Working collaboratively to promote sustainable practice across the legal sector

Default duplex (double-sided) printing

10 October 2011 12:00 AM | Anonymous member

Cost to implement

Minimal if current printer fleet is capable of doing duplex printing.

Cost savings

At Norton Rose, changing to duplex printing as a default led to a reduction in paper consumption of 30 – 40%. This equates to a cost saving of approx $100,000.

Reduced waste, particularly confidential waste

Environmental impact/savings

Reduced paper consumption, reduced waste production, reduced electricity consumption

Implementation Issues

Behavioural change, acceptance.

Ideas to promote reduced printing

  • Change the default settings for all staff to double-sided printing. Make it easy for staff to choose single-sided for when it is deemed necessary, but don’t allow staff to change their own default settings – Norton Rose, Swaab, Maddocks
  • Changing the ‘quick print’ settings to double-sided
  • Change the firm style guide to include double-sided printing. You can also reduce font-sizes and margins. Auditing of compliance to the style guide ensures compliance – Maddocks
  • Rationalising the number and location of printers. Requiring people to walk further to collect printing seems to reduce the volume of printing – DLA Piper 
  • Providing larger computer screens, or dual computer screens making it easier to read documents whilst in electronic form – Maddocks and DLA Piper
  • Provide 2 and 4-up per page - Norton Rose
  • Firm-wide tracking of quantities printed by each individual. A league table can be published to shame heavy printers (Net Balance) or discussions can be held with heavy consumers (Maddocks)
  • ‘Follow-me’ delays printing until an individual’s pin or keycard is used to release it, it also means people can collect their printing from any of the networked printers. This reduces the forgotten print and the superseded print. At Maddocks ‘Follow-me’ is offered not mandatory. At Swaabs, follow me was not accepted as there is a short delay at the printer.
  • ‘Equitrac’ can send small print jobs to a local printer and larger jobs to a MFP where it is prepared (collated, bound, hole-punched) – McCullough Robertson
  • Sorting trays at printer stations to collect each person’s/team’s printing for collection -Swaabs
  • Electronic delivery of scanned images to the user – Maddocks
  • Education and awareness raising campaigns. At Maddocks a ‘Wipe-off 5 campaign’ to get staff reduce printing by 5% resulted in a 10% reduction.
  • Changing the firm policy to electronic filing/storage of documents as opposed to hard copy. It has been found that electronic storage results in much easier search and retrieval of documents. It also greatly reduces the burden on staff tasked with filing hard-copy documents providing them with additional capacity to provide alternative assistance - Maddock

Hints to promote acceptance of changing to default duplex printing

  • Obtain a resolution from executive/management to introduce default duplex printing and direct those who resist to that resolution – Norton Rose
  • Explain that clients are demanding duplex printing and reduced printing – Norton Rose
  • Explain the costs savings – Norton Rose
  • Explain the reduced clutter and storage requirements – Norton Rose
  • Avoid the environmental arguments and focus on costs savings, etc... – Norton Rose
  • Describe it is a short-term trial (eg 3 months) and ask people to delay commenting until the end of the trial. At DLA Piper, this has resulted in almost 100% acceptance
  • Where there is not a management directive to change to default, staff can still be encouraged to use duplex printing through awareness raising and empowering people to use it by providing instructions on how to do it – DLA Piper (London)
  • Calculate the impact, particularly the costs savings and distribute to all staff – Norton Rose
  • Telling the traditional lawyers who were unaccustomed to looking on the backs of documents they have been looking at the back-sides of pages in books all their lives –Norton Rose
  • To those who justify single-sided printing with court procedures, remind them that nearly all Australian jurisdictions now permit filing double-sided documents – AusLSA is commencing a project looking at court procedure to see if we can bring any pressure on jurisdictions where filing double-sided documents is not the norm

Impact of introducing default duplex printing

  • Duplex printing, as a default, can reduce paper consumption by 30 – 40%. At Norton Rose, this equates to approx $100,000 per annum
  • The Printer fleet review at DLA Piper resulted in a savings of $72,000 per annum from reduced paper usage (>20,000 reams of paper per year) and 33% reduction in electricity consumption

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