“Printing is out of control” it has been said, and certainly in many universities and colleges, this is true of staff printing. In many institutions there is to be found a plethora of individual use, low-capacity printers attached to individual computers about which the users exhibit strong proprietorial and territorial behaviour. Typically these printers do not print on both sides of the paper (Duplex) and may have high stand-by rates of power usage.
The way out of this state of affairs is, in theory, quite straightforward. Instead of the mixed economy of printing provision provide a much smaller number of energy efficient multi-function devices (MFDs), with Duplex enabled by default, and add in “pull printing” so that jobs are printed only when the user wlaks up to the device and requests the job using a PIN code or smart card. That’s the theory.
However, experience shows that this is not always that easy. There are always the special cases and a reluctance to relinquish cherished pieces of what are seen as personal equipment. People don’t necessarily want to have to get out of their chairs and walk across the office to a printer, or to walk down the corridor to another office. In many older buildings on our campuses it may be hard to find places where MFDs can be sensibly positioned.
In the Greening ICT programme, JISC has funded a project called “Printing Efficiently and Greener (PEG)” at the University of East London:
“The overall aim of PEG is to investigate how barriers to GreenICT can be overcome within a HEI, especially in terms of cross-departmental working and implementing staff behavioural change programmes. This will be achieved by looking at the specific issue of improving the efficiency of printing to deliver a long-term sustainable solution. Rather than just merely implementing changes at an operational level, this project aims to increase understanding of a consultative approach to behavioural change.”
To help insitutions to tackle these issues the JISC funded ICT Energy and Carbon Management project, being run by the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC), is running a workshop at East London University on may 27th 2010. This event is free to attend, but priority will be given to delegates from the London and Yorkshire & Humbershire region, where the EAUC is spearheading its work in helping institutions establish their carbon footprints and then reduce them.
Or UCCCfS – not the most cuddly acronym, but apparently better than some of the options discarded on the way. I’m just back from the north, and was in Edinburgh yesterday evening to be present at the official launch of this scheme.
So far 50 universities and colleges have signed up to the challenge of this scheme which requires them to develop and publish a five year action plan to address emissions from across the range of their activities. This includes energy use, waste reduction and responsible disposal, sustainable estate development, travel and responsible and procurement of goods and services.
This initiative is run by the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) Scotland. It is overseen by the gamut of higher and further education stakeholders across scotland – from the Scottish Government downwards. The initiative is backed up by a raft of professional development opportunities available through programmes that the EAUC run.
It is heartening to see 80% of institutions in Scotland signed up to the commitment, and good to have Stewart Stevenson MSP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Climate Change in