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An Interview with Todd Smith and Catherine Reeves of Xerox

Xerox has a long history of innovation in sustainability and environmental business. To find out more about the history of the green movement at Xerox, we reached out and were granted the opportunity to speak with both Todd Smith and Catherine Reeves. Below is the transcript of our interview which was conducted via phone.

1) Can you provide some information about each of your backgrounds?
Todd Smith–manager, Worldwide Product Marketing, Entry Products Business Group, Xerox.

Catherine Reeves–manager, Communications and Systems in Xerox Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability

2) What new developments are there, if any, that you could discuss when it comes to Solid Ink in the last 12-18 months?
Solid ink is an innovative, award-winning color printing technology available only from Xerox. It was invented in 1986 in the Tek Labs and first brought to market in 1991. Our solid ink is easy to use, produces stunning color print quality and generates up to 90 percent less printing waste than comparable color laser printers.

We offer solid ink in both multifunction printers (MFPs) and printers. Since launching our solid ink MFPs—named ConnectKey—a strong and very loyal following has developed. That’s due to solid ink’s cartridge-free design and minimal packaging resulting in less manufacturing and storage space and better transportation efficiency

We manufacture different sizes of solid ink sticks for various yields. We have both standard and high yield ink sticks to meet customers’ unique requirements

SMBs to large enterprises use our solid ink devices. For companies producing five or six thousand pages a month, the ink per package lasts for at least three months. Our solid ink offers color prints at the same price as mono which is a plus for our customers.

3) What types of recycling efforts does Xerox have in the United States and globally around the world?
Xerox has one of the largest cartridge return programs globally. We refer to it as the “Green World Alliance”. We work with recyclers in the United States and Europe to have the spent cartridges reused, remanufactured or recycled. Our programs have been in place since the 1990s. Since its inceptions, billions of pounds of cartridges and toner bottles have been diverted from landfill.

4) Could you talk a little about Xerox’s sustainability initiatives?
We’re proud to say Xerox has a history of sustainability, decades before the word “sustainability” was even coined. We introduced the first grade of cut sheet recycled paper to the market and the first product with two-sided copying. We also developed office equipment capable of going into power down mode. That accomplishment resulted in the EPA asking us to become a charter partner and develop criteria for office equipment seeking Energy Star. That partnership continues today.

We recognize sustainability is fundamental to business and consequently developed sustainability goals that apply across our value chain. In doing so, we look to achieve these goals for our own operations, upstream with our suppliers, and downstream with our customers. Our sustainability goals are:

  • energy and climate change
  • resource conservation
  • clean air and water
  • waste prevention and management

5) What can we expect to see from Xerox going forward as a “green business”?
Being more “green” is not just doing things for the environment—at Xerox it means enabling triple bottom line benefits, including developing better products, better process with reduced cycle time or improved productivity while minimizing the associated environmental impacts.

Sustainability is a market expectation. Going forward, look for us to be more vocal on what we are doing. Communications is important to drive sustainability. By doing so, we improve the public”s perception of Xerox as a leader in sustainability and encourage others to join in.

From my perspective, it is about the individual products with continued focus on solid ink devices. We look at the lifetime of the products and how much savings and less environmental impact they can offer.

We are always evaluating our cartridges to deliver solid value to our customers. For example, in some products, toner drum and ink cartridges are combined into one unit, meaning users only have to replace one item.

In addition to solid ink, our low temperature EA toner offers sustainability benefits.