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Will print-free really help the environment?


In the digital age we live in, the use of paper and printers (particularly in the office) still get a lot of negative attention.

Related content: 'Going green': A guide for NZ businesses


Historically, printed materials, machines and consumables have contributed to the waste making its way to landfill. And when you add the energy resource required for these products, it’s understandable why there has been a perception that printing can adversely affect the environment.

However, in the past decade there have been dramatic improvements across technology, production, consumer and corporate waste recycling, reusable energy and more.



A new revolution in technology

Cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) sensors are already making businesses cleaner and more efficient. This includes minimising waste on stock, redistributing the air around an office rather than heating what’s already hot, and cooling what’s already cold.

Simply updating office technology, such as printers, can have enormous benefits for the environment, with global market intelligence leader IDC saying that new devices can cut energy consumption by 30 per cent.1

The latest in-market printers have a host of sustainability benefits, all of which add up to a significant reduction in environmental impacts at a company level.

New models are more energy-efficient (thanks to innovations such as Brother’s low-energy standby power), faster to use and less costly to run. There are also more ways than ever before to help businesses become more sustainable, by ensuring nobody prints and forgets about it or prints multiple copies without realising.

For instance, Brother business printers have built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) readers, which allow for pull printing–a print job won’t be released until it’s been authenticated by the user, bringing security benefits and reducing paper waste.

It is this scale of technological change – from potatoes to printers – that encapsulates the “fourth industrial revolution” which many commentators feel we are now in.

Brother not only has a deep understanding of that technological change, but aligns it with environmental considerations and processes across its entire business; from its factories, offices, products and materials to its overall energy usage and everyday employee actions.



A world without print?

What is obvious throughout this continual change however, is that certain businesses and services will always rely on print.

In fact, according to recent research, 85 per cent of employees see print as continuing to be a critical component to effectively functioning in their job, with most printing every day.2

32 per cent of businesses surveyed are actively working towards becoming more paperless and digital, however, half of the businesses surveyed also noted that they realistically can’t become paperless and still function effectively.

And for many of these businesses (including law firms, medical centres and pharmacies), the role Brother plays in managing their unique requirements is vital. From understanding their changing business needs, to having the latest, most energy efficient technology, providing free and simple recycling and end-of-life solutions for its products–all through its MPS programme.

Brother NZ are now hoping to inspire others in their own industry and beyond, and show that sustainable practices and substantial emission reductions can be achieved.

And if a leading print company can do it, you can too!



Want to learn more about going green through print in your workplace? Download our free guide ‘How to succeed at sustainability’ now.




1Telegraph UK, 2018

2Brother New Zealand Business Print & Technology Survey 2017