Innovation for Sustainable Products and Services
We are constantly thinking about how we can simplify work, deliver more personalized experiences, improve productivity through new technologies that connect the physical and digital worlds without adversely affecting the environment, human health and safety. The design of our products and solutions consider environmental priorities; it’s better for our customers, our business and the environment.
Our mission and heritage to help our customers be more successful has led us on a journey in innovating how the world communicates, connects, and works.
Samples of our work:
- Xerox’s ConnectKey™ app ecosystem: this platform enables a high degree of personalization and automates frequent actions such as scan to Dropbox, or translating a document into another language through the EZ Translator app.
- Charter partner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® program: 100 percent of all new eligible Xerox products meet ENERGY STAR® 2.0 requirements for Imaging Equipment.
- “You print one, we’ll plant one”: through a partnership with PrintReleaf, Xerox customers can reduce their overall environmental footprint and help global reforestation.
At Xerox, we view our customers as partners in innovation. Going beyond user studies, we engage our customers in innovation workshops to explore the future of the customer’s business and identify new opportunities to apply our technologies to solve problems or create new products and services. For example, we have a deep competency in printed and hybrid electronics that enable us to create new types of low-cost sensors and smart tags that enable interactive and smart packaging. We engage customers and partners across a range of industries to explore applications ranging from personalized packages to supply chain monitoring, followed by validating the value proposition before moving to commercialization. We are using this collaborative, agile innovation approach to explore new adjacent markets in digital printing from digital packaging to industrial printing.
Another focus area of innovation is in digital transformation to enable the agile workplace of the future. Along with our customers, we are seeing rapid changes in consumer and employee expectations due to digital technologies that have transformed every industry. Given the high degree of uncertainty in our world, the most valuable trait of any company going forward will be agility — not only to respond quickly to changes but also to create new markets and business models.
Building upon our expertise and analytical insights from working with our customers, we are investing in innovation to help our customers become more agile. We are going beyond the automation of predictable workflows in back-office processes to delivering automation and intelligent assistance to knowledge workers in their more variable work. Similar to our innovation efforts around digital printing, we are using a highly collaborative co-innovation process with our customers to ensure that our new offerings in this space are both useful and easy to use.
Workplace Assistants and Apps
Xerox’s line of multi-function devices composed of the VersaLink™ and AltaLink™ product families contain so much more intelligence that we call them “workplace assistants.” Not only are they secure and reliable, but they also come with apps that enable a high degree of personalization and automated workflows. Similar to how we use apps on our smartphones, Xerox’s ConnectKey app ecosystem automates frequent actions such as scanning to Dropbox, or translating a document into another language through the EZ Translator app. Other apps are targeted at specific industries such as a secure document transfer app for the healthcare industry to send patient information with a much higher degree of security than faxing. We have also given our partners the ability to create their own custom apps for their customers.
Users easily access these apps from the multi-touch displays on the VersaLink and AltaLink products, in a consistent way across the full range. We invested significant time in user research and iterative design to make sure that the user interface was easy to use. As part of our innovation process, we use ethnography, or the observation of people in their natural work environments, to gain deeper insights into user needs and pain points than what can normally be obtained through traditional market research techniques.
Reducing Environmental Impacts Through Our Technology Innovation
Xerox has long incorporated environmental considerations into product design. Internal processes ensure that product design teams are informed about regulatory and market driven changes affected by product design. These processes ensure that product design teams are able to incorporate timely environmental and product safety considerations. Scientists in our materials research group evaluate aspects of safety, energy, materials and sustainability to continually improve our products.
We solicit feedback from clients and other stakeholders and take a forward-looking view of global trends in technology, regulations and eco-labels. We’ve developed a comprehensive sustainability program based on global standards and quantitative analysis.
Our product standards encompass the following: energy efficiency, chemical management, packaging, parts reuse and recycling, electrical and mechanical safety, ergonomics, electromagnetic emissions, noise, fire resistance and materials safety. Xerox business teams and our Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) organization review our products at each stage of the development process for conformance with environmental, health and safety standards, which is a requirement for the introduction of any product. All Xerox standards ensure our products have the appropriate labels and information needed to meet all safety and environmental label requirements to keep our customers appropriately informed. All products meet required industry labeling standards for each market.
Xerox integrates lifecycle thinking into our product and service development activities as well as our innovation activities. Lifecycle Assessments (LCAs) are a means of technically evaluating the environmental impact of a product’s materials, manufacturing, distribution, use and end-of-life. We conduct full LCAs — in accordance with the appropriate ISO standards — to determine where in the product lifecycle the largest environmental impacts arise and to compare products with a significant difference in technology. Full peer-reviewed LCAs have been performed on our AltaLink and VersaLink devices, solid ink products (8860, 8870, 8700 and ColorQube 9200 series) and many of our other laser technology devices (WorkCentre 5325/30/35, WorkCentre 5945/55 and Phaser 7100). These LCAs directly contribute to our achieving the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool® (EPEAT®) Gold certification for these configurations. We encourage our customers to learn more about how their printing behavior affects the overall carbon footprint of their organization from a lifecycle perspective.
