by Pete Middleton, IT Support
The University prints or photocopies around 50 million sheets a year. In IS&T, we are constantly looking for ways to keep printing costs as low as possible without sacrificing quality or convenience – and, quite apart from the financial implications, we want to do our bit to lower the University’s carbon footprint.
The cost of printing each sheet of paper varies greatly depending on how each job is handled. Running a couple of pages off an old, inefficient colour printer costs considerably more than sending the same job to one of the newer machines – known as multi-function devices (MFDs).
Upgrading to better printers
New MFDs are more efficient in energy terms and have a greater range of features than older machines, enabling colour printing, A3 printing, collation and stapling. We have already replaced a lot of the old-fashioned style printers, upgrading as they become out of date. New buildings have more modern printers fitted as standard. We’re continuing to update printers and those of you who don’t have multi-function devices installed should have access to them shortly. If you’ve been used to a small desk-top colour printer, this might mean you will have to share printing facilities with other people in your building. Don’t worry, your printing can still be confidential – you will be able to send the documents which you want to keep private to the MFD and it will be held until you use your SHUcard or log in to collect it.
Helping you monitor your printing
We will shortly be providing some other tools to help you monitor the cost of your printing – both environmentally and financially. In November we started piloting these in some parts of the University and will be rolling them out in the next couple of months. These include new software which displays the cost of printing on your desktop to show you how much printing you have done (since April 2012) and what the total cost has been. Also, when you send a document to print to a standard printer, you may receive a pop up message telling you it is cheaper to print to a photocopier.
You will still be able to send the job to the printer you have chosen but at least you will be aware that there are cheaper ways to work.