October 17th, 2013
By Sherry M. Adler, freelance writer
Think of each item on this list as a process that may benefit from improvement. These concepts come from Catherine Reeves, a manager of Environmental, Health, Safety & Sustainability at Xerox. She refers to them as “sustainability opportunities,” which can reduce your waste and emissions and cut your costs too.
“Reducing your carbon footprint is never-ending,” notes Catherine. “New processes arise. Changes occur. What’s more, one innovation and idea often fosters another.”
ENERGY: How can you reduce your energy use and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that create your “carbon footprint?” Think about lighting, equipment and space as a start.
1. Light right. Turn off or adjust display lighting in vending machines. Don’t forget about energy-efficient light bulbs and white paint (or other reflective colors) on you walls. Is your furniture blocking any sources of light?
2. Sunny side up. Glaze your windows and skylights to maximize natural sunlight. Consider solar panels on your southern exposures.
3. Standardize shifts. Does the cleaning team really have to come in at night?
WASTE: What can you do to prevent generating waste in the first place? Reuse or recycle the byproducts of office and manufacturing operations. Engage suppliers and customers in these efforts too.
4. Got waste? Don’t landfill. Find a supplier that turns your waste into energy.
5. Reply. Help customers return spent supplies via postage-paid stickers, shipping cartons. Work with local organizations for customers to drop off recyclables to lower fuel usage and GHG emissions associated with shipping.
6. Repurpose. Design your products for re-manufacture and retrofit whenever possible. Understand why you generate waste from processes and design it “out.”
MATERIALS: The watchword is “less.”
7. Think upstream. Help your suppliers achieve environmentally responsible operations, products, and services. Factor shipping locations and shipping mode when you choose suppliers.
8. Size up the situation downward. Consolidate operations and eliminate storage space. Reduce materials and packaging in your products; avoid single-serve sizes.
AIR EMISSIONS: Which business processes can you optimize? Take vehicles into account too.
9. Beat the clock. Trim cycle time in manufacturing operations to lower energy and GHGs.
10. Breathe easy. Combat indoor air pollution with “air filtering plants.”
GENERAL: Go social, look upward and onward.
11. Partner for good. Adapt your work processes to cloud computing. Gain collective experience from organizations, e.g., Business for Social Responsibility, U.S. Climate Action Network, Business Roundtable Climate RESOLVE. Seek third-party assessments to keep you on top of your sustainability game, e.g., ISO 14001, ISO 5001.
12. Pledge allegiance. Set targets and milestones; then meet or beat them.
No such list can be comprehensive; you have surely found more opportunities, and you will find more. Share your best ideas in the comments section below.
December 13th, 2012
By Brian Lincoln, senior product line manager, DocuShare Business Unit, Xerox
…12 tips to achieve sustainability!
With the holiday season upon us, consider these 12 simple ways to save paper, energy, time and money, and start the New Year off with a reduced carbon footprint:
- Replace stand-alone printers with multifunction devices that do it all. MFPs boost productivity, free up precious office space and simplify everyday work tasks.
- Use double-sided printing. It reduces paper consumption and can cut costs by half.
- Recycle the paper you use – and use recycled paper. Install recycling bins throughout the office to make recycling easier for employees.
- Implement an electronic content management (ECM) system and say goodbye to filing cabinets and paper cuts! ECM systems allow you to manage all of your paper-based processes digitally and keep your records secure.
- To save on paper, consider scanning documents and sending them via email, instead of faxing.
- When working on-the-go, print only what you need by using a mobile print solution.
- Use Energy Star labeled devices and be sure the Energy Star features are enabled.
- Rethink your ink. Switch to a solid ink multifunction device. Solid ink generates up to 90% less waste than comparable laser printers. And it’s less messy too!
- Return print/copy cartridges and supplies for recycling. Many companies will provide you with a box and pre-paid postage label.
- Find opportunities to reduce your environmental impact by using Xerox’s online sustainability calculator.
- Consider holding a “green up your office contest” to encourage employees to recycle and keep sustainability top of mind. It’s amazing what a little competition can do to inspire people!
- Implement a managed print services strategy to assess and streamline your current office print infrastructure and remove devices that are using power, but are underutilized by staff.
