What is Printing’s Carbon Footprint?
The CO2 impact of printing is much smaller than you might first think. Admittedly, it’s not easy to find reliable figures for the CO2 footprint of paper, as the global paper industry differs greatly. Office consumption also accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total amount of paper produced, with the far greater part being used for packaging.
But as a rule of thumb, …
- 1 kilo of paper results in approximately 1 kilo of CO2 during its production (1.2kg of CO2 for unrecycled, and 0.7kg of CO2 for recycled paper).
- If we take office paper which is usually 80g/m², then we end up with 16 pages of paper per square meter.
- Dividing this 80g by the 16 sheets, we come to a figure of just 5g of CO2 per page.
Energy consumption during the printing process also plays a role. This is almost negligible for an inkjet printer, which only needs 15 watts to print. Using a laser printer, which during the warm-up phase requires 1300 watts, we have calculated the following figures:
- Per kilowatt hour, 474g CO2, or 7.9g of CO2 per minute is produced.
- A laser printer that prints 10 pages per minute with 1.3KW causes 7.9g CO2 x 1.3KW = 10.27g CO2.
- This means that a page printed with a laser printer produces approximately 1g of CO2.
This means that the CO2 emissions per printed page is 5g if an inkjet printer is used, and 6g if a laser printer is used.
Carbon-Neutral Printing with ezeep
Reducing CO2 when printing is the first step, but we want to do even more. That’s why we have chosen carbon-neutral hosting providers for our service. Additionally, ezeep is offsetting the CO2 caused by our customers’ printing volumes through our support of the justdiggit.org initiative.
Justdiggit is committed to greening and restoring degraded landscapes in Africa. We too are convinced that besides avoiding CO2, reforestation of arid areas is the most efficient way to fight climate change.
But let’s not kid ourselves – just by avoiding or offsetting the CO2 emitted by printing alone, we can’t save the climate. The impact of printing here is far too small. Just for comparison, the carbon footprint of one cheeseburger is the equivalent to printing between 400-800 pages of paper.
But maybe climate-neutral printing is just the beginning for you and your organization, and you feel that by supporting justdiggit.org or other climate initiatives you too can make your own positive impact.