Here’s a Hint, Do Not Print (and Other Fun Rhymes)

"PC Load Letter?!?!" 

Do you really need to print all those e-mails? A new report says probably not, and the federal government doesn’t need to either. Government Executive has the scoop:

The government can generate substantial savings by reining in superfluous printing, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The report, which is based on a survey of 380 federal employees, found that the government spends nearly $1.3 billion annually on printing. Of that, about $440 million — more than four times the amount President Obama recently asked agency managers collectively to eliminate from their administrative budgets — is spent on pages that don’t need to be printed, the survey found.

The study — conducted by Lexmark International Inc., a Lexington, Ky., printing supply company, and Alexandria, Va., marketing firm O’Keeffe & Co. — recommends that agencies set clear printing policies, establish strong enforcement procedures and begin switching from paper to digital records.

Just 10 percent of survey respondents said their agencies had a formal printing policy, and just 20 percent reported that their agencies had restrictions on color printing, which can be more expensive than typical black-and-white printing…

Some agencies already have started cutting back. The Homeland Security Department expects to save more than $40,000 in part by printing fewer copies of the fiscal 2010 budget and posting the material online. The Agriculture Department’s chief financial officer is developing a Web-based utility billing system that could save more than $670,000 annually, according to budget documents released last week…

On average, federal employees print 30 pages of paper every work day — or 7,200 pages annually, the survey found. Respondents estimated that they discarded 35 percent of the pages the day they printed them. Ninety-two percent of respondents acknowledged they did not need all the material that they printed, and more than two-thirds said they could print less if they tried.

And it would likely also benefit private companies to consider establishing a printing policy. You can save cash and reduce waste — "The More You Know" (bing bing bong bing).