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June 11, 2010

The Green Benefits IP Fax

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Fax technology continues to play an important role in a number of industries, but old methods are not necessarily environmentally friendly. Traditional fax machines waste a lot of paper - especially when fax blasts are received from unwanted senders. The good news is there is now a faxing solution that delivers "green" benefits to the enterprise.

Fax over IP (FoIP) is a technology that allows companies to address all faxing requirements in a way that is economically friendly. Such solutions delivered by Sagem-Interstar (News - Alert) takes paper-based faxing to digital platforms in order to significantly reduce overall paper usage and generate environmental benefits.
Take a closer look at the "green" benefits of fax over IP. Sagem-Interstar estimates that for a large company, their network fax solutions can eliminate as much as one ton of paper use per day, or up to 200 tons per year. By saving paper, the company is also able to save water as over 1.8 million gallons of water are required to product a year's worth of paper.

In just two years, this large company's fax paper usage would have consumed a forest equal in size to New York's Central Park, according to statistics from the EPA. In addition, making just one day's worth of paper for this large company uses enough electricity to power the average home for six months.

Making paper also requires manufacturing work. In the process of manufacturing one day's worth of paper for fax usage generates 60 pounds of toxic pollutants, or 12,000 pounds in a given year. These estimates are based on a company of 30,000 employees sending and/or receiving two fax pages per day on average.
While this approach to going "green" helps to reduce paper waste, preserve wild habitat, water and air quality, it also helps to reduce the emission of persistent organic pollutants such as dioxins. For those in the workplace, it also means less noise and heat from machines, less exposure to paper dust and fine particles of potentially toxic toner. And, less paper means less waste in the landfill.

Even as consumers are demanding that companies take a more "green" approach in the way they do business, such initiatives also help to improve the bottom line. An organization's impact on the environment is reduced through FoIP, which reduces faxing and fax-related printing. For a large company - per the example above - this can mean as much as $2 million or more in savings every year.

When the company eliminates obsolete, single-function fax machines, the large organization can save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on electricity, leasing costs and maintenance contracts.

The benefits of IP fax are substantial and the "green" approach delivers nothing but advantages in an economy focused on preserving the bottom line and the environment. 

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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