Manufacturers boast “green works” on Earth Day

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Now in its 40th year, Earth Day, the international movement to increase sustainability, encourages companies around the world to “go green” as both a good business plan and to make a difference.

Printer manufacturers are no exception. Companies like Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark and Xerox have started movements within their offices and products to reduce waste and carbon emissions. How? By starting free recycling programs for customers, installing natural lighting in buildings, and creating green offices where rain water can be used to flush toilets, among other initiatives.

Canon started its environmentally friendly program, Generation Green, in January 2008. The initiative’s goal is to ensure that many of its products – including printers, copiers and scanners – remain eco-friendly throughout their lifecycles. It also aims to educate businesses and consumers about Canon strategies for green solutions, including “possible cost savings through energy efficiency,” according to its website. For more information about Generation Green, read our article, “How Canon does green.”

Canon also announced today that it will be continuing its partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation through the Canon Forest Program, also conceived in 2008. For every five Canon Generation Green products registered between May 1 and August 31, the company will plant one tree in state parks throughout the U.S. with the help of the Arbor Day Foundation.

Additionally, Canon will also plant one tree for each hardware item purchased through Shop Canon Direct from April 8 through May 20.

Customers and eco-friendly product enthusiasts can track Generation Green’s progress on its website. The program’s goal is to surpass last year’s total of 30,000 planted trees. Since 2008, the Canon Forest Program has planted more than 50,000 trees.

Epson started its sustainability practices in the 1950s, so it has a lot of eco-friendly business practice experience. The company strives to maintain excellence in four main areas: Energy Savings and Efficiency, Preservation of Resources, Elimination of Harmful Substances and Recyclability.

It aims to achieve these goals by creating more energy-efficient products every year that can be easily recycled. It also practices the goals it sets for customers in house by eliminating harmful substances from wastewater in its manufacturing facilities and holding its suppliers and vendors accountable for their practices through the Environmental Vision 2050 project.

For more information about the Environmental Vision 2050 and Epson’s recycling programs, read our piece, “How Epson does green.”

Like Epson, HP has been focused on “going green” long before it became popular. Since starting its Global Citizenship objective in the 1950s, HP has been a longtime advocate for environmental responsibility. 

This is why Newsweek named HP the “greenest” of the top 500 companies in America in 2009, and Corporate Responsibility Magazine ranked it No. 1 on its 11th annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list in March.

How does it accomplish such ambitious standards? By creating programs like Design for Environment, an in-house product development plan, and HP Planet Partners, a free recycling program for consumers.

For more information on HP’s environmental policies and programs, read our piece, “How HP does green.” And read all about our behind-the-scenes look at one of HP’s recycling facilities.

Lexmark’s longtime goal has been reducing its carbon footprint, and today it announced a Life Cycle Assessment that proves with consumers’ help, they can do just that. According to Lexmark, consumers who send just one used Lexmark toner cartridge to the company for recycling, as opposed to throwing it away, can help reduce the cartridge’s overall carbon footprint by up to 60%.

Customers can recycle their cartridges through Lexmark’s Cartridge Collection Program, which includes both toner and inkjet cartridges. The program free to customers, and if they choose to use Lexmark’s return program, they will receive a discount on all new Lexmark cartridges. 

Lexmark also works internally to promote sustainability; company employees receive several paid days off to participate in local community service projects.

For more information on Lexmark’s environmental practices and programs, read our piece, “How Lexmark does green.”

How does Xerox, a company built around products known for consuming energy and using toner, prove it’s “green?” By educating consumers on its environmental practices through the Xerox Green World Alliance, which promotes eco-friendly EA-HG toner, Energy Star compliant devices, and free recycling of toners and waste containers through a partnership with UPS.

Xerox is also the sole manufacturer of solid ink printers, which uses specially-designed ink that resembles a large crayon and melts to a liquid that is then fused to paper. It’s both innovative and environmentally friendly, since cartridges don’t need to be produced and thrown away. To see a solid ink printer in action, check out our review of the Xerox Phaser 8560dn.

For more information on Xerox’s sustainability practices and to see why, according to Xerox, “every day is Earth Day,” read our article, “How Xerox does green.”



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