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Marks & Spencer Puts GreenPrint to Work in UK Headquarters

Retailer Marks & Spencer will soon put GreenPrint Technologies' print management software to work at corporate headquarters in London in an effort to reduce use of paper, ink and energy.

Marks & Spencer will save more than 750 trees and prevent over 2,200 tons of greenhouse gases a year by using the product, GreenPrint Technologies LLC estimates.

The software developed by the firm, which is based in Portland, Ore., enables users to exclude unwanted text, images and pages from documents before they are printed.

The deal with Marks & Spencer presents the "first large scale opportunity to demonstrate GreenPrint's savings with a large European company," GreenPrint CEO Hayden Hamilton said in a statement this week to announce the contract.

Almost 700 billion unnecessary pages are printed in Europe each year, according to GreenPrint, citing research by printer, ink and toner company Lexmark International. In the United Kingdom, the average office worker prints 38 pages per day and 29 percent of them are waste, Lexmark's study found.

GreenPrint says its software can save the average user about $75 a year by eliminating some 1,250 wasted pages -- such as sheets that contain unwanted content or only a few lines of text.

Serving more than 21 million customers a week at 895 stores in over 40 countries, Marks & Spencer Group PLC has declared that it wants to become the world's most sustainable retailer by 2015. The print management software is the latest tool the retailer is deploying to achieve its ambitious goal.

Marks & Spencer's battle plan for the campaign, known as Plan A, was launched in 2007 and now includes 180 sustainability commitments. They include reducing the use of printer paper in stores and offices by 25 percent by 2012, and upgrading printing technology in company headquarters to improve efficiency and curb waste.

A recent study from Five Winds International and shows Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Walmart as the retail leaders in sustainability, with M&S and Tesco in a close race for the top spot.

In a bid for broader use of its product, GreenPrint offered today to donate licenses of its enterprise software to all federal employees and suggested that the Obama administration use the savings -- which could range from $200 million to $440 million annually according to the company -- to benefit states affected by the Gulf oil spill.

Representatives for the company and the government are discussing the offer, said Elise F. Burke, GreenPrint's director of public relations.

In a 2009 study of printing by the U.S. government, Lexmark estimated federal printing costs at $1.3 billion annually with $440 million in waste, according to GreenPrint.

Image CC licensed by wikimedia user mailer_diablo.

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