Here?s another great idea. How GREEN is your toner procurement?

June 17th, 2009

I know we all remember the days when the toner for our printers would run low and shaking the container almost always resulted in getting you and everything else around you covered with black soot that would not come off?

A commonly sourced product using e-negotiation tools in the office supplies space is that of toner cartridges for laser printers. The majority of toner sold is made from petroleum based products. Another common practice when sourcing toner is to source recycled toner cartridges. We are all aware that recycling is a good thing.

There is a less expensive and greener alternative today that not many companies are considering yet. That is the use of toner derived from soybean oil. In fact, soy based toner can be as much as 20% less expensive than traditional toner that is based on petroleum products. Recycled petroleum based toners are still less expensive than new soy cartridges. Another benefit to soy based toner is that paper printed with soy based toner is also easier and less costly to recycle.

A very simple four step process for adding soy based toner to your next e-negotiation is as follows.

1. Add a question to your RFI as to whether or not your prospective or incumbent suppliers carry soy based toner products.
2. Include a line item in game planner for an identical specification of soy based toner for each petroleum based line item.
3. Ask for pre game samples of soy based toner.
4. Test the toner sample for volume and print quality.

The above process may also allow you to evaluate companies you wish to do business with in the future that are more flexible and support your environmental social responsibility initiatives by offering these types of green alternatives.

This simple process supports the reduction of petroleum based products, supports the environment and may in fact save you some money. Best of luck.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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