The printerless office

A study into the use of e-readers as a substitute for printed paper

Whether or not use of an e-reader in an office environment is environmentally friendlier than printed paper depends entirely on the type of user. In this study lifecycle assessment was used to determine the respective environmental impact of e-readers and printed paper and establish the tipping point at which the impact of a certain number of prints equals that of e-reader use. Because the precise composition of an e-reader (with e-ink) is proprietary information, scenarios were used for this purpose. The tipping point at which an e-reader, with an assumed service life of 2 years, is environmentally friendlier than prints is between 3,000 and 13,000 prints a year. It therefore depend on the office situation what the best option is.

report (Dutch)

Authors CE

Marijn Bijleveld

Delft, March 2011