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29 Apr 2015

Six Simple Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

Try these tips to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your contribution to environmental sustainability.

1. Assess all office equipment. Outdated models tend to use more energy.


Upgrading your old office equipment with new devices can make a big difference to your energy consumption. Old technology can be a drain on energy usage. Refreshing your office with more energy efficient equipment can dramatically reduce your overall carbon footprint.

  

2. Compare the energy rating on any new office equipment upgrades. 

Choose your new equipment carefully. The Energy Star label is an international standard for energy efficient office equipment including computers, printers and photocopiers, and home electronics. 

Make sure that the energy saving features are enabled on your new equipment, you can save money on your electricity bills and help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Green Office Guide produced by Commonwealth, State and Territory environmental agencies has some great information on choosing green office equipment.

3. Check that you are making good use of all the environmental features of your equipment. 

While your multifunction device or printer is only one of the types of office equipment you’re likely to have, there are many features you can make use of on this one piece of equipment alone, to reduce your carbon footprint: 
 -  Duplex printing & copying saves time, paper and costs by printing/copying on both sides of a sheet. 
 - The “N-up” printing option offers the possibility of combining several pages of a document on a single sheet of paper. If used for draft documents and archiving, this clever feature can help save toner and paper and with that save resources. 
 -  Documents can be scanned, saved, shared and distributed electronically. This highly automated functionality saves users time and energy. 
 -  Proof-print a single test page or set before printing or copying the whole job. Saves paper, time and money.  

4. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council rating on office supplies. 

Are you using recycled paper? Look for Forest Stewardship Council accredited paper. All products carrying the FSC Logo have been independently certified as coming from forests that meet the internationally recognised FSC Principles and Criteria of Forest Stewardship.

Visit the Forest Stewardship Council Australia https://au.fsc.org/ for more information. 

 

5. Educate staff around wastage. Don’t print it if you don’t need too. 

Provide training for staff in the environmental capabilities of your office equipment and explain how they can contribute to protecting the environment. Choosing your equipment well and following its installation with training often positively affects staff morale and performance.

Communicate about any new environmental systems that are introduced, and make instructions for participation in the new initiatives clear and easy to access. 


6. Implement a recycling scheme for paper and toner. 

Assess the amount of waste that is generated and what part of your operations produces the majority of this waste. 

Becoming a green office is largely about paper – reducing its use, reusing it, recycling it and buying recycled paper. While electronic offices may not be a reality yet, there are many steps businesses can take to reduce paper use. 

Toner cartridges also contribute to office waste. Australians throw away more than 18 million cartridges every year.

Recycling programs like Cartridges for Planet Ark operate a free, easy and environmentally-accredited way to recycle used printer cartridges.

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