Saving Green by Being Green
Over the last few years, BC ITS has taken the initiative to reduce the amount of printed administrative reports generated by the computer center. The dual goals of the project were to reduce the cost and ecological impact associated with printing, distributing, and disposing of paper reports.
The effort reached a major milestone in January with the retirement of the high-speed mainframe printer, the source of most paper reports. Going forward, printing will be handled by a much less expensive office-size printer.
As a result of this effort, approximately 93% of the printing has been replaced by other distribution means, reducing the annual administrative printing from about 3.4 million pages per year to 2011’s 220,000 pages.
To distribute the needed information to the various administrative and academic offices, ITS relies heavily on the Vista online reporting system (for reports with multiple users and/or long-term relevance), and converting many documents to email attachments (for more ad-hoc and information with short term relevance). Many offices throughout BC cooperated with ITS to help complete these conversions.
The cost savings come from a number of areas:
- The cost of procuring and storing paper and supplies.
- The human and capital cost of operation of high speed printers.
- The physical distribution of the reports from the Brighton Campus.
- The disposal of the outdated printouts (often requiring expensive shredding due to the confidential nature of the information).
The benefit for the many departments requiring the reports is twofold:
- Rapid availability of the reports - minutes rather than hours (or days).
- Freedom from the need to store, secure, and dispose of the former paper reports.