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Office Paper Waste Reduction

Photo of panel of copy machine show 2 sided print selection.

We encourage our employees to take steps like double-sided copying to save resources and tax dollars.

Although office paper is a part of doing business, Alameda County has taken steps to reduce our use. We moved many of our business processes online, and we require new copying and printing equipment to have duplexing capabilities. But we know individual action by employees is a major key to success. So in 2011, the General Services Agency conducted a pilot campaign promoting double-sided printing and copying, and using electronic files.

Collaborating with our technology staff, we took a multi-pronged approach to address barriers that employees cite to saving paper, including technical equipment issues, inconvenience, and forgetfulness. We also looked to empower employees to take positive actions while making it easy for them to do so. Key steps to the campaign included:

  • Kick-off emails from executives that provided clear direction and support for the effort
  • Desk-to-desk technical assistance from technology staff to change default settings
  • Employee trainings on how to use paper saving functions on specific equipment
  • Posting of reminders and instructions at the point of use to overcome forgetfulness
  • Tracking and sharing success with employees

Check out our detailed step by step paper waste reduction outreach plan and templates. We are sharing what we've done so that others can learn from our experiences and save time when implementing similar campaigns.

For additional information, check out Stopwaste.Org's Paperless Express.