Introduce a policy on reducing energy and resource use from printing and photocopying.

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How many worksheets do you use in class?  Paper is an important resource in schools and one that we don't often think about at all.   Your office staff/ procurement department might make an effort to buy recycled paper and you may reuse paper that's only printed on one side and you may recycle throughout your school but when we print lots, we're not just consuming paper, we're using energy.

For every kilowatt hour a laser printer is used, almost half a kilogram of greenhouse is produced (this is slightly less for an inkjet printer but most schools' big photocopier/printers are laser printers.)  That works out to about 6g greenhouse gas per single sheet of paper.

Unnecessary printing and photocopying does not just waste paper; it wastes energy too. Managing your equipment and usage properly will allow you to save both. 

Energy consumed by printers/copiers varies widely but in general, the faster the print speed and the higher the print quality, the greater energy consumption. 

Even when they're not in use, printers in idle or standby mode still use energy: they can consume 30-40% of their peak power demand just in the moments between switching from printing to standby modes.  Manually switching to standby mode after use can minimise this time resulting in good cost savings, reduced heat output and increased printer operating life.

You can find our model policy here.  Use this to write a policy for your school and an action plan for the changes you intend to make.



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