Lexmark has announced the next step in helping users decrease the environmental impact of their printing, through the consumer launch of its eco-simulator. The Lexmark eco-simulator, a tool originally developed to show businesses how to print more responsibly, is now available to home and small business users on a specially created website page at www.lexmark-me.com.
While the energy consumption of the information technologies continues to attract headlines, Lexmark’s Life-Cycle Analysis found that most of a printer’s carbon footprint actually comes from paper use – compared with around ten per cent in terms of energy. Similarly, the usage phase accounts for the vast majority (between 55 and 68 per cent) of an inkjet MFP printer’s overall footprint.
After developing an eco-simulator for enterprises, Lexmark then extended the tool for consumers, so that people, as an individual, can understand how their own printing habits and paper use can negatively contribute to the climate change, resources depletion and pollution in general. In this way, they can start to reduce their own environmental footprint – by printing less and saving more.
The eco-simulator calculates the environmental impact of users’ printing, translating it into global warming and ozone pollution potential, as well as showing the amount of non-renewable resources that are involved in the process. This is crucial in knowing the exact impact of each user’s individual printing – and in helping consumers reduce their footprint.
To help users print less and save more, the eco-simulator asks simple questions around users’ printing habits:
1. Do you use single or double-sided printing?
2. Do you use one-up or two-up printing?
3. Do you keep your printer during three years or extend your usage to five years?
4. Do you print in Wi-Fi?
5. Do you use standard or high-yield ink cartridges?
The eco-simulator then calculates the environmental impact of the user’s printing habits based on a full Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) of their Lexmark printer, taking into account every stage of its existence – from manufacturing through to disposal. The results are brought back to one year printing impact for 3 important environmental impacts. They show the benefits of the new printing behaviours in simplified and easy to understand indicators.
(The LCA has been certified by an independent third party, and uses 11 indicators: non-renewable sources depletion; non-renewable primary energy; global warming potential; ozone layer depletion; photochemical oxidation; air acidification; water eutrophication; human toxicity; freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity; freshwater sedimental ecotoxicity; and soil ecotoxicity.)
Béatrice Marneffe, Director of Sustainable Affairs, explained: “The eco-simulator for consumers is the next step in Lexmark’s quest to minimise the environmental impact of printing. Sustainability has a lot to do with individual behaviour, so the tool has been developed to let each individual user understand exactly how their printing affects the environment.”
“Lexmark is committed to its environmental responsibilities, and has launched a number of initiatives towards sustainability both internally and externally – including greener product features and customer recycling programmes,” she added.
Print users can follow simple steps to reduce their environmental footprint:
1. Share printers in the home through wireless printing technology
2. Use two-sided printing to save paper
3. Look for an extended printer warranty to extend its lifecycle
4. Look for en ecological printer design
5. Improve printer efficiency by switching off after use
6. Use software like the Lexmark Webtool to print web pages more economically
7. Print in the draft mode to reduce the amount of ink used
8. Use Lexmark XL cartridges for a higher yield of ink
9. Return the printer to a dedicated collection point
10. Take advantage of Lexmark’s free cartridge recycling service
“Through this latest launch, Lexmark is going a step further to help its users print less and save more,” said Marneffe. “Because users first need to understand and change their own printing habits to make a difference.”
Ecot-simulator expected to drive home the message of reponsible printing