LiveGreen: Not printing has a huge impact on campus

by Melanie Stewart, LiveGreen | January 12, 2021

Image with file name: Paper011321.jpg

As we told you before the holidays, the med center has reduced copier paper use.

How much? In the last three years we have saved a minimum of:

  • 62,861,447 sheets of paper
  • $379,000 in purchased paper costs
    • Doesn't count labor to deliver, stock, load, transport, or shred, which would be additional savings
  • 7,543 trees
  • 362,083 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent (164 metric tons) which harms human health and is a major contributor to climate change.

As people slowly return to the office and we begin to think about the future of working, how can we stop using so much paper to keep these trends going?

Reduce printing needs by:

  • Displaying meeting agendas and other visuals on a screen; don't print handouts. Take notes digitally.
  • Use Word's "Track Changes" feature to edit documents, rather than writing on a printed copy.
  • If applicable to your area, laminate common instructions for patient review, only print necessary documents.
  • Encourage patients to sign up for One Chart, allowing patient materials and bills to be sent electronically.
  • Use OneNote, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and other Office365 tools to share information and avoid printing and faxing.
    • Use resources on the ITS website for help.
    • Lock PDFs and other documents (or save as PDF) before sharing to prevent version issues.

There are times when printing is necessary. Before hitting that button, think if you need to print that specific document. If you do:

  • Work with UNMC Printing Services if you are printing large quantities; it will save you time, effort and money. Printing Services offers same day, quality copies without the multiple costs associated with producing copies on an office copier.
  • Be aware of duplicates; don't print when information is already available electronically.
  • Eliminate blank sheets from documents before printing.
  • Set the default on your computer and/or printer to print duplex and black and white (saves additional dollars).

Keep up the good work, and stick to those non-printing habits-don't fall back in to printing habits if you come back to campus. Still learning? So are we. Here are some resources to help you reducing printing in your area.

Paper not purchased is factored into the med center's Zero Waste goal. By printing less and reducing paper use, we're able to advance even further toward our goal of 90% diversion by 2030.


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Howard Fox
January 12, 2021 at 1:50 PM

Thanks Melanie!