Commentary
6/11/2010
02:41 PM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood
Commentary

Canon Supports Arbor Day

As part of its green printing policy, Canon USA will plant a tree for every five Canon Generation Green printer products registered between May 1 and August 31.



As part of its green printing policy, Canon USA will plant a tree for every five Canon Generation Green printer products registered between May 1 and August 31.As you may (or may not) know, Arbor Day in the US is the last Friday in April, and, for next year's Arbor Day, Canon USA says it will plant one tree (through the Arbor Day Foundation) for every five of its Generation Green printers that are registered by users, to a maximum of 40,000 trees. The count runs from May 1 to August 31, and at last check (today) the number of trees was up to 7,418.

But that's not Canon's only green printing initiative. Everyone has their own meaning of green, but in a press briefing, Kevin Price, market program specialist at Canon USA in Lake Success, NY, laid out Canon's green approach in terms of consumption, energy savings, compliance, and sustainability.

Consumption refers to paper, and paper consumption can be reduced through various scanner functions on MFP units by which paper can be circulated and stored in electronic form. Canon also takes pride in offering automatic duplex printing features (to use both sides of a sheet) even at the low end of the product line, Price added. The inclusion of PC faxing means a faxed document does not even have to be printed.

Energy savings mostly means a stand-by mode where power consumption is as low as one watt, he said. Canon laser printers also use a ceramic toner heating element that is more efficient than convention rollers, Price said.

Compliance refers to the Energy Star program in the US, whose compliant products have a low-energy mode that they revert to automatically when not in use. There is also the European Union's RoHS directive, involving the non-use of toxic substances like cadmium, mercury, and lead.

Sustainability refers to recycling. He noted that Canon was the first in the industry to set up a toner cartridge recycling program, and currently the ones that are sent in are 100 percent reused with no landfill involvement. The same is also true for Canon's inkjet cartridge recycling.

But planting trees probably has the biggest impact, since the trees will still be around after the current generation of office printers is discarded. Unless someone cuts them down to make paper, of coursewhich brings us to the basic dilemma of printer vendors seeking to be green, since printing inevitably involves natural resources. By minimizing the environmental impact of their units, and maximizing scan and fax features (as Canon has done) they can reduce their environmental footprint. Then it's up to the users to decide how much paper to consume.

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