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Printing system saves paper, water « Sustainable IT
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Printing system saves paper, water


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Last September we reported that the savings as a result of the new printing system were already significant. Now almost a year after implementation we can show that the targeted areas in the university used 39% less paper than what they would have during 2010.To recap quickly:

  • The implementation project commenced in April 2010 and focused on printing in student user areas such as the Computer User Areas (CUAs), mini-CUAs, libraries and student residences, but included a small selection of departments.
  • In all, 189 printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) have been connected to a central printing management system provided by Safecom, so far.
  • Of the 189 devices 110 are new printers which replaced old devices. These were supplied by, and directly sourced from HP thus avoiding retail channels, which also led to significant capital savings of R1.3m.

Paper volumes and savings

Based on historical volumes and trends the above student user areas would have consumed 20.4 million sheets of paper during 2010. As a result of duplex and ‘pull’ printing capabilities of the system however, 7.9 million sheets of paper were avoided. Translating into financial and resources terms:

  • @ 6.5 c per sheet, we saved about R512 000
  • @ 6 litres of water to manufacture a sheet, we avoided 47.3 million litres of water (some sources estimate 10 l per sheet)
  • @ 3000 sheets per tree we avoided 2600+ plantation trees (this is conservative and assumes 50% use of recycled paper).

Some fast facts

  • Duplex printing increased from 5% of print jobs to 73% by Dec 2010
  • 16000 unique users use the system on a daily basis
  • 250000 print jobs are sent to the system weekly.

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4 Responses to “Printing system saves paper, water”


  1. Notice: get_usermeta is deprecated since version 3.0.0! Use get_user_meta() instead. in /home/blogs/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4329
    Simon Gerber says:

    Very cool stats! This printing solution has much improved the headache that printing used to be.


  2. Notice: get_user_by_email is deprecated since version 3.3.0! Use get_user_by('email') instead. in /home/blogs/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4329
    hamslaai says:

    Well done to the team !


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    port elizabeth says:

    I like your stats! When you say the University used 39% less paper, what figure are you basing the percentage on, so how much paper was being used before you implemented such measures?


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    Ralph Pina says:

    The percentage is based on the usage the previous year in the particular student areas mentioned in the post. Previous usage in those areas was of the order of 15 million sheets per annum. However, the university as a whole consumes in excess of 50 million sheets per annum.

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