Sustainability: Waste not, want not

The Copier Program helps foster UCSC’s culture of sustainability in the following ways:

  • Energy savings: All new Copier Program devices conform to the US EPA’s Energy Star efficiency standards; as of 6/22/2022 only 2 of our older devices do not conform (meaning nearly 99% of our devices are Energy Star compliant!). As well, all new Copier Program devices satisfy the EPEAT silver or gold standards (the newer the devices, the more likely they will meet the gold standard). Finally, we actively work with our customers to reduce their printing footprint, replacing multiple printers with one or more multifunctional devices. This saves on measurable total energy consumption (TEC), as single-function devices tend to have higher resting energy use than MFDs, and newer MFDs typically have lower TEC than newer single-function printers. For example, the Humanities Division switched from managing more than 25 printers in 2014, replacing them with 8 new Copier Program Ricoh MFDs and pushing printing out to another 10 Copier Program MFDs using Pharos’s Secure Printing process.
  • Toner tube/cartridge reuse/recycling: The Copier Program asks our customers to return to us empty toner cartridges/tubes through Campus Mail. We then package them up and ship them back to the vendor for reuse (toner/print cartridges) or recycling (toner tubes). Reuse and recycling of these tubes saves energy, conserves natural resources, reduces UCSC’s carbon footprint, and is helping UCSC reach UCOP’s goal of “Zero Waste by 2020” .
  • Multifunctional device recycling: When a Copier Program device reaches the end of its life (5-15 years after it entered the program) we return it to whichever vendor is providing us with its replacement. Both Ricoh and Canon have “zero waste to landfill” policies that lead them to recover 100% of the device, whether as parts for new or refurbished units, or via material recovery that directs recycled materials back into the creation of new devices.
  • 100% recycled paper use: The Copier Program provides paper for customer use as part of our per-copy charge. Since July, 2013 we have provided 100% PCW (post-consumer waste), 20 lb. white bond paper (8.5” x 11”); in July, 2018 we started providing 100% Tree-Free paper (made entirely from sugarcane waste).

    Copier Program customers use, on average, 35 tons of paper/year; each FY since July 2013 the change to 100% PCW has saved the following:
    • 245 million BTUs net energy (at 11,000 kwh/avg. household/year in the United States, this is enough to power more than 5 households for a year!)
    • 25.3 tons CO2 equivalent (converted to lb. C02 per mile driven, that’s 58,930 driving from UCSC to Jack’s Hamburgers and back more than 13,000 times!)
    • 35 lb. NO2 (converted to lb. CO2/mile driven, driving from UCSC to Jack’s and back *another* 2,500 times!)
    • 274,855 gallons of water (enough to make 13,743 pints of beer...) and
    • removed 9.2 tons of solid waste from the UCSC campus waste stream
  • Waste reduction: Our multifunctional devices all scan to color PDFs, which enables a paperless workflow...and it’s still free to scan on Copier Program devices! Pharos’s Secure Printing process gives the user multiple stop points where the decision *not* to print can be made; if the job is not released within 48 hours, the job is deleted. As well, allowing the user to control whent the print is output reduces waste due to “print and forget” jobs (otherwise found in ouput trays campuswide!). Finally, because our devices that print can all print on both sides of the paper, customers can help reduce waste by duplex printing where possible.
  • Saving money directly: Most people don’t think of sustainability this way, but the UCSC Copier Program does. During 2015-16 we participated in a UCOP team to make new contracts with vendors of MFDs and laser printers. By doing so we estimate UCSC will save nearly $500,000, and that UCOP will save nearly $14 million, over the 3-year life of the contracts.  If UCOP chooses to extend the contracts another two years, it means even more savings.  Saving money through participation in this type of contract process creates a “sustainability of effort” that allows the Copier Program to continue the sustainability programs listed above, and enables us to continue to serve our customers into the future. It also gives us a means to keep your per-copy rates the same as they’ve been since 2006!