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August 17, 2021

Ways in which universities can reduce printing costs and paper usage

Nowadays most universities are trying to find new ways of economising and cutting costs without compromising their educational standards. Obviously, material resources are the first place that comes to mind when looking for potential money saving options.

The Education Marketing Manager at Microsoft, Ray Fleming, says universities sometimes spend more on printing than they actually do on IT. As much as 1,000,000 sheets of paper can be used per university in a year and around £60,000 is invested on photocopying alone. So is there anything that can be done about this? Here are some easy ways for universities to save money by making a few minor changes to their paper use and printing.


  1. Controlling access to printing

Consider setting up user profiles on university computers. This is a sensible idea in case you want to save money. As each student and professor will need to log in individually, admins will be able to identify the culprits who are indeed printing too readily! Nowadays most of the management software utilised by universities also allows setting limits on the amount an individual can print. Making people aware that unlimited printing is not available will actually cut down on wastage since users will be reviewing their files carefully for errors before printing. Professors can keep an eye on students’ printing work by disabling printer access to certain classes or individuals.

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  1. Check print preview before printing

Perhaps you have already heard about the Print Preview tool, this is an effective but underused tool. It can show us exactly how our document will look like once it’s printed, so it very makes it easy to choose the parts you want printed, rather than the entire file in case you do not need it that way.

For instance, in case you’re about to print a resource content from an online site, it allows you to preview whether you will print blank pages with only the website address at the top or bottom of the paper sheet. It allows you to determine if you need to print in colour, or whether monochrome will be good enough.


  1. Reduce your font size

Reducing the actual font size you utilise for your printed documents is a simple technique to save money for your university. Obviously, the smaller the font size, the less ink and paper it will be consumed. Changing from a 12-point font to 10 will actually make an unexpected difference, while still being completely clear to read. Also worth considering the actual font size you utilise as a default. Certain fonts, because of their thickness, consume much more ink as well as paper than others. A survey found out that the most economical font is indeed Times New Roman, which produces forty four per cent more prints from each ink cartridge than the font Verdana. Century Gothic too came out well, utilising actually less ink than Times New Roman, but due to its wide letters it utilises much more paper, so in general Times New Roman is the most economical option.

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  1. Utilise an external printing service

An external online reprographics provider can indeed reduce the printing costs of your university, as most providers offer complete packages of a set rate per page, this usually includes the hire of printers, toner, as well as the associated labour costs. Being aware the real cost per page printed can aid your university to forecast, plan and budget more efficiently.

By using a printing service provider, you will be able to save on materials as well as labour. You won’t need to invest in complicated equipment or pay any maintenance costs. You can also take advantage of your service provider’s volume discounts. There is also your equipment: making it sufficiently efficient will entail a considerable investment. By leaving these aspects to an external service provider, your workers will be able to concentrate on tasks that help your business grow. Your service provider is equipped and has the knowledge to manage emergencies and breakdowns efficiently and quickly. In fact, service providers are prepared to deal with unexpected situations and can also handle last minute requests. In other words, you will be able to go through less headaches and you won’t need to think about these demanding tasks anymore.

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By implementing the above tips for your university, you will notice considerable savings on paper and ink, while educating the coming generation about saving the scarce resources of our planet.


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