University paper savings climb sky high

27 February 2012

The University of Waikato has reduced its yearly paper usage by the height of two Sky Towers thanks to a new online purchasing system.

In the 2010-2011 financial year, the university bought 13,573 (29%) fewer reams of A4 photocopy paper than in the previous one.

That equates to 45 pallets of printing paper, and if those reams were stacked on top of one another, they would be taller than the height of two and a quarter Sky Towers.

The system, UniMarket, emails purchase orders and invoices directly to suppliers, eliminating the need for printing, photocopying and faxing. It saved $78,000 on photocopy paper, ink and toner usage in that financial year.

While the change has resulted in financial savings, it has also reduced the university’s environmental impact, says the university’s Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator Rachael Goddard.

“We’ve saved approximately 57 pine trees – one 25 metre tall tree makes around 119,100 sheets of paper, and each ream contains 500 sheets. Our paper is chlorine-free and the mill it comes from is environmentally certified,” says Ms Goddard.

She says as well as the new online ordering system, individual staff members have also helped to reduce paper waste.

Ms Goddard was appointed last year to manage the University of Waikato’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, and upcoming projects include an environmental purchasing policy and waste minimisation strategy for the university.

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