Press "Enter" to skip to content

Epson: Turn down the heat

Worldwide switch from laser to inkjet printers set to save 1.3 million. metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year

A worldwide switch from laser to inkjet printers by 2025 could cut energy emissions to 52% of current levels – saving 1.3 million metrics tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

New research by Dr Tim Forman of the University of Cambridge, commissioned by Epson, reveals a net-zero future for printing is possible with the right choice of technology.

A worldwide switch from laser to inkjet printers by 2025 could save 1.3 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (C02) each year, according to new research by Dr Tim Forman of the University of Cambridge, commissioned by Epson.

The research – carried out as part of Epson’s Turn Down the Heat campaign with National Geographic to promote the protection of the world’s permafrost – reveals a worldwide switch across all laser and inkjet models could cut energy emissions to 52% of current levels.  This is the equivalent to taking about 280,000 cars off the road for a year.  It also showed that inkjet technology can be up to 90% more energy efficient than laser technology depending on the type of printer and usage patterns.

Road to net zero

The study identified that to keep the world on track to achieve a net zero carbon future, the energy consumed globally by all appliances must fall dramatically, with one potential pathway including an average reduction on 2020 levels of approximately 25% by 2030 and 40% by 2050.

Tim Forman, Senior Research Associate at University of Cambridge, comments. “This research project has proven that a pathway to a net zero future for printing is possible, as long as people switch to the most energy efficient products both in homes and offices and we reduce the carbon associated with manufacturing these products.  We hope to now see more efforts to advance eco-friendly technologies across the appliance sector – including TVs, washing machines, fridge freezers and ovens – to reach net zero emissions by 2050.”

“It is crucial that we continue to improve the energy efficiency of appliances – and reduce the energy required to produce appliances – to avoid the worst climate change scenarios.  In fact, IEA analysis shows that failure for the appliances sector to meet its net zero decarbonisation scenario risks a 100% increase in the frequency of extreme heat waves and a 40% increase in ecological droughts.”


About the research

Epson and Dr Tim Forman of the University of Cambridge drew on the following sources to reveal the real-world impact of our printing decisions:

  • International and regional reporting of energy and greenhouse gas emissions trends
  • Peer-reviewed projections of climate change and related impacts
  • A detailed analysis of global printer energy consumption

When analysing the impact of a switch from laser to ink-jet printers, research went beyond like-for-like energy comparisons between laser and ink-jet printers and considered the indicative lifecycles of modern printers, based on Energy Star’s most up-to-date testing methodology.

Energy Star’s recent revision (3.0) of the Typical Electricity Consumption (TEC) methodology provides the industry’s leading standardised method of comparing appliance energy performance. Applied to printers, the methodology uses standard assumptions about operation patterns – including varying use over a specific period of time – to evaluate product energy performance.


A call for action

The report reveals that a net zero future for the printing sector depends on a global switch to the most energy efficient products such as inkjet technology. It identifies three ways we can make a collective change:

1 Technological innovation: With appliance ownership continuing to increase, reducing carbon emissions will rely on enhancing technological energy efficiency standards and reducing the energy intensity of manufacturing. One example of industry progress toward more energy efficient appliances is Epson’s Heat Free inkjet printing technology, which does not require heat in the ink ejection process.  Instead, pressure is applied to the Piezo element, which flexes backwards and forwards firing the ink from the printhead.

2 International co-operation:  Greater international co-operation is needed to align Members of the European Parliament, encourage the uptake of more efficient appliances, and improve efficiency labelling.  This has the potential to accelerate action and drive down the costs of efficient appliances.

3 Behaviour change: if everyone on the planet makes oner positive change, it can have a huge positive impact.  People can choose Heat-Free Technology when replacing an existing printer to help reduce energy consumption and the  associated greenhouse gas emissions, which will help to slow the rate of climate change.  Choosing a cartridge free printer is also a more sustainable option and may bring benefits in terms of improved efficiency, productivity, and long-term financial savings.

Henning Ohlsson, Epson Europe’s Director of Sustainability, comments: “There’s no getting away from the fact that we’re facing a global climate crisis, but the future is in our hands.  One thing we have control over is how we consume energy – and we can make the world a better place one appliance at a time.  Inkjet technology is available as a greener choice and even small changes can make a big difference in protecting the world’s permafrost.”


About Epson PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology

Epson Heat-Free Technology does not require heat in the ink ejection process.  Instead, pressure is applied to a Piezo element, reducing environmental impact which increasing productivity without compromise.

  • Heat-Free Technology brings four benefits:
  • Low power consumption saves energy and money
  • Few replacement parts, low environmental impact
  • Save time with consistent high-speed printing
  • Low intervention increases productivity