approach into all our products and devices.

“By following government regulations closely, Kyocera manufactures genuine toner cartridges that do not contain any harmful or corrosive chemicals and are made with low quantities of raw materials, which can all be recycled. In addition, our genuine cartridges can fuse at 30°C cooler than compatible equivalents, which can cut the total energy usage of your print devices by up to half.

“All our products are tested rigorously for sustainability and durability. During Buyers Lab reliability testing, original Kyocera cartridges performed flawlessly, with no out-of-box failures, early-end-of-life failures or any other defects. Furthermore, most toner cartridges can be recycled up to six times and some manufacturers offer a free take-back service. If businesses are serious about sustainability, they will need to take full advantage of these services and do what they can to avoid throwing cartridges into landfill after a single use.

“Print management tools also have a major role to play. These tools give a much greater level of control and visibility over print estates, allowing organisations to recognise where there are high levels of excessive printing. They also minimise unnecessary printing by eliminating the frequency of accidental or duplicated print jobs. More efficient printing means lower costs, lower energy usage and reduced carbon emissions.

“Channel partners have the opportunity to be trailblazers in this drive for sustainability. As the ‘middle man’ between vendor and end-user, they are uniquely placed to understand these challenges, so positioning themselves as experts in this area will pay dividends. Consumers are paying far more attention to the environmental impact of products and services and are therefore increasingly likely to prefer buying from companies that offer sustainable options. This is something that we communicate to our channel partners, and have made an integral element of the relationships we have with channel businesses.”

Martin Fairman, UK&I Managing
Director, Lexmark


“For Lexmark, being a responsible neighbour, employer and global corporate citizen is woven into everything we do. Operating sustainably is part of Lexmark’s corporate vision and values, and we aim to continue to embrace circular economic principles by following internationally recognised standards for environmental management at multiple sites.

“Since 2017, Lexmark has been a founding member of the European Remanufacturing Council (CER) and we’re also part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 – a group of leading companies dedicated to finding new and innovative ways of transforming business along circular economic principles.

“As a business, we continually set CSR objectives, and over the last five years have reduced our water consumption by 20 per cent, maintained a waste recycling rate of 75 per cent, and reduced our harmful emissions by 16 per cent.

“Lexmark customers are encouraged to return their used cartridges to our manufacturing facilities across the globe through the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Programme (LCCP). Cartridges are disassembled, and components selected to be reused in the production of new cartridges, resulting in a zero landfill and incineration policy.

“LCCP is adapted to each businesses consumption volumes, and Lexmark covers transportation costs of used cartridges, providing intuitive online tools that make it easy to schedule pick-ups, track returns, order recycling containers and more.

“Lexmark also actively participates in the circular economy by designing hardware that stays in use longer, resulting in less raw materials being used and less waste in landfills. We continually review product lifecycles in order to understand the entire impact of the product and offer the highest number of printer models with significant post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in the industry. Reclaimed PCR plastic is incorporated into nearly 50 Lexmark components.

“An additional sustainability solution for our clients is Lexmark Print Release. This solution is designed so papers are not printed until the person scans into the printer with a badge or employee number. Print jobs are listed on the screen, and the user can delete unwanted jobs or select certain ones to print at the time of arrival. If jobs aren’t printed, they can be automatically deleted. We’ve estimated that a Print Release solution can save up to 30 per cent – with some of our customers reporting as high as 50 per cent paper savings as a result of the solution.”

Gemmer Crozier, Sustainability
Development Co-Ordinator, Brother UK

Gemmer Crozier
Gemmer Crozier

“At Your Side represents much more than our approach to working with our channel partners. It’s a philosophy that runs deep through our business and guides how we act responsibly to our employees, the communities we work in and the planet.

“In this way, we’ve developed and embedded a robust strategy for sustainability and benchmark ourselves against the peak of responsible practices. Simply paying lip service to it by saying the right things and running a few token initiatives will only serve to turn customers and employees off at a time when purchasing and career choices are increasingly influenced by how a company or brand performs on sustainability.

“Our sustainability strategy forms a vital part of our At Your Side promise and is aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Commitment to these targets runs right through our corporate culture and underpins every action and decision we make as a company. Several, including fostering good health and wellbeing, providing quality education, gender equality and responsible production and consumption are very close to the heart of our business and the local communities we operate in.

“This approach has seen us twice awarded with the Queens Award for Enterprise for sustainable development – the most prestigious accreditation for responsible business in the UK – which recognises that we live and breathe sustainability in everything we do and places the company in an elite group of multiple winners.

“Supporting our reseller partners and their customers in boosting their environmental credentials, and commercial benefits thereafter, has played a vital role in this success. Our zero waste to landfill certification is helping many of our customers who stipulate these environmental conditions in their own purchasing policies, and our free recycling programme ensures that end-users can return any Brother toner to be re-conditioned and re-used.

“We’re also supporting the adoption of ‘paper-lite’ strategies by encouraging businesses to use scanning as the default process for storing documents which, alongside reducing paper use, helps companies make savings in how they store and share information. We are already seeing these benefits first-hand across a range of sectors, from retail to accountancy, particularly when combined with a managed print service. This is providing our customers with the ability to more effectively monitor power and paper consumption, cutting costs and wastage and without the need for any upfront investment.

“Sustainability sits at the heart of our business, running through the veins of our corporate culture. Together with the commercial advantages, companies can also have a positive impact on their employees and local communities. But setting a clear strategy and commitment to responsible business from the outset is essential.”