Now tell us… how will you go green in 2013?
Brian has spent more than 14 years working in content management. When he’s not busy saving the environment, he’s cheering on his alma mater, California State University, Sacramento.
September 25th, 2012
By, Wendi Latko, Director of Sustainable Services, Xerox Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability
Xerox was recently named to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Top 20 list of Green Power Purchasers in the Technology and Telecom industries. This honor is the latest recognition of a journey we started a long time ago – to reduce our corporate greenhouse gas emissions, or “carbon footprint”.
In 2003 Xerox made a public commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emission 10 percent by 2012 – over a 2003 baseline. Our efforts initially focused on reducing our consumption of energy – including the electricity consumed in our buildings. We made great progress with that strategy –meeting our greenhouse gas reduction goal after only three years instead of ten.
However because we strive to be “carbon neutral”, we realize this can’t be done solely through energy efficiency initiatives. This is where our renewable energy (“green power”) purchases come into play. Green power is electricity generated from renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact biomass, and low-impact hydro resources.
Because green power does not generate GHG emissions, governments around the world are requiring utilities to incorporate a higher percentage of green power in their standard offering. But until that objective is achieved, renewables are still generally a more costly option. Xerox supports the development of renewable energy through purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). By sponsoring RECs, we are funding the development of renewable energy. And because we bring RECs into the negotiation process with our utility suppliers, we continue to “walk the talk” with regards to sustainability.
We are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for our efforts in promoting sustainable energy. Through this EPA partnership, we send a message that supporting the development of clean electricity sources is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risks for the future.
At Xerox Wendi focuses on sustainability initiatives. At home she is a typical mom of three boys – shuttling them to sports, Scouts, and urgent care centers.
July 2nd, 2012
By Wendi Latko, Director of Sustainable Services, Xerox Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability
Interbrand has announced its 2012 Best Global Green Brands report. And once again we are honored and proud to be part of the list.
Although it’s always exciting to be recognized as an industry leader in any category, sustainability is one in which we take great pride. Even when challenged with changing market conditions and business models, we have never wavered in our commitment to sustainable innovation, and even count ourselves as a pioneer.
And because the report takes a look at both the public perception of our environmental sustainability commitment and actual performance information and data, we are especially proud to see our achievements recognized. Our accomplishments over the past year include recognition by Newsweek, Information Week and the Dow Jones as a leader in sustainable innovation for our industry. However, we’re a leader in our industry not because of public acknowledgements but because this is the way we’ve always conducted business.
As a pioneer in environmental sustainability, we created two-sided copying and were on the forefront of print-on-demand, the use of recycled paper in the office, and recycling toner cartridges. Our design of products for re-use and re-manufacturing has not only kept millions of pounds of materials out of landfills, but remains a benchmark process that others seek out as a best practice . For over 40 years our words have been consistent with our actions.
With a commitment to being a good corporate citizen, we’re always in pursuit of the triple bottom line: activities that are good for our customers, good for our company and good for the planet. We believe that for any business priority to be effective and maintainable it must be integrated throughout your business process. Today sustainability is a business fundamental at Xerox, embedded in our operations and technologies, written into supplier specifications, and creating economic value for our customers.
Throughout the lifecycle of all of our offerings – from inception through implementation to end of life, we think about every component and process and their potential effect on the environment. We recognize that the biggest opportunity for us to make an impact is by addressing all aspects of our actions, products and services, looking not only within our four walls, but to our suppliers and customers, as well.
What started as the right thing to do for the environment has truly become part of the way we run our business every day.
November 17th, 2011
By Chris Gilligan, corporate communications, ACS, A Xerox Company
Traffic jams may be the cause of more than just a commuting headache — a recent Wall Street Journal article details new research that suggests traffic fumes may also injure brain cells and synapses key to learning and memory.
According to the 2011 Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility report, traffic congestion is impacting our wallets, too. The cost (based on wasted fuel and lost productivity) reached $100 billion in 2010 – more than $750 for every U.S. traveler. The amount of wasted time totaled 4.8 billion hours – 34 hours for every traveler.
