What Would Happen If the Amount of Paper Used by Our Team Was Announced?

On one day, a sheet of paper embroidered with colorful graphs and tables was tacked to the wall right above our multifunction devices.

Here.. and there.. and Everywhere!!

I looked closer wondering what it was about. It read ‘Green Dashboard’.

‘Green Dashboard’ turned out to be a paper usage report that showed very accurately the number of sheets used for paper documents and described users’ pattern. Not only did it tell the number of sheets used, it went into great detail about whether each sheet of paper was printed in color or black & white, and the percentage of both sides of the paper being used. 

The detailed report really shows not only monthly paper usage

but how many of those are printed on both sides.

What made us the most nervous was the part where it showed a team comparison of paper usage. The ranking from highest usage to the lowest were lined up for all to see. Here are top three reactions of our staff to the unnerving ‘Green Dashboard,’

1. I felt like I was being exposed for doing something wrong.

2. I don’t use paper that much. Probably other team members did.

3. The charts make me more aware when using the multifunction devices.

For the sake of privacy of each team, team titles are blurred.

In fact, the differences in the number of staff on each team as well as the team’s role could be high, so criticizing the team with higher paper usage may not be fair. However, as we got to the chart that showed the number of sheets used on both sides and N-up usage, we couldn’t help but think twice about our document generation pattern. (Both-side printing obviously means both surfaces of each sheet used, and the ‘N’ in N-up, stands for number, and the term depicts how many pages are squeezed onto a single sheet. For instance, if you put 4 PowerPoint slides on one sheet, that would be ‘4-up’.) Both-side printing and N-up are practices to emphasize to all office workers who are committed to preserving the Earth.

The goal of “Green Dashboard” is to reduce paper waste

by encouraging use of N-up and both sides.

Anyhow, I was interested in more of the staff’s real feelings about the report. 

Staff A: More stress.

Staff B: Is this going too far when it comes to internal performance evaluation?

Staff C: When I hit that print button for 11 copies when it should have been just one, I panicked.

Staff D: I used to print things without thinking twice, but the charts motivated me to print documents on both sides or squeeze more than one page per sheet. Most importantly, I got into a habit of not printing things out when not really necessary.

Among the remarks, I think the comments by Staff C and D should get our applause! Of course, we understand the feelings of Staff A and B. But we should not nonchalantly use only one side of sheets when we could use both. Worse is unnecessary printing the attitude of “Just one sheet of paper, what difference does it make?” brings up a very important fact. If every office worker in Korea saves one sheet of paper a day, we would be saving 342 trees every day.

On top of that, if we can get into the habit of Staff D, reducing the amount of paper used and often use both or N-up sheets, the amount of paper and toner used in copiers would be lower as well, realizing cost reduction for the company.

Now, we came this far to hear the comment from the man who made the Green Dashboard.

Big smile from the Dash Board’s manager

“The reason I put up those Green Dashboards was primarily to motivate our staff to better learn about Fuji Xerox Korea’s document management solutions. Those who might have felt a little nervous at first now have a more positive view. Also this could be a great promotional tool for visiting prospective customers who get to see our solutions in action, in our own office.”


Some of us may still feel pressure, thinking that management is monitoring even minor things like paper usage, but listen, it’s not like the company doesn’t let you print out what needs to be done. It’s just to encourage all of us to get into the good habit of eco-friendly documentation by thinking about unnecessary paper usage.

So how about giving a thought to your day-to-day paper document usage to see whether it is eco-friendly or not?

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‘더 나은 커뮤니케이션이 세상을 만드는 힘이다!’ Better Communication을 위해 노력하는 후지제록스의 철학과 혁신, 기업문화, 사람 등 다양한 이야기를 들려드립니다.

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