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Office page print volumes fall for the first time

Billy MacInnes
Office-based staff have reduced the number of pages they printed for the first time ever in 2011 - but the proportion of pages wasted has remained high at 62%.

The results of the Kyocera Environmental Survey 2011 showed a 40% drop in the average annual number of pages printed by office-based staff, the first time the number of pages printed has fallen since the survey began in 2007.

But the high proportion of wasted pages - either because they were printed in error, were printed but never collected or could have been printed on both sides of the paper - suggests users are still making the same mistakes despite the reduction in volume.

Commenting on the results, Kyocera Mita director of brand and reputation Tracey Rawling Church, said they provided "the first concrete evidence" that office-based workers' love affair with the printed page was starting to wane. The fact the proportion of unnecessary printing had remained the same demonstrated there was "still a long way to go" before companies reached the nirvana of the paperless office.

The survey also found a very sharp rise (from 27% in 2010 to 85% in 2011) in the number of IT managers looking to mandates and automation as a means to encourage best practice printing.

Rawling Church said the deployment of managed document services was leading to an increase in the use of print policy software and card-based access systems "which mandates improvements in print efficiency". 

She added it was "important that the scope of managed document services deployments" included user education around the cost and environmental benefits of good print practice "to ensure ultimate success".

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