Lexmark study educates consumers and businesses on improving efficiency and reducing their carbon footprint

"Finding ways to help our customers print in the most efficient manner possible, as well as understanding the impact printers can have on the environment, are fundamental to our business at Lexmark," said Tonya Jackson, director, sustainable technology and operations. "We feel it is our responsibility to educate our customers on eco-friendly printing practices, and are sharing this Life Cycle Assessment study to help create awareness on the topic and offer real and tangible steps that users can employ to help to lessen their impact on the environment."

LCA study findings

Contrary to what most customers believe, the pages generated from everyday usage of both laser and inkjet printers are a significant contributor to the devices’ carbon footprints. In fact, the primary step users can take to reduce their carbon footprint is reducing their overall paper usage in printing.

Learning from an enterprise/office monochrome laser printer

Testing on a Lexmark laser printer multifunction product (MFP) revealed paper use accounts for up to 80 percent of its global warming impact, while energy and cartridge use account for only 8 and 6 percent, respectively. The manufacturing phase of the printer life cycle has less of an impact on global warming with plastics, metals and electronics contributing only 7 percent. Distribution has little impact on global warming at 0.4 percent while the end-of-life phase reduces impact on global warming by 1.4 percent.

Learning from a small office/home office inkjet printer

The LCA of a Lexmark inkjet all-in-one (AIO) found the printer use phase has the largest impact on global warming at 68 percent, while manufacturing comes in at 34 percent, followed by distribution at 4 percent. In the use phase, paper impact was 47 percent, cartridge impact was 11 percent and energy impact was 10 percent. Recycling and employing proper end-of-life activities decrease global warming’s potential by 6 percent.

Easy 10-step users guide

Lexmark is urging users to follow simple steps to reduce their carbon footprint:

1. Use two-sided printing to save paper.

2. Use software like the Lexmark Toolbar to print only the Web pages you


3. Share printers in the home or office through wireless networking


4. Look for the longest available printer warranty to extend its life


5. Improve printer efficiency by switching the device off after use.

6. Print in draft mode to reduce the amount of ink used.

7. Use Lexmark high-yield cartridges for a higher yield of ink or toner,

resulting in fewer cartridges to manufacture and recycle.

8. Take advantage of Lexmark’s free cartridge recycling service.

9. Recycle your printed pages and use paper with recycled content.

10. Return the printer to a dedicated collection point.

Lexmark’s commitment

Lexmark is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products through all phases of the product life cycle — from manufacturing to distribution to use to end of life.

Every year, we target millions of dollars in investments with the objective of delivering innovative design solutions that not only enhance the function and value of our products but their environmental attributes, too.

Additional survey details

The LCA study is a "cradle to grave" approach, taking into account all natural resources and energy used to extract the materials in the printer, to manufacture and distribute it to the customer, to use during the lifetime (including paper and cartridge manufacturing, use and disposal), and to recover and recycle the printer at the end of life.

Three environmental indicators were chosen as the benchmark including non-renewable resource depletion (fossil and mineral resources), non-renewable primary energy (oil, coal, gas and nuclear), and global warming. The two Lexmark printers involved in the study were the Lexmark X646dte monochrome laser MFP(2), which is used in business environments, and the Lexmark X7675 Professional inkjet all-in-one(3), which is consumer oriented.