Making a Business Greener

Eliminate Paper from Your Office

Written by Clayton Reeves for Gaebler Ventures

Learn how a simple program is making big noise when it comes to reducing corporate paper waste.

Everyone has run through this scenario: you need to print some pages, and the printer is jammed up with all sorts of print jobs, including many blank pages and many pages that are not directly relevant to your business operations.

Eliminate Paper from Your Office

Advertisements, fine print and blank pages all serve to increase the amount of unnecessary traffic through your printer spools.

Considering that every employee wastes a few pages a day, it can really add up. For companies trying to be greener, it can be a real struggle when there are several trees lying on the floor around the printer.

GreenPrint, a company that has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and a variety of other major news organizations, has a solution for you.

Their solution has been endorsed by a large group of green advocacy groups throughout the country, including Friends of Forests and the National Arbor Day Foundation.

In fact, they claim that they have saved over 2.5 million pages with their software. While this is a robust claim, it is certainly believable once you understand how their software works.

The Problem GreenPrint Solves

Just imagine all of the blank pages that you have printed in a given week.

Compare the size of your firm to a Fortune 500 company and then extrapolate all of the possible waste that could go through a company of that size.

It adds up very quickly. Collectively, this is a massive amount of wasted paper, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of millions of innocent trees.

How GreenPrint's Solution Works

Now let's explain what the GreenPrint software does.

They have created a system that automatically detects pages that seem to be wasteful. This could be a blank page, page with legal fine print, or a page with web advertisements. All of these things are wasteful and add to the clog around the printer. GreenPrint's solution helps curtail this.

GreenPrint installs as another printer on your desktop. Then, when you print from that printer, a screen comes up that has all of the pages you are choosing to print. Some of them are marked in red, and these are the ones that GreenPrint thinks are wasteful. The employee then has the opportunity to print only the pages they want, or they can convert the file to a PDF without having to print anything.

GreenPrint estimates that if all computers purchased new used their software, that there would be the equivalent savings in CO2 of removing 23 million cars from the road for that entire year. In a world full of concern about the sustainability of the current environment, it is nice to think about what a simple program like this could do.

This software is only $35 for a home edition, and the company is working with Fortune 500 companies currently. GreenPrint expects sales of $5-10 million this year, after being founded in 2005. Small companies are making a difference all over the place, and GreenPrint is no exception: they have only five employees!

When he's not playing racquetball or studying for a class, Clayton Reeves enjoys writing articles about entrepreneurship. He is currently an MBA student at the University of Missouri with a concentration in Economics and Finance.

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