What changes can the educational sector make to reduce environmental impact?

As the world moves towards being more environmentally conscious, have you considered what impact your schools or universities has on the environment? Given the fact the UK’s government has declared an environmental and climate emergency, it’s becoming an area of focus for all organisations.

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Over the decades, multiple environmental disasters have occurred which has led to the awareness surrounding environmental concerns and the impact human actions has on the earth to rise. In fact, the UK’s government has declared an environmental and climate emergency. With this recognition of urgent change, steps towards environmental protection are key.

Some schools and universities are contributing to negative impacts on the environment with inefficient printing and document storage practices. However, educational establishments are a critical tool for implementing change through setting examples to the younger generations, so striving towards a sustainability strategy is essential.

It has emerged from a study focused on the printing behaviours of staff in education that 96% are printing in colour as appose to mono and just 42% are choosing to store their documents electronically instead of printing. The reliance on paper has originated from the traditional operations in schools and universities involving text books and paper for students, except that now around half of waste in primary and secondary schools is from paper, which isn’t acceptable in the peak time of environmental concerns.

Print Management Solutions can support the environmental improvements within the education sector through effective waste management and reduction in the reliance of printing physical documents. Integrating cloud solutions enables schools and universities to securely save their documents into organised electronic files. The ease of sharing documents with a few clicks and the ability to enable editable rights to other staff, improves the usability of printers. This usability provides an alternative to printing documents as much and allow staff to access documents whenever and wherever they are.

Another print solution involves implementing an effective print policy. Educational establishments can be introduced to rules which will dramatically improve the statistics aforementioned regarding printing in colour. For example, rules can be put in place that only allow mono, double-sided printing and any uncollected print job can be automatically removed from the print queue. This control will ensure that waste is minimised when physical documents occasionally need to be printed.

Over 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are being thrown away each year, mostly into landfill. Simply introducing toner cartridge recycling into the education sector can support this environmental change by further reducing waste.

Benefits that come from this Managed Print solution would not be limited to substantial environmental improvements. Education costs will also decrease, leading to reduced pressure on budgets, allowing other areas within the establishment to be optimised. The increased security of digital documents will also ensure greater compliance as the risk of losing documents is reduced.

If you are part of an educational establishment and want to find out how Apogee’s services can support you in improving your environmental sustainability, please call 0345 300 9955 or contact us through clicking here.

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