How businesses can decrease paper use and printing costs

How businesses can decrease paper use and printing costs

The move towards a paper-free environment is being strongly advocated across all industries as a way to minimise the carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency and save on costs. Businesses are now seeking innovative solutions to decrease paper use and the associated printer costs with impressive results. Here’s a look at some of the techniques being incorporated.

7 ways to decrease paper use and printing costs

1. Paper to digital

There is a big move towards the smart business and the majority of employees have some form of smart device for connectivity. This means that communicating digitally is often the most direct solution, and certainly one of the best ways to decrease paper use and printing costs. Generally, when it comes to printing, employees simply need to re-evaluate why they’re printing. Often, it’s a habit from bygone years before the prominence of smart devices, and things just haven’t changed. If it’s a case of needing to keep a copy, then employees can select the ‘print to PDF’ option and save it to the cloud. Alternatively, multifunction printers have the useful scan option so employees can scan directly to email or to a specific digital location. This saves on costs and space.

Read more: Benefits of Document Scanning

2. Managed print solutions

The modern, higher-end printers come with a managed print solutions’ feature which allows a business to outline how many print copies are allowed, as well as making adjustments to the settings to automatically implement cost-saving measures. This encourages employees to consider their own paper and printing use.

Read More: Print Policy

3. Avoid colour copies

It might seem obvious, but printing in black and white is not only a huge cost-saving exercise, but it also saves on power. Printing in colour can cost as much as eight times more than the black/white option. Often, it’s just a matter of instructing employees on how to opt for black and white over colour. Other times it’s just a case of questioning whether colour imagery must be printed or can be shared digitally rather.

4. Check the print preview

The print preview option is an often-overlooked, yet incredibly valuable feature in the quest to minimise paper use and bring down printing costs in business. Before clicking ‘print’, employees should check the print preview to confirm what is about to printed, is actually what needs to be printed. The reduction in print errors dramatically decreases the likelihood of more re-prints. It also lets the individual check if the print size or other aspects can be reduced or removed.

5. Double-sided printing

Another tactic that businesses tend to miss is the double-sided printing feature available on almost all of the latest printers. While not necessarily cutting print costs, businesses are able to reduce paper use by 50% with this simple trick. Multi-function printers will have the duplex printing option, although other printer models also allow for manual loading. While a bit more time-consuming, it is still effective.

6. Get the right font

It seems so simple, but something like font selection can have long-term savings for businesses that rely on printing. According to, Century Gothic and Times Roman are the most economical fonts, while a font like Arial uses a lot more toner. Savings can be as high as 31% purely on font selection.

7. Consolidate to a multi-function printer

Rather than having smaller, individual printers in various departments, consolidate the printing needs through multi-function printers which are much more efficient, easily maintained and have a range of cost-saving features. This also allows businesses to have much more oversight, monitoring who is printing what to prevent unnecessary paper and printer ink use.

With an increasingly digitised business space and the move towards smart business environments, there is very little room for paper-based documents in the modern world. By incorporating these techniques, you are able to minimise paper use without impacting internal and external communication – and also saving on costs year-on-year.

Read More: 10 tips to save on ink