Good practice

Polish research institute sets up central printing system

Polish research institute sets up central printing system
© Andrey Popov, image #106257149, source:
Energy, Materials, Waste
All sectors, Office and administration
High cost
Annual saving:
Payback time:
2 - 3 Year(s)
Associated cost savings: Raw material:
Associated cost savings: Energy:
60 - 80%
Payback time:
After adding the costs of launching the new system, payback time is estimated at 2-3 years, not including energy cost savings
Total cost savings:
Printer costs, including toner, paper, repair, maintenance, and 3-4 new printer purchases, averaged € 9 400 a year; after introducing centralised printing, operating costs decreased to € 1 887 per year (a € 7 513 saving); and energy costs decreased by 60-80 %
Premises and operation areas:
Office management
Size of company:
Medium (less than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
One off investment:

Why carry on with the hassle of dozens of printers?

  • Institute tackles its printing problems (50 individual printers) with a centralised printing system
  • This offers more oversight, simpler maintenance and repair, and encourages repsonsible printing
  • Maintenance costs cut significantly and at least 60 % less power consumed 

The Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas (IETU), Katowice, Poland is an independent research and development unit acting under the Ministry of the Environment. The institute has 45 years of experience in performing research focused on environmental issues of industrialised and urbanised areas, both nationally and internationally. They perform research projects and studies as well as provide consulting services to public bodies and the private sector.

IETU identified its decentralised printing as an area where some changes could be made relatively quickly to benefit the environment and reduce costs and hassles. IETU employees generate a large number of documents (working documents, reports, test results, etc.). Originally, there was only one printing point at IETU, however high demand for the printer and scanner in the early morning and late evening hours caused delays. As a result, many local printing points appeared over the years. Almost all research teams had their own printer and scanner. This resulted in different printer technologies and toner cartridges distributed around the institute, more complicated repairs and maintenance services, and frequent print-quality problems leading to reprinting and more paper wasted.

IETU decided to implement a central printing system with a dashboard to oversee each print job and who is doing it, which introduced more responsible printing practices and meant the related costs could be attributed to different teams.

MyQ central printing system, which was launched in September 2016, is an advanced server system designed to provide comprehensive document-processing management (scanning, copying, printing, user management, including authorisations to use diffferent functions, i.e. more costly colour printing). The system can generate central reports, as well as quantitative and cost reports broken down by users, teams, or projects. The security of the printed documents is guaranteed by user login and password protection, or a card reader.

Key results

With the central printing system, the number of laser and inkjet printers has declined from 50 to eight units (six monochrome and two colour). The costs related to the purchase of toners, paper, and maintenance have been significantly reduced, from about € 7 500 (until September 2016) to € 1 887 (since October 2016). Power consumption is also around five times lower than under the previous printing system.

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