When it comes to printing, cutting costs is not just about the expensive printing machines. Buying, using, and disposing of printer paper can affect printing costs and either boost business efforts towards going green or undermine them.

Understanding the importance of proper paper handling can help business offices save time and money. Here are a few interesting facts about printer paper every office can use to help streamline office printing and tackle costs.

Wasted Pages Make a Big Impact on Company Costs

All those papers employees print out in the wrong color or format usually end up right in the waste bin. The same is true of items that are stapled incorrectly, jammed in the printer, or encounter some other printing mishap. But, despite printer paper purchases often being budgeted under miscellaneous spending, the numbers show not accounting correctly for paper spending might be a mistake.

Misprinted pages average $0.06 per piece of paper. While that price may look small, the dollars add up fast when considering some surprising usage facts.

  • The average employee wastes about six pages per day
  • Three-quarters of workers print internet content
  • Nearly half of all pages printed in an office are discarded by the end of the day

While a single piece of office printer paper may be inexpensive, the volumes used by employees as a group get pricey. The typical U.S. business spends over $120B on printed forms, and a single document usually gets copied 9-11 times. Sadly, wasted printer paper contributes a large chunk to these costs. So, it is not surprising to see so many businesses looking for new ways to get a handle on their printing.

For Companies That Are Going Green, Paper Management is a Big Deal

Whether it is to meet consumer demand, tackle office waste costs, or genuine concern about environmental impact, many businesses are choosing to find new ways to “go green.” No matter what the reason for choosing a more environmentally friendly path, paper use is one of the spaces every office can benefit from managing.

A single ream of paper uses close to 6% of a tree, with an entire tree used to produce approximately 16.67 reams of paper. In addition, U.S. businesses consume around 24B reams of paper annually. As a result, American companies consume over 1.4B trees per year.

The trees are not the only thing impacted by office paper use. It takes around 11,134 kWh to produce 400 reams or one ton of paper. That is the same energy the average household uses over ten months. In addition to power, paper production generates thousands of gallons of wastewater, with one ton of printer paper contributing close to 19,000 gallons.

Managing office paper usage and reducing paper waste saves money on office paper purchases. One of the simplest ways to improve paper management is to take advantage of paper recycling.

Recycled paper production uses 43% less water and 26% less energy than new paper. Currently, around one-third of paper materials in the U.S. are generated with recycled paper. While purchasing recycled printer paper may not save the company money per sheet, the savings on water, energy, and tree consumption are more likely to help meet the long-term goals of any green initiatives. 

Managed Print Services Can Help Control Paper Costs, Waste, and Recycling

Managed print services (MPS) and other office printing experts can help their business partners get a handle on their paper usage. In many cases, they can monitor printer usage by location, department, or even employee to assist their clients in creating a viable paper management plan.

Many businesses searching to go green or save money will seek new printer paper to use in their offices. But using the wrong paper in a printer is a recipe for disaster. Inkjet paper, for instance, will not work correctly in a laser printer. The type of paper used can also affect color vibrancy. In addition, the incorrect paper might cause additional paper jams or damage printer rollers, resulting in extra maintenance time and money. Fortunately, office printing providers like MPS have the knowledge and know-how to recommend the right paper solutions for their business partners.

In addition to paper types and use management, MPS and other office printer businesses usually offer paper waste solutions such as shredding and recycling. These programs can help control confidential information while allowing offices to handle the wasted paper they are bound to produce responsibly.

Paper is an essential part of how businesses are run and will likely remain a crucial material far into the future. Yet, the costs of unmanaged paper waste and high volumes of paper production can directly affect a business’s green initiatives and bottom line. Fortunately, office printer partners are available to help companies stay on track, provide budgeted solutions, and create a more lucrative relationship with office printer paper.