Stuart Bleese, Category Director –
EOS and Technology, VOW Wholesale

“VOW has embedded its overall environment and sustainability strategy within a program called EVOlution. The five-point plan forms a comprehensive framework that connects the company’s social responsibility to its people, stakeholders, supply chain and the natural environment.

“The first area of focus is a reduction of packaging waste. Measures include a ban on plastic void fill, the introduction of additional waste reducing box sizes, a policy of suppliers delivering on VOW totes and the introduction of pallet collars to reduce shrink wrap.

“The second area is the environment, with an array of targets to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas production, while increasing biodiversity at VOW sites. Top-line targets for 2022 include reducing electricity and gas use by 30 per cent and water use by 10 per cent.

“The third subject in the spotlight is the setting of high standards in the supply chain, with a zero-tolerance of illegal, unethical, counterfeit or substandard products. The fourth area involves a commitment to improved wellbeing and workplace standards for its people, allied to a proactive approach to inclusive and socially positive engagement with local communities. The fifth focus area is active participation in supporting good causes through the VOW 1,000 Hours Challenge. This initiative is an invitation to all VOW employees to give the valuable gift of time to support the national and local projects that touch them the most.

“With regard to print, VOW has two focuses. Firstly, as a product manufacturer and supplier, and secondly as a trading organisation with its own requirement for internal print consumption and external marketing.

“For its Q-Connect and Polaroid cartridges, VOW has adopted a zero waste policy. All materials are broken down, segregated and recycled or reused, including waste ink, packaging, cardboard, paper, plastic and general waste. Nothing is sent to landfill. Q-Connect offers a free of charge ink and toner recycling service to all its customers. All collections are processed and recycled within the UK, with nothing sent overseas, thus reducing carbon footprint. All reusable cartridges are re-manufactured and non-reusable cartridges are broken down and separated into raw materials, such as metal, plastic and toner to be reused in other industries.

“The focus on waste, emissions and carbon footprint extends to the production facilities and the supply chain. Suppliers to both product ranges adopt strategies within their factories and offices such as using LED lighting in toilets and walkways, installing PIR on urinal flushing and auto tap shut off to save water.

“As a print consumer, VOW uses a managed print solution to minimise the number of printers used and to reduce power consumption. This also significantly reduces the number of spare and redundant cartridges being held throughout the business. Internal users are encouraged to print only when necessary, to use black rather than colour whenever possible and to print on both sides of the page.

“To support its marketing, and the collateral for its reseller customers, VOW has moved increasingly to digital communications. Its MyMarketing platform allows resellers to create personalised flyers and brochures that can be emailed to consumers. Where it does still produce printed publications, VOW is mindful of the environmental impact, so works with recycled papers and less environmentally damaging inks. Finished publications are minimally packaged and delivered using the company’s low emission vehicles.”

Daniel Quelch, CSR and Sustainability
Manager, Epson UK

 Daniel Quelch
Daniel Quelch

“At Epson, we’ve not so much embedded, but rather have led with, sustainability across our business, as this is an inherent part of our management philosophy. We believe it’s important to listen to consumers and work collaboratively to address the growing concerns surrounding sustainability.

“We have recently reviewed our environmental performance in the second edition of our voluntary, non-financial European sustainability report, The Green Choice. We are taking guidance from sustainability experts and use this annual report to ensure that our efforts continue to align with the Science Based Science Targets initiative (SBTi) and the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).

“Our products defy common misconceptions of low-energy consuming devices costing more and compromising on quality or productivity. This is already helping our channel partners gain a competitive advantage, once end-users come to terms with the ecological savings they can then report back into the business as well as the financials.

“We are constantly striving to ensure that our products are sustainable throughout the full lifecycle, to expand our environmental impact mitigation efforts beyond our doors. For example, industry reports, tests and comparisons are showing what we have long believed – inkjet is surpassing laser printing technology in terms of performance, efficiency and most importantly, addressing urgent social and environmental issues. Minimising the total cost of print and its environmental impact, while addressing human benefits, are all advantages enabled by our inkjet printers. In fact, companies that choose to invest in inkjet can achieve up to 99 per cent less waste, 96 per cent less energy consumption and 98 per cent reduced maintenance and intervention time.

“In addition, emerging technologies such as PaperLab bring eco-efficient solutions directly into the office and encourage a change in workers’ mindset. This first ever in-office recycling machine is ideal for businesses that need to shred confidential and sensitive documents as well as recycle paper in an environmentally friendly way.

“Our business strategy is 100 per cent channel committed, and we ensure we work with green partners so that our supply chain also has a reduced environmental footprint. We choose providers that espouse the eco-values of business inkjet printing and innovative products and services that will make their customers’ jobs and lives easier and more enjoyable – while also shrinking their environmental footprints. Our technologies are designed to give customers a clear choice to make about the environmental, social and financial impacts of the products they use. In this way, we hope that our sustainability efforts will have a positive impact on companies across the UK.”

Budd Webster, Commercial Product
Manager, Kofax

Budd Webster
Budd Webster

“Kofax helps organisations achieve sustainability objectives through implementation of rules-based print management routines and reporting. By employing these capabilities, companies can ensure optimal print practices are followed – including duplex printing instead of simplex, and black and white instead of colour. Kofax also helps eliminate copier paper waste by holding documents in a secure queue, until they’re released for printing by the user at the multifunction printer.

“With Kofax print management solutions, organisations can improve sustainability while improving their bottom line.”

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