We've always interested in green initiatives that reduce costs and demonstrate stewardship for the environment. Our managed print initiative several years ago in UAA's computer labs successfully reduced printer use and waste by close to 90% by instituting a pay-for-use system. UAA students were very pleased with the results despite the fact that they now pay for any print beyond their semester allocation.
I received a great IDEA suggestion from Paula Harrison at the Anchorage campus recently that also has the promise to save cost and reduce printer toner/ink use. I had also seen a story from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay concerning this. An item posted on Printer.com analyzed printing costs for different font types and showed that material cost savings could be generated by simply changing fonts.
Printer fonts were compared in terms of the amount of coverage they produced on a printed page. A variety of fonts were tested with coverage results ranging from 3.45% - 5.51%. Fonts that were most efficient were Century Gothic (3.45%), Ecofont (3.47%), and Times Roman (3.54%).
As an example, presume that documents are currently printed using the Arial font on a departmental printer. Further, let's say that the printer generates 250 pages/week of print. According to the University of Wisconsin study, cost of toner/ink for this printer could be reduced by $80 a year if users switched the font used from Arial to Century Gothic.
Seems small, but when you consider that our Anchorage campus has over 1,000 printers that certainly generate an average of 250 sheets/week the number jumps to $80,000 in potential cost savings along with reductions in ink/toner. Not bad...
Now the catch... For this to work, individual users would need to change the default font used by all applications on their computers manually. It cannot be done at the printer nor can it be done "magically" by IT. So, this would seem to be a "best practice" that makes sense for UAA. IT Services will be adopting this practice in all of our participating computer labs this summer.
Pass the word on...