KYOCERA Document Solutions Environmental Survey 2011
Is this finally the dawn of the paperless office?
KYOCERA environmental survey finds major reductions in print volumes for the first time
KYOCERA's annual environmental survey has this year discovered a significant drop in the number pages office-based workers print each year. Since the company first carried out the survey in its current form in 2007, the average number of pages printed by an office based worker has remained static at 40 sheets per day, equating to 10,000 sheets per year. In 2011 the average number of pages printed per year has dropped by 40% to 6000. This dramatic and sudden decrease could signal that, after many false starts, the long-heralded dawn of the paperless office is finally at hand.
Despite this drop in the number of pages printed, the proportion that are "wasted" each year has remained static at 66%. "Wasted" pages include those that could have been printed double-sided, those printed in error, and those printed but never collected from the device.
Commenting on the trends, Tracey Rawling Church, Director of Brand and Reputation at KYOCERA Document Solutions UK said: "This significant drop in print volumes indicates a sea-change in UK business. Anecdotally there appears to be far more confidence in mobile devices and electronic forms, and a willingness to rely on electronic information rather than having a piece of paper to hand. The proportion of wasted prints remains high, however, and the research showed that 72% of respondents felt that responsibility for reducing print volumes lies with the individual, with 44% admitting that they could print less than they currently do. This indicates a lack of awareness of the possibilities of automating reductions in print volumes by setting duplex functions as standard and applying print policy software."
For the second consecutive year it seems that the economic situation has had a neutral or positive effect on companies' environmental initiatives, with 45% of respondents stating that the economic downturn had either had no effect on their green plans, or had actually increased the focus on becoming more environmentally responsible and efficient.
This year KYOCERA Document Solutions delved more deeply into the attitudes of procurement professionals towards "green" purchasing. The responses showed that despite 71% of organisations stating that they have a green procurement policy, only 1 in 4 procurement managers would reject a potential supplier based on failure to meet green criteria. The survey also showed that while a 75% of organisations ask questions about a supplier’s environmental credentials at the tender stage, only 18% carry out subsequent audits on suppliers following the tender award. Unsurprisingly, cost reduction remains the highest priority for 89% of procurement managers, with only 52% reporting a similar level of concern for environmental issues.
Tracey Rawling Church comments: “There seems to be a disconnect between policy and the day-to-day reality of purchasing. In my experience, procurement managers are targeted and rewarded on the basis of the cost savings that they achieve, so it’s not surprising that focus drifts away from a supplier’s environmental credentials.”
82% of respondents felt that waste reduction would be the primary benefit of taking environmental issues into account when selecting goods and services, while 80% believed that energy efficiency would improve. Only 46% anticipated that there would be lower costs.
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