With cloud printers, a global digitization concept, and the support of its IT department, Heraeus is on its way to a paperless office, thereby making an important contribution to saving energy and protecting the environment. In 2016 alone, this saved more than 450,000 sheets of paper at locations in Germany (see infographic). Green IT is also a motto of the year for this year’s Earth Day on April 22. “Green IT for the Climate” addresses increasing demand for using green IT technologies around the world.
A few years ago, Heraeus employees were still printing out documents on 2,800 printers in Germany alone. This used a considerable amount of paper and energy. With the new printer concept cloud printing, Heraeus infosystems managed to reduce the number of printers by 75% in just a short time. As many as eight colleagues now share a single printer. “Of course, you might now have to wait a little to pick up your document, but our cloud printers have some clear advantages: Using their employee ID card, people can scan or print directly on any device. They can delete unnecessary documents from the print queue before printing them, which saves paper,” points out Martin Ackermann, CIO of Heraeus infosystems. He regards this contribution to Green IT as a step in the right direction. “By reducing paper and using energy-efficient equipment, we are helping the environment and also achieving savings of several hundred thousand euros per year.” Following the full rollout in Germany in 2016, the concept is now being expanded to the company’s major locations around the globe.
In the future, modern work methods will be digital
In another step toward the paperless office, Heraeus is introducing a new digitization concept. For example, in the new Innovation Center in Hanau that is just now being completed, all employees will have digital access to their own knowledge and that of their colleagues on a shared platform. Where individual file folders once filled cabinets and covered desks, in the future a few words on a search screen or a click on a surface will be all someone needs in order to find information or share it with others. “The requirements still vary widely. In many cases, more paper files still need to be scanned. And thousands of existing digitized folders and documents will need to be migrated accurately to the new system,” says Martin Ackermann, explaining the challenges ahead. Ultimately, Green IT also requires a new way of thinking, shifting the work culture from printed paper to digitalization. In the end, however, the environment benefits most from these measures, because the digital workplace uses far less paper and far less energy.