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Green imaging options for the office

ENERGY STAR is a government program to encourage the use of energy-efficient equipment. The program is a joint initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The fact that those two organizations are involved highlights the duality of saving energy – it conserves valuable natural resources, and lowers your total cost of ownership.

The ENERGY STAR designation generally means an appliance does a job as well as a standard appliance, but uses at least 25 percent less energy.The EPA says that imaging products including small and large-format – with ENERGY STAR status will save more than $3 billion over the next five years and prevent emissions equivalent to the exhaust of 4 million cars. Imaging equipment isn’t the only equipment in an office, but due to its cost, electrical footprint, and maintenance, it requires more attention than other equipment.

Another issue to consider is the presence of toxic materials in imaging equipment. One way to check that is to see if your supplier is compliant with RoHS, a European Union directive that stands for “Restrictions on Certain Hazardous Substances.” Standardization with RoHS compliancy is moving to the United States; it is already mandated in California.

If you’re buying a large-format printer, two other items to consider are the warm-up time and how good the first print is. You can waste a lot of energy and paper if your printer does poorly in either of these areas. Another item you should look at when shopping for new imaging equipment is the recyclability of the parts. If your printer can be refurbished and resold after it leaves your shop, you will have one less downstream issue to worry about. Inquire first if the manufacturer of your equipment has a program to take back and refurbish used equipment. If this is an issue, see about leasing or purchasing certified refurbished equipment.


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