At Xerox, problem solving is our business and the transportation world has its challenges. Just ask any city, state or federal transportation director tasked with reducing urban and highway congestion.
To help keep traffic rolling, Los Angeles and Maryland tapped Xerox, through its services division, ACS, for some HOT, E-Z and dynamic ways to improve congestion in their area:
- HOT (high-occupancy tolls) lanes provide drivers with a faster and more predictable travel option. Tolls for HOT lanes change according to traffic conditions to manage demand and keep them congestion free – even during peak hours. When traffic increases, tolls go up. When traffic decreases, tolls will go down. Take a look at how L.A. drivers are taking control of their commute through HOT lanes.
- E-ZPass gets easier with all-electronic tolls that allow drivers to stay moving, rather than slow down to go through a toll booth. Payment for tolls is collected via drivers’ E-ZPass transponders, allowing traffic to continue moving freely and openly. See how Maryland drivers are getting to their destination faster.
- Dynamic pricing adjusts parking rates based on driver demand for spaces and availability. By increasing rates on high demand spots, there is the potential for more parking spaces to become available on each block – also reducing traffic congestion and pollution generated by drivers hunting for curbside parking. Check out how Xerox is helping L.A. drivers find a parking spot.
How is the traffic congestion in your city or town? Are you concerned with how traffic congestion impacts your health? So what would you do with an extra $750 a year back in your pocket or more than a day back to do what you please? Share your comments below.
June 29th, 2011
Patricia Calkins , Xerox global vice president of Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability
When you’re searching for your favorite laundry detergent in the grocery aisle, and notice the label says “new and improved,” do you ever wonder what’s new – except for the label design?
A similar scenario is starting to play out in the area of what is called green marketing, an effort used by organizations and businesses to promote environmentally responsible aspects of their operations. Is green marketing a good thing? The question recently has gained traction among my colleagues who wonder whether this effort improves the consumer’s awareness of environmental responsibility or dilutes its importance.
With the price of gas fluctuating (mainly rising), the current marketing of hybrid cars can be seen as a success. But there is a fine line between “green marketing” today and what some call “green washing.” If you’re not careful, the line between the two gets blurry pretty quickly.
A very basic example of green washing: a company begins using environmental messaging in its product packaging without any verified green innovation or benefits attached. It’s akin to calling that laundry detergent “new and improved” without stating why the product is new or improved.
Green washing is not only harmful to a company’s reputation and financial performance, it hurts the environment. The 2010 Greendex survey, which assessed the environmental impact of 17,000 consumers from 17 countries, found that although there was measurable progress in most countries, many consumers said that they were not doing more to adopt a green lifestyle because “companies make false claims about the environmental impacts of their products.”
If you’re thinking about green marketing, the best approach is to weave sustainable innovation into the way you do business every day. Then, marketing efforts could be spent on educating your customers on the advantages of your products and services as well as any green benefits.
June 2nd, 2011
Xerox global vice president of Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability
We’ve all seen the popular “Please consider the environment before printing this email” tag .The implied call to action is “save a tree, please don’t print.” Fairly straightforward, right? Not so fast.
If you consistently turn to digital media technology instead of printing, you may be doing more harm than good. Printing is neither good nor bad. It’s how you print that’s important. Those of you, who say “Well, I don’t print; I archive my documents electronically,” think again. Digital media technology uses coal fired plants, which have been linked to global warming and deforestation.
In truth, digital and hard copy documents should coexist. The key is thinking about how you use your available resources from beginning to end. When using paper, make two-sided prints, print multiple images per page, and print only the quantity you need. If collaboration is a component of a document’s value, cut back the time and energy spent on manual paper-based processes by using workflow management systems and collaboration tools, like DocuShare. Rather than having copies on multiple computers and servers; using collaborative tools reduces energy consumption by ensuring that a digital document is stored in a centralized location.
This “life-cycle approach” to considering the environment can be applied all over the place. For example, many of us use compact light bulbs because of the energy efficiency and cost savings. But these bulbs contain mercury. If you fail to properly discard the bulbs, you cancel out the environmental benefits by creating the possibility that mercury be released into our water and earth.
So the next time you’re asked to “consider” the environment, do just that—the effort is worth its weight in gold.