SUNY Initiative Targets Reduced Printing on Campus

State University of New York (SUNY)A recent assessment of SUNY’s print landscape (print devices, print volume and type, and existing campus managed print contracts) revealed that SUNY prints more than 50 million pages a month, and possesses more than 40,000 devices, of which approximately 50% are personal or desktop printers. The analysis, conducted by an independent print consultant (Pharos), also determined that SUNY spends approximately $50M per year on printing with color printing accounting for more than 50% of the cost.

As a result of this assessment, SUNY established the System-wide Print Resource Use Policy – an initiative that seeks to reduce printing across all SUNY campuses and calls on SUNY Oswego and other system institutions to establish campus goals to reduce the amount of printing and number of printers, but also establish system-wide print defaults and standards; limit printing to items essential for academic instruction or required to perform and complete business needs; achieve sustainability goals to reduce the college’s paper, energy use and carbon footprint; deploy software to monitor usage by individual, application, department, and device; and have campuses centralize their print budgets.

The Project
In tandem with SUNY’s Print Initiative, SUNY Oswego will be moving forward with its own initiative on campus where employees will be active participants in the effort to “print smart and print less.” The project, to be led by the Purchasing Department and Campus Technology Services, will begin this summer and consist of three phases aimed at achieving print efficiency, optimization and meeting sustainability goals by July 2023.

In Phase 1, we will collect printing data from fall of 2019 to present to best understand our current fleet of printer hardware and usage. We will analyze the current print environment and determine age of equipment, types of printers (local versus network), printer utilization and printer locations.  

Phase 2 will involve working with employees and departments to ensure effective print options while reducing the number of campus printers. Effective solutions will be implemented to move tasks to digital workflows, reducing the need for printing. Per SUNY, USB printers and single-function color printers will be removed, with printers older than seven years removed or replaced.  

Upon the print fleet being reduced, SUNY Oswego will then move onto Phase 3, which entails migrating the campus over to a new print management solution and training all users.

Impact and Benefits
Our goal is to achieve many benefits as a result of our commitment to reducing the amount of printing on campus. We will save on consumables and electricity and reduce our carbon footprint. We will achieve greater accountability, flexibility and experience a number of cost savings.

We expect there to be system and end user impacts as we transition to this new low-print environment. New digital solutions, secure network printing and training to implement will assist us in moving forward. A culture shift in “environmental shared” printing will undoubtedly unfold.

What’s Next?
  • Both CTS and Purchasing will work with individual departments to analyze their current printing needs and make a recommendation on how to comply with the project’s objectives.
  • Purchasing will assist with the dissolution or recycling of printers, purchase of any new equipment, and review any applicable maintenance contracts and leases.
  • Finance and Budget will assist with centralizing the print budget.
  • Student printing will be evaluated with print quotas being reduced to accommodate printing needs of the majority of students.