Green Office
Paper & Printing
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Paper & Printing

Annually 500,000,000 m3 of wood is used by the paper industry world-wide (15% of total logging) from which almost 40% is used for coated and uncoated paper*. 

Production of typical toner cartridges from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) consume a significant amount of energy (production burns approximately 3 quarts of oil per cartridge) and are composed of various natural resources: approximately 40% plastic, 40% metal and 20% rubber, foam and paper*. 

The key environmental impacts of printing consumables and other office stationeries are: 

  • Forest destruction and potential loss of biodiversity
  • Energy and water consumption during production
  • Waste from disposal (unless reprocessed or recycled), 
  • Packaging (plastics), 
  • Heavy metals (e.g. mercury, cadmium, lead, nickel) and chemicals (e.g. chlorine substances, colorants and dyes)
  • Hazardous substances

Find out in this section how to reduce your consumption, buy more sustainably and properly recycle.

(*Source: UNEP-DTIE, Sustainable Procurement Guidelines for Office Stationery)

Reduce Paper Usage
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Target a paperless office:

  • Digitalise processes and documents (e.g. corporate reports)
  • Flash presentations on a screen during meetings
  • Unsubscribe to magazines & newspapers when applicable
  • Optimize necessary printing (e.g. don't print ads and images from an email, reduce number of copies, print both sides, etc.)
  • Opt for digital name cards or QR codes (e.g. LinkedIn)

25%

of printed documents are thrown within 5 minutes.
(Ademe - Sept. 2019)

16%

of printed documents are never read.
(Ademe - Sept. 2019)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

More tips to minimize waste at the office : Waste minimisation and recycling at work by NEA

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Reduce Ink Usage
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

As ink generates hazardous waste and packaging waste, it's important to increase your ink cartridges & toners lifetime:

  • Set printers default settings to duplex and grayscale
  • Extend toners lifespan by shaking gently to redistribute ink

11 per second

11 cartridges are thrown away every second worldwide.
(Energy Central)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Save Energy (printers)
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Some simple practices to follow to decrease your printers energy consumption:

  • Put printers in sleep mode by default
  • Switch printers off after work hours

80%

of a copier's energy is used in "waiting" mode.
(Ademe - Sept. 2019)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Implement Good Printing Practices
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Train your staff on good practices and display visible, permanent guidelines nearby printers: print front & back, use grayscale, reduce font size, print on 2 sides, print several pages on one sheet, etc.

50 times more

energy is consumed to produce a single sheet of paper than to print a page.

(Eurovaprint)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Design Reusable Marketing Materials
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Create banners, collaterals, posters... that can be easily reused for other events, advertisement, campaign... or repurposed (e.g. shredded leaflets used as cushion paper for packaging).

80%

of a product’s environmental impact is determined at the design stage.
(Ellen MacArthur Foundation)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Choose Eco-Friendly Paper Products
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

If you do not have yet a sustainable procurement policy, see here how to implement one and how to write one here.

• Opt for recycled paper (less fresh pulp from cut-down trees) or upcycled paper (e.g. made from waste). Buy recyclable paper

• Prefer certified products : at least ECF Paper (Elemental Chlorine Free), PCF Paper (Processed Chlorine Free), FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). If recycled paper is not available, PEFC-certified (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) paper should be your second choice

• Try to limit paper orders, educate employees, communicate your annual paper consumption volumes and costs to raise awareness on waste and propose improvement plans. See above solutions "Reduce Paper Usage" and "Implement Good Printing Practices".

33% less energy

is used to produce recycled paper than virgin paper.
(Conservatree)

17 trees saved

1 ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees.
(Wordatlas)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Recycled Paper, Eco-friendly printing services & promotional products
Green Prints Services

Green Prints is an environmental social enterprise that aims to provide the greenest printing solution in Singapore.

They believe going green should not incur a premium but should be affordable to everyone.

Their key products include recycled copy paper, sugarcane waste copy paper and namecards, T-shirts made from 100% recycled plastic bottles (via their brand: Plastic Bottle Tees)

Paper and office products, whole workplace solutions
Lyreco

The Lyreco Group is a leading European distributor and third largest global distributor of workplace solutions for businesses. The group is present in 25 countries and operates via partnerships in 42 countries. With a turnover of more than 2.2 billion Euros, its results can be attributed to its close partnerships with its customers, outstanding logistics and the ambition that it shares with its 9,000 employees: "Always at your side to make your work life easier".

In Asia, Lyreco has been operating in 5 countries for the past 20 years: Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

They provide Green office products such as paper, pen, notebook, etc. that are falling under their own green tree certification.

Regional ecolabelling scheme
Singapore Green Labelling Scheme

The Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS) was launched in May 1992 to endorse industrial and consumer products that have less undesirable effects on our environment. Administered by the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), the SGLS is the region’s most established ecolabelling scheme with over 3 000 products certified across 28 countries.

The Singapore Green Label acts as a seal of endorsement on the environmentally-friendly claims to prevent the abuse of green-washing. Singapore Green Label certified products have become more marketable and readily accepted by consumers or businesses when making a purchase.

Application for the Singapore Green Label is open to both local and foreign companies.

Choose Eco-friendly Ink Cartridges & Toners
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

If you do not have yet a sustainable procurement policy, see here how to implement one and how to write one here.

• Take into account the whole life cycle of your cartridges and toners, from manufacturing to end of product life. Ask your suppliers what are their lowest carbon footprint products.

• Prefer recyclable or biodegradable materials:

  1. Plant-based ink
  2. Refurbished/ reconditioned/ remanufactured cartridges
  3. Refillable cartridges.

4 times

remanufactured cartridges can be reused up to 4 times.
(lasercycleusa)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Office products, whole workplace solutions
Lyreco

The Lyreco Group is a leading European distributor and third largest global distributor of workplace solutions for businesses. The group is present in 25 countries and operates via partnerships in 42 countries. With a turnover of more than 2.2 billion Euros, its results can be attributed to its close partnerships with its customers, outstanding logistics and the ambition that it shares with its 9,000 employees: "Always at your side to make your work life easier".

In Asia, Lyreco has been operating in 5 countries for the past 20 years: Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

They provide Green office products such as pens, notebooks, remanufactured ink cartridges & toners etc. that are falling under their own green tree certification.

Remanufactured cartridges, printers repair & loan, buy back scheme
Green Cartridge

Since 2008, Green Cartridge has been taking part in the conservation and preservation of the environment through waste reduction and recycling of waste materials, particularly printer cartridges.

Green Cartridge claims to allow its customers to save as much as 60% of their printing cost compared to using OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridges.

Besides remanufactured cartridges, they provide printers repair, printers loan, and a buy back scheme for your empties, event in small quantity.

Remanufactured Cartridges, Ink refill system for Cartridges & Toner
Singink

SingInk provide inks bottles to refill cartridges and toners instead of buying new ones.

They cover most of the popular brands.

Recycle ink Cartridges & Toners
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Ink cartridges & toners generate wrapping, packaging, electronic waste and hazardous waste. Contract with specialists to recycle.

Under the EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) on e-waste, suppliers of electronic goods must take back old products and send them to a licenced recycler.

Click here to know more

1.6 KG

1 toner cartridge makes up 1.6 KG of solid waste.
(Green Cartridge)

1,000 years

The solid waste generated by 1 Toner cartridge takes over 1,000 years to completely decompose.
(Green Cartridge)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Find the recycling plan relevant to your equipment:

- Dell
- HP  
- Canon
- Epson

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Remanufactured cartridges, printers repair & loan, buy back scheme
Green Cartridge

Since 2008, Green Cartridge has been taking part in the conservation and preservation of the environment through waste reduction and recycling of waste materials, particularly printer cartridges.

Green Cartridge claims to allow its customers to save as much as 60% of their printing cost compared to using OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridges.

Besides remanufactured cartridges, they provide printers repair, printers loan, and a buy back scheme for your empties, event in small quantity.

Recycle Paper
Cost
LOW
Cost
MEDIUM
Cost
HIGH
EFFORT
low
EFFORT
medium
EFFORT
HIGH
IMPACT
low
IMPACT
MEDIUM
IMPACT
HIGH

Use a suitable contractor for the collection and recycling of paper.

75%

of office waste is paper. Only 20% of it is recycled vs 41% at home.
(Ademe Report - Sept. 2019)

5 to 7 times

Paper can be recycled 5 to 7 times.
(Worldatlas)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Paper waste management
Tay Paper Recycling Pte Ltd

Taypaper strives to create a better liveable world through recycling.

They offer waste management, recycling (paper specialist) and document shredding + recycling services to clients and workplaces; waste management and recycling services for public and commercial facilities.

Paper recycling, waste paper import, pre-consumer waste export
ST Paper Resources Pte Ltd

ST Paper Resources have more than 20 years of experience as a paper recycling, importer of waste paper and exporter of pre-consumer waste.

The company operates from its 40,000 sqft office and factory with a computerised automated system, consisting of fully automated two-ram balers with the capability to bale up to 50 tons of recyclable material per hour.

Besides collection, recycling and trading, they provide off-site confidential shredding services and a wide range of compactors and specialist containers - request a free audit for your business needs.

Buddies - Experience sharing

The « green journey » may feel overwhelming sometimes, but you are not alone.

Our Buddies have tried, succeeded, failed to implement change in their companies. They share their experience so you can learn, take shortcuts, get inspired and ask questions.

Everybody can become a Buddy and give back to the community; if you are keen, get in touch with us.

Alexandre Ung
Finance Director - Edenred Pte Ltd

Experienced Finance Director with more than 10 years of working history in the technology, e-commerce and marketing industries, Alexandre has led the ABW office transformation at Edenred Singapore in 2019.

Nadège Claudel
General Manager - BSI (British Standards Institution)

I have been General Manager of BSI Singapore for 2.5 years. Prior to joining BSI, I held different job assignments for the international retailer Carrefour. For them, I oversaw Quality, Food Safety and Sustainability in China and then at the Group level.  

I spent most of my career working in Asia: in Shanghai, Hong Kong and I have been happily settled in Singapore for 8 years now. 

I have a real passion for sustainability and nature conservation and I love to share the knowledge and experience I gained in this field. I am also a volunteer for the Singaporean NGO called Climate Conversation which aims to raise awareness on climate change.