Most office workers do consider the environment before printing out documents, a new study shows.
In an online survey of 800 British office workers, 57 percent often or always decide against a paper hard copy because it takes a toll on the planet.
But the research, conducted by office equipment manufacturer Toshiba, also reveals a persistent demand for printed documents such as emails or maps and directions. About a quarter of the eco-conscious workers surveyed would click “print” if they could eliminate the environmental impact.
Toshiba’s answer is a carbon offset program that supplies villagers in Kenya with stoves that reduce the community’s need for firewood by half, with each wood-burning cooker eliminating 3 tons of CO2 emissions annually. The company expects to offset the carbon associated with 1 million printed pages.
Conservationists suggest other ways to minimize the eco-impact of office printing such as the use of recycled-content paper sourced from sustainably managed forests and double-side printing.