- Photocopiers – colour/black & white
- Fax machines
- Dictation equipment
- Video-conference facilities
- et al
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- Material choice i.e. does the equipment contain unrecyclable items or hazardous material (i.e. overhead projector globes containing mercury), is the equipment made of recycled material?
- Compatibility with recycled paper (i.e. some photocopiers/printers are more sensitive to dust from recycled paper).
- Energy consumption.
- Recycling i.e. toner cartridges – does the supplier provide recycling of these materials
- Disposal – what happens to the equipment/machine when it is replaced?
- Suppliers sustainability commitment i.e. what they are doing to contribute to energy efficiencies etc within their own company.
- Packaging of the equipment.
- Consider the requirements of the equipment to ascertain the level of technology required.
- Consider your first tier suppliers’ production processes initially, this will help to map the inputs from other organisations and ultimately highlight the 'sustainability issues' for the complete = product/service lifecycle.
- Consider the materials contained within the equipment – some equipment contains hazardous waste e.g. lead, how will this be disposed, does the supplier provide assistance?
- Consider if the equipment is energy efficient? What is the Energy Star rating? Do machine features (i.e. standby modes) reduce energy consumption?
- Consider if the machine consumables are recyclable?
- Ensure the recyclable consumables (i.e. paper) are compatible to use with the equipment and usable under the manufacturer’s warranty?
- Is the packaging supplied with the equipment recyclable?
- Can the equipment be recycled at its end of life cycle? What are the supplier’s disposal arrangements?
- Can the equipment contribute to sustainability in other areas? – e.g. video-conferencing may reduce travel requirements.
- Analyse opportunities to reduce equipment throughout the office by improving layout or centralising machines.
- Analyse current issues with existing machines (i.e. high volume of toner consumed, frequency of services required etc).
- Ensure staff are trained in the use of key features of the equipment to enable efficiencies to be maximised (i.e. double side printing, scanning etc).
- Analyse the impact & feasibility of equipment requiring user codes to be entered before printing is enabled.
- Sustainability criteria to be included in the selection process of products should include the following:
- Meets technical requirements,
- Promotes energy consumption efficiencies,
- Has minimal hazardous materials,
- Is compatible with recycled consumables & manufacturers warranty is valid using recycled consumables,
- Packaging is recyclable,
- At end of life cycle the product is recyclable.
- Sustainability criteria to be included in the selection process of Suppliers should include the following:
- Ability to provide evidence of commitment to sustainable practices & initiatives internally,
- Are actively engaged in community sustainability activities & projects.
- Provide recycling facilities for consumables, hazardous materials and machines at the end of their life cycle,
- Can provide assistance on initiatives to reduce waste and energy consumption of their products,
- Measure sustainability performance changes during the course of the contract. Examples could include:
- Reductions in energy consumption,
- Reductions in heat output (affects the energy requirements of the air conditioners),
- Reductions in waste by-products.
Melissa Bator, Jackson McDonald and
Michael Cusack, McCullough Robertson