Feb. 15, 2010
The difference between using a resources wastefully or sustainably can sometimes be paper thin. Luther College has significantly reduced its printing paper use in the 2009-10 academic year due to the college’s implementation of the GoPrint print management solution in January 2009.
GoPrint, Luther’s print management solution that tracks printing usage and allocates printing costs on campus, is part of a campuswide effort to reduce paper waste and encourage better management of resources. The printing service was implemented as part of the Luther College Library and Information Services (LIS) sustainability effort to reduce the amount of printing done on campus.
And the effort is working, said Christopher Barth, executive director of LIS.
With approximately 2,200 students on campus during fall semester 2009, each with a GoPrint allocation of 400 pages of printing, there was the potential for nearly 900,000 pages to be printed. Only 307,948 pages were actually printed, Barth said.
He said 1,650 students printed between zero and 50 percent of their allotted quota, while only 42 students used their full allotment of 400 pages. The average use per student was 34.7 percent, approximately 139 pages of the allotted 400.
“Many institutions that have implemented printing systems have found that making users aware of the cost of their printing results in a significant decrease in printing, sometimes as much as 75 percent,” said Barth. He said that level of reduction in printed pages would go a long way towards making sustainability at Luther a reality.
Since the implementation of GoPrint, the number of palettes of printer paper ordered by LIS has decreased from the fall 2008 semester to the fall 2009 semester. Each palette consists of 40 boxes, each holding 5,000 sheets of paper.
In fall 2008, paper orders totaled an estimated 600,000 sheets. Through fall 2009, only 400,000 sheets were ordered, and some of that stock was still on hand.
“In the past, printing costs have been spread evenly over all users, regardless of how much printing was done,” said Barth. “GoPrint allows Luther to shift the cost to those who use printing most.”
During the 2008-09 academic year, printing in the computer labs on campus came to approximately 1.2 million pages. Computer lab printing paper consumption for the first half of the 2009-10 academic year is 33 percent of the previous year’s total.
“The amount of paper usage may drop even further when faculty and staff are placed on GoPrint, a process currently being implemented,” said Matt Hughes, LIS technology help desk lead. “This would be a great thing for Luther, both from an economic and sustainability perspective.”