Reducing the Environmental Impact and Cost of Printing at Buro Four
Buro Four is a project management company with a range of complementary services. Founded in 1985, it is instrumental in the delivery of multi-billion pound projects and programmes across the UK and Middle East.
Due to the nature of the industry, Buro Four produced a large volume of prints daily, amounting to approximately 900,000 sheets in London alone every year.
Desks were cluttered with paper, which eventually found its way into the filing system. Workspaces were cramped, hampering productivity.
This vast amount of print-outs was carried out on a number of in-house Canon and HP machines. Due to their age, they needed regular maintenance as well as IT and help-desk support, resulting in mounting costs.
The machines produced 72 kilos of waste in spent cartridges and rubbish each year. This does not take into account the reams of wasted paper sitting on the printers at the end of every day.
As Buro Four is a project-based business, it was recognised that shared and flexible workspaces and desks would increase productivity.
Problems were exacerbated by the fact that desks were cluttered with print, and the overloaded filing system was not conducive to effective storage and retrieval of documents from different locations.
The need for a vast reduction in the amount of paper consumed and waste produced was recognised at Buro Four, as part of the drive towards ISO 14001 accreditation.
The £40,800 per annum spent on printing needed to be reduced.
Reduce the amount of paper consumed
Reduce the amount of waste produced
Reduce the cost of printing
The solution came in the form of a drive to change the mindset of employees with regard to printing and documents in general, supported by new hardware and software.
Employees were encouraged to print only what was necessary, and a clear desk policy was put in place.
Every employee was assigned a locker for storing a limited amount of paper. Filing systems were digitised and integrated with email to facilitate quick and easy access to data.
Xenith suggested the introduction of tailor-made hardware and software solutions, which would help to resolve the issues surrounding print, as well as continually monitoring the printing environment to further optimise the printing infrastructure.
The hardware solution involved the removal of all Canon machines, to be replaced by fewer Xerox ColorQube machines, running on solid ink technology which uses almost 90% less packaging for consumables and significantly decreases cost per page.
Initially, one machine was installed on a trial basis, shortly followed by another when the benefits emerged.
A follow me solution was also put into place by Xenith, allowing users to retrieve prints at either of the devices in the building.
A clear desk policy coupled with a reduced capacity for storage has resulted in a reluctance to print, as there is simply nowhere to store vast amounts of paper.
The new digital document management system has been rapidly adopted, and almost all employees say they have benefited from this change. Print volume has decreased from 900,000 to 336,000 pages p.a. - a dramatic annual reduction of 63%.
Waste has been reduced from 72 kg per annum to 12 kg per annum, due to the solid ink technology in the new Xerox ColorQubes, bringing the total annual reduction in waste to an anticipated 60 kg.
Substantial amounts of paper were wasted due to the fact that print jobs got lost amid piles of paper which was never collected from the printer.
Documents were often sent to print, after which further edits were made, rendering the initial printout useless. Paper left on the printer at the end of the day amounted to approximately 36,000 sheets per annum.
With SafeCom’s Follow Me printing, users walk to their machine of choice and ‘pull’ the print from their personal print queue. Superfluous print jobs can be deleted from the queue at the machine. This system has made printing faster, easier and more secure, as well as completely eliminating discarded prints.
The massive reductions in paper consumption, packaging and wasted print resulted in the success of the Environmental Impact Reduction Programme, helping Buro Four to achieve ISO 14001 accreditation.
The new Xerox ColorQubes charge multiple rates for colour prints, depending on the colour coverage on each page, replacing an expensive flat rate for colour. Simple colour highlighting is charged at the same rate as black and white, saving the company 5p per page.
This has reduced the average cost per page significantly. The new pricing system, combined with the reduction in print volume, has resulted in a massive reduction of monthly print costs from around £3,400 to around £1,000.
We can already identify a saving of around £10,000 and we expect, over a year, to save around £28,800 per annum, or 70% of Buro Four’s original print costs.
There have been significant increases in efficiency through the clear desk policy, and printer accessibility has increased, making prints easier to retrieve from the user’s preferred printer.