MFDs in Digital and Sustainable Procurement Strategies

photocopiers and printers
© Piotr Wytrążek

Dave Crispin, CEO of Crispin Associates (UK) Ltd, continues discussions around the role MFDs, photocopiers and printers play in the ‘sustainable’ 2021 office

What has 2021 brought with it, in terms of moving the sustainable office dream forward? Well, for one, when it comes to the office itself, Office Managers and Business Owners are having to think on their feet, big time! The pandemic has made us all rethink exactly what the “new office” is going to look like when we go back – or should I say, if we go back! Do we need an office? If so, how big this time? What technology do we install? etc.

The recent experience a lot of us have endured, working from a home-office or the like, has shown a different way of working. Some people like it, others don’t! There’ll be a lot of big offices that won’t get re-populated in the same way and there’ll be a lot of smaller, more personal, remote offices opened. But, wherever the next working environment is, it’ll need some technology. And will there be missed opportunities? What a waste if that technology doesn’t embrace Sustainability and Environmental gains!

Some of us are already there: Fast internet; VOIP internet phone system; stored data in “the cloud”; remote cloud login (thin/zero-client computers, like Google Chromebook, Microsoft 365, etc); Remote print facility; Comprehensive document management (scanning/archiving/indexing); BYOD (if you do go to the office, bring your own device/laptop); Video Conferencing (Easymeeting, Teams, Zoom, etc).

You may remember my previous thoughts around traditional laser photocopiers and printers: huge 6’-high piles of waste to dispose of, virus/bugs “blown” around the office by the cooling fans inherent with this technology, 2kw of electricity consumed, lost time waiting for the first page to come out, massive “lifetime” Carbon footprint due to parts/engineer shipping/visits, etc, etc. So, fitting out the office, wherever it is, when you return to “normality”, using machines with none of the above seems to make sense.

Epson’s core engine is the technology of the future, available now, and delivering uncompromising performance with previously unheard-of sustainability gains to any adopter. There are no heaters, no air-moving fans, they typically use 1/50th of the electricity of a laser, there are less moving parts to go wrong and there are no noxious ozone fumes! Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Epson: committing to a sustainable future.

Where do I get one from, I hear you say. Well, that’s an interesting point. For the Corporate sector it’s easy, but for the Public Sector it’s a bit different. And that’s down to procurement processes: Frameworks, e-procurement, supply chains, legacy contracts and tenders for example.

Sourcing IT, especially MFDs, photocopiers and printers, with true environmental credentials is tricky – you’ve got to know where to look and, for the moment, it’s unlikely to be a conventional framework.

Government Digital Services promotes Sustainable Procurement and Low-Carbon Innovation through The Digital Marketplace. To this end there are new portals available for Public Sector buyers to access e-procurement resilient and vibrant supply chains. Try or G-Cloud or 2buy2 – Crispin and/or Epson are listed there with an eco-friendly offering. Local Government also has an undertaking to support Local Economic Growth, so procuring from a local or smaller supplier could well help with that “33% to local SME” goal, too.

Sustainable public procurement has now been introduced by many national governments and many more local governments, who have long understood how public procurement can improve sustainability, including through lowering greenhouse gas emissions (UNEP, 2013).

There is a net-zero carbon target for 2050 and it’s good to know that some tenders now include life-cycle costing in value-for-money assessments, i.e. including the cost of externalities such as CO2. It is by no means a universal practice, however, and many barriers stand in the way of mainstreaming green purchasing, including: fragmented national systems, limited access by SMEs, procuring officers’ understanding of the process, and budget practices.

What’s evolving?

The National Technological & Digital Procurement Strategy (LGA – Local Government Association; NAG – National Advisory Group for Procurement).

The Sustainable Procurement National Action Plan: Sustainable Procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole-life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment.

Sustainable Procurement should consider the environmental, social and economic consequences of: Design; non-renewable material use; manufacture and production methods; logistics; service delivery; use; operation; maintenance; reuse; recycling options; disposal; and suppliers’ capabilities to address these consequences throughout the supply chain.

Social Values: Using procurement and commissioning to directly improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the served communities.

Local Purchase: Further streamlining of processes will allow procurement through smaller, local, firms and scale-ups.

Frameworks: Use of common and shared procurement routes & frameworks, such as EverythingICT.

Social: Adoption of consistent and appropriate technology & social value standards.

Environmental Strategy where IT suppliers help the procurement team to develop positive environmental outcomes.

Single point of contact for tender view: UK Government’s Find A Tender replaces European Journal

Digital Procurement Strategy?

Well, it should incorporate Best Practise, Striving To Secure Greater Efficiency, Future Proofing and, of course, Environmental Gain.

Why choose Crispin Associates and Epson?

So why Crispin Associates and Epson? Well, Dave has a great team and 40 years of personal experience in supplying and supporting cutting-edge MFD technology. Epson is the “best of the best”, in terms of manufacturer commitment to sustainability and whole-life carbon view, together with its purpose-focussed and value-driven Pro MFD range.

For those wishing to upgrade their traditional Laser MFDs to a new sustainable business inkjet, procurement, leasing plans and service support, for the full Epson Pro range, are available through Crispin Associates throughout the UK and Ireland.

How do Crispin Associates see it? “Everybody should link their IT with their Sustainability Strategy – one can’t afford not to do this”! See the CA PRINT ADVERT.

It’s fair to say, Crispin Associates are different from other copier suppliers, but their difference is good – and their difference makes a difference. Get in touch to see how you, too, can do your bit and get advice on the MFD aspects of Sustainable IT. Crispin Associates (UK) Ltd. Official and authorised UK partner for Epson professional print range.



Crispin Associates (UK) Ltd

Official and authorised UK partner for

Epson professional print range.

Tel: +44 (0)1823 210 225


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