New research highlights the increasing appeal of company environmental initiatives among employees, yet business enthusiasm lags behind

• EMEA organisations missing out on easy financial and CSR benefits afforded by improved technology choice • Simple changes in print could significantly reduce power consumption, waste and cost

New research highlights the increasing appeal of company environmental initiatives among employees, yet business enthusiasm lags behind

As commitment to environmental action picks up across regulatory, business and social spheres, new research conducted by Epson, that surveyed SMEs across parts of EMEA, found that while employees are strongly in favour of environmental action, businesses are lagging behind on implementation.

Business environmental efforts continue to centre on ’quick fix’ solutions such as paper recycling and low-energy lighting - which 50% of respondents stated their organisations have in place. Yet more long term, high-impact opportunities that could generate improvements to the business bottom line – including examining the technologies they implement – are not currently being leveraged. In fact, only a third (31%) of respondents stated their organisation is focused on monitoring their environmental and energy efficiency, and only 26% said they are looking at efforts to reduce their overall carbon footprint.

Taking a strategic view on sustainability could be low on the corporate agenda due to the perceived time and cost requirements to fulfil such efforts, with 18% of respondents agreeing that environmental preservation would only be a focus if there was no additional cost involved in implementation. Furthermore, while 46% of respondents believe that the importance placed on sustainability has increased within their organisation over the last year, 19% admit these efforts are made only to adhere to legislative requirements. 

Surprisingly, only 48% of respondents acknowledged the environmental benefits the right technology can bring. At a time when technology adoption is increasing across multiple industries and organisations, this is an area in which organisations can generate longer term environmental improvements as well as improve financial returns.

Printing practices and the technology used is one area in which businesses could make easy savings.  It is important to note is that respondents would expect their productivity to decrease by almost a quarter (21%) if printing was no longer available within their organisation, but there are opportunities to improve printing practices. The research highlights that 46% of items printed are either immediately disposed of or are required for very short-term use; in fact 10% of items are never collected from the printer, suggesting a review of printing policies and better control over how print is managed is in order.

“There are a number of solutions that organisations can implement to better manage printing,” says Epson. “The research highlights that less than half (46%) of organisations have duplex set as standard on their printers. By addressing this alone, businesses can reduce paper consumption by half. In addition, reviewing the print technology in place can offer further environmental and cost savings. Inkjet technology can reduce the cost of printing by 50%, compared to laser technology, as well as reduce power consumption and waste by up to 96% and 94% respectively[1]. On top of this, managed print services offer a solution for reviewing and controlling print volumes and costs.” 

A massive 95% of individual employees believe that environmental protection is important, and it is likely these employees will champion future efforts. Across the board, only 13% of organisations make no attempt to implement eco initiatives, and while there is still a long way to go in aligning employee and business enthusiasm for improving environmental practices, the key will be for businesses to understand the additional benefits the right actions can have on the bottom line.

In the future, technologies like Epson’s PaperLab, an in-office papermaking system capable of producing new paper from securely shredded waste paper with minimal use of water, could completely change the way we approach office recycling.  And with 54% of respondents stating that recycling efforts are becoming increasingly important in their office, this will be an important progression for both business and environmental gain.


Notes to Editor

About Epson

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 91 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.

About Epson Europe

Epson Europe B.V., based in Amsterdam, is the Group’s regional headquarters for Europe, Middle-East, Russia, and Africa. With a workforce of 1,700 employees, Epson Europe’s sales for fiscal year 2015 were 1,577 million Euros.

Environmental Vision 2050

About the study

The research was conducted online by Coleman Parks from October 2016 through January 2017.

Audience Profile: SMB’s (10-250 employees). Employees who use printers regularly (at least once a week)

2400 interviews in total.

With white collar workers in offices on location in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Israel, and Greece.

A total of n=2400 white collar workers have completed the survey to date. The breakdown of the respondents who completed the survey in each country are as follows: Czech Republic (250), Slovakia (250), Poland (200), Hungary (200), Romania (100), Belgium (200), Denmark (100), Finland (100), Netherlands (200), Norway (100), Sweden (200), South Africa (200), Israel (200), Greece (100).

Please note that the standard convention for rounding has been applied and consequently some totals do not add up to 100%.