For office products and light production equipment, Xerox uses EPEAT® as the foundation of our Design for Environment program. EPEAT® is composed of criteria spanning corporate and product requirements (50+ requirements for imaging equipment). When a company and product meets these criteria, it must pass a third-party desk review.
EPEAT® Product Registration Process
EPEAT® product criteria combine comprehensive requirements for design, production, energy use and recycling with ongoing independent verification of manufacturer claims. EPEAT® criteria reflect several categories of environmental attributes that span the lifecycle of electronic products: material selection, design for end-of-life, product longevity/life extension, energy conservation, end-of-life management, corporate performance, packaging, consumables and indoor air quality. Xerox continues to support EPEAT® initiatives, aids in the success of the program moving forward and supports the program’s global expansion. Since 2014, Xerox has committed to launching all new eligible office products with EPEAT® Silver or Gold certification. For example, all new VersaLink and AltaLink products are EPEAT® Silver or Gold as we continue to design our products with the environment in mind. Xerox is the only company to claim all eight EPEAT® corporate optional criteria.
Learn more about the EPEAT® program and view current Xerox eco-label registered products here.
More than 10 years before the inception of the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR® Office Equipment program, Xerox introduced the first imaging product with an automatic power-down mode. Since joining with the EPA as a Charter Partner in 1993, we continue to introduce copier, printer, fax and multifunction products that have earned ENERGY STAR® status, even as the certification criteria have grown more stringent.
In 2017, 100 percent of all our new eligible product introductions achieved ENERGY STAR®. This continued success in cutting the power consumption of our laser-based printing products has been achieved by adjustments in the fuser design, changes to the properties of the toner, more efficient electronic controls and the workings of the xerographic system as a whole.
The ENERGY STAR® program, as noted, introduces progressively more stringent requirements over time. The most recent revision went into effect on January 1, 2014. While the standard was challenging to meet, our goal remains to have 100 percent of our new eligible products achieve this label. Xerox and other industry members are working with the EPA to establish the next set of requirements, which will be ENERGY STAR® Imaging Equipment 3.0. Xerox will continue to design products to meet these new targets in the coming years. These energy requirements serve as the foundation for other eco-labels, such as EPEAT® and Blue Angel, and show our ongoing commitment to reduce product energy consumption.
We recognize our obligation to responsibly source paper and enable efficient paper use. Our long-term goal is to support a sustainable paper cycle and minimize environmental impacts while meeting our customers’ exacting business needs.
In 2013, Domtar signed an agreement with Xerox for the acquisition of the Xerox paper and media products business in the U.S. and Canada. This deal gives Domtar exclusive rights for the marketing and distribution of Xerox brand paper and print media. Read more about Domtar and sustainability. The same year, Xerox’s paper business in Western Europe was sold to Antalis. Read more about Antalis’s sustainability charter.
Xerox maintains the paper business in its Developing Market Operations. We apply stringent paper sourcing guidelines for companies that provide paper to Xerox for resale. The requirements cover all aspects of papermaking, from forest management to production of finished goods. We supply papers that comply with sustainable forest management standards, including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). FSC-certified papers use raw materials from an FSC-certified source, controlled wood sources or post-consumer reclaimed sources.
Reducing Environmental Impacts Through Packaging and Distribution
Packaging and distribution are integral parts of our product commercialization process. We strive to eliminate, reduce, reuse and recycle packaging whenever feasible. Product teams actively seek out more environmentally responsible packaging alternatives. We also require packaging suppliers to comply with bans and restrictions for a variety of chemicals. We document our expectations in our Environment, Health and Safety Requirements for Packaging Standard — EHS-710, and our General Packaging Standard — 88P311. Our commercial equipment is designed and tested extensively to be shipped with minimal required packaging. Eliminating or reducing packaging wherever feasible, conserves natural resources and decreases fuel use for distribution. Doing so represents a sustainability win for business and the environment.
We also offer the Xerox® Automated Packaging Solution. This system uses the latest in document technology to print, finish and cut customized folding cartons in short runs. By creating packaging quickly and cost effectively, this tool enhances material efficiencies as well as decreases obsolescence through customized boxes and containers. Automated packaging reduces financial and environmental costs associated with warehousing, storage and disposal. It also proves an advantage for focused marketing campaigns and rapidly changing competitive markets.
A few examples that illustrate our commitment to sustainability in this area:
Corrugated Packaging — Enabling a Circular Economy
Corrugated packaging material is marked so that customers can easily identify it as recyclable. When Xerox installs a product or part, we ensure that all packaging material is taken away from the customer site and is responsibly managed. Corrugated packaging material in particular has a high recycle and reuse rate globally. By recycling corrugated material, Xerox helps decrease solid waste in landfills and also provides a reusable material for making new paper products. Our corrugated packaging material is made from this recycled content, thus enabling a circular economy.
Developer Housing Assembly — Converting to the Use of Molded Pulp
For many years our principal supplier shipped housing assemblies to us packed in foam. We moved production to the U.S. and redesigned the packaging to take advantage of readily recyclable molded pulp solutions.
Expanded polystyrene end caps, weighing 68 grams each and measuring 5 inches in length, 6.5 inches in width and 6 inches in height per side were replaced with molded pulp end caps. The result was a decrease in our material footprint large enough to increase the amount of product load from 77 units per pallet to 144, a gain of 87 percent. This eliminated 4,800 kilograms (10,575 lbs.) and 8,559 cubic feet of foam annually; it also reduced costs and conserved natural resources.
Xerox Replacement Cartridges (XRC) — Reducing Solid Waste
For XRC products, Xerox packaging engineers replaced hot wire expanded polystyrene end caps with inflatable air bags. Upon receipt of the package, the air bags are easily deflated, producing far less solid waste by mass and cubic volume compared to polystyrene; and this change is an environmentally preferable alternative.
Enabling Environmental Sustainability Through Our Services and Solutions
Managed Print Services Approach
Using the full suite of Managed Print Service (MPS) tools, we work with customers to improve the efficiency of office document management by assessing printing needs and developing solutions. Using this approach, customers can better achieve these goals:
Energy and Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Print asset optimization and updates improve energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas impact, and reduce waste materials.
Reduced Paper Usage: Using both print authentication and authorization, along with gamification techniques, print behaviors can be changed to reduce unnecessary prints.
Reduce Waste: Newer, more sustainable print technologies and consumables drastically reduce the amount of waste generated from printing practices.
Digital Transformation: Other paper reductions comes from adoption of digital workflows integrated with Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and other digital alternatives.
Xerox ConnectKey™ is a software solution that enables information to be moved to and from the cloud without the security risks that commonly exist. Cloud computing is an alternative to large data centers and is being recognized worldwide as less energy intensive than data centers while generating fewer GHG emissions. In addition, Xerox ConnectKey™ in combination with power management software enables energy management by allowing for the control, management and reporting of a device’s power consumption and the setting of power states and timeout intervals.
Effective Print Management
Our equipment and software is designed to help customers operate efficiently. The “earth smart” feature, integrated into the Xerox global print driver, brings several resource-saving settings together at the single click of a button. These features, such as duplex (two-sided printing), n-up (multiple pages per sheet), proof print and toner saving modes make it easier for customers to make responsible print choices. Our Xerox Enterprise Print Services customers have access to sophisticated print management and reporting tools, such as Xerox Print Agent, which provides additional methods of encouraging and tracking responsible print behavior. Software products such as DocuShare® and FreeFlow® Digital Workflow Collection help Xerox customers reduce paper consumption by facilitating electronic data management, scan to email, print-on-demand and distribute-then-print workflows.
Xerox also explores creative ways to engage employees in the sustainability effort. With innovations such as Xerox Workplace Solutions and the Xerox® Print Awareness Tool, clients can take advantage of a unique managed print service approach to sustainability management and reducing print volumes. By using the Print Awareness Tool, users have access to an easy to use, interactive print gamification dashboard. Users can see their print usage, review their progress toward company print and sustainability goals, and learn of available steps to improve. Through each user's contribution to improvement, customers get one step closer to decreasing overall print costs and achieving corporate social responsibility and sustainability goals. Xerox CompleteView™ Pro, another tool in the managed print service portfolio, continues to provide customers with a sustainability analysis documenting the environmental impact of print output such as power consumption and CO2 emissions by device and site.
Learn more at managed print services.
Offsetting Environmental Impacts
In 2018, Xerox introduced new global reforestation services available to complement our clients’ managed print operations. Through partnership with PrintReleaf, Xerox customers have the opportunity to contribute to the reforestation of global forests and reduce their overall sustainability footprint. Based on a theme of “You print one, we’ll plant one,” paper usage reporting is used to equate the number of trees that are reforested into geographic areas of need.
Xerox has long been a leader in sustainability and continuously finds ways to innovate and drive results for our clients and our own business. By subscribing to PrintReleaf reforestation services for our own internal Xerox office print volume, we continue to drive sustainability benefits in our business practices, products and solutions.