From small businesses to large corporations, any organisation has a lot to gain by reducing energy consumption. Office equipment can be power-hungry, using a great deal of electricity. This is bad for the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy use – South Africa has seen an approximately 25% rise in emissions in the past ten years according to the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. It is also a drain on the power grid and is an unnecessary expense, given the rising cost of electricity.
Becoming aware of energy consumption and taking steps to decrease it can seem like a challenge – after all, an office must-have like a copier runs on electricity. However, not all copiers are created equal. ENERGY STAR, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, works to identify technology that meets their high standards and passes independent testing for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR certification is a trustworthy and credible way to distinguish brands and models of office equipment that have a drastically reduced energy consumption and thus, are environment- and wallet-friendly.
Sharp has a wide range of multifunction printers (MFPs) that are ENERGY STAR approved (available from Seartec). Multifunction devices, such as printers that include fax, scan and copying functionality, reduce energy consumption by reducing the number of individual devices that need to be purchased. Additionally, those that meet ENERGY STAR standards are at least 30% more efficient than standard MFPs, and are designed to limit the use of harmful substances such as lead and mercury.
In order to select a MFP that has the right energy-saving features, ENERGY STAR recommends looking at models with the following features:
- Sleep mode and automatic shut off: when not in use, the machine defaults to a very low power “sleep” mode. Automatic shut off will power the machine down completely during periods of inactivity, which increases energy efficiency but increases warm up time slightly.
- Double-sided printing: printers that can print double-sided pages cut down on wasted paper. MFPs such as Sharp models that do this automatically (without the user having to switch the pages around) are easier and more convenient to use.
- Variable quality settings: using a lower-quality setting reduces ink/toner usage
- Digital filing: some MFPs allow users to digitally file documents directly from the device, eliminating the need to print documents in order to file them.
Sharp has also explored features such as the ability to customise a power-management schedule, where users can define when the device should shut down (for example, on weekends); and technology that reduces the amount of toner used; packaging made with recyclable materials.
Currently, 44 Sharp MFPs are ENERGY STAR certified. These MFPs range in size and functionality from small, black and white multifunction printers to extremely powerful machines that can produce professional quality collateral such as brochures and annual reports. This means that businesses of any size and with any budget can browse the range of products to find one that suits them best, with the reassurance that their office equipment is energy-efficient while still maintaining superior quality and guaranteeing excellent results.
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