Turn Out the Lights and Stop Printing What You Don’t Read

Do you consider yourself environmentally aware? Are you the Chief Recycling Officer of your household? What about at work?

Results of a North American survey released today by Xerox Corporation to measure environmental consciousness in the workplace, found that work colleagues may have some strong objections to those who don’t walk-the-green-talk at the office.

Almost 40 percent of U.S. respondents said their number one office environmental pet peeve was mindless printing resulting in abandoned pages at the printer, followed closely by leaving the lights on in unused offices (37 percent).

A review of the other top office pet peeves included: lack of recycling bins (33 percent); excessive air conditioning or heating (29 percent); excessive use of paper products – like plates and cups (27 percent); coworkers who don’t recycle (27 percent) and coworkers who print single-sided instead of double-sided documents (24 percent).

“As we talk with our customers, we often find that environmental consciousness is left in the recycling bin that sits in employees’ garages. While they’re eco-friendly at home, the office is still breeding ground for bad habits,” said Patricia A. Calkins, vice president of Environment, Health and Safety at Xerox. “Yet, as this survey found, it takes a few small steps to make a big difference. Step number one: use the technology available in the office to cut back on paper use, reduce waste and reduce energy consumption. That can mean simply setting the office printers to default to two-sided printing, which cuts office paper use in half. Or, replace single function printers and copiers with multifunction systems, decreasing energy use.”

Gender and generations

The survey, which polled 1,569 office workers across the U.S. and Canada, revealed that U.S. women (91 percent) consider themselves more eco-conscious than their male counterparts (86 percent). Age had a noticeable effect on environmental consciousness too. Of U.S. workers aged 18-34, 27 percent ranked themselves as “extremely” or “very green” versus the next generation of employees aged 35-44 (17 percent).

The Full List

The top ten environmental pet peeves among U.S. office workers:

  1. Mindless printing resulting in increased waste (40%)
  2. Leaving lights on (37%)
  3. Lack of recycling bins (33%)
  4. Excessive air conditioning in summer and heat in winter (29%)
  5. Excessive use of paper products, like cups, plates, etc. (27%)
  6. Coworkers not recycling (27%)
  7. Coworkers not printing double-sided when they can (24%)
  8. Too many cover sheets when faxing or printing (24%)
  9. Having to store paper copies of existing, electronic files (24%)
  10. Leaving computer on and not powering down when going home (23%)

For smarter ways to ‘green’ an office of any size, visit www.xerox.com/environment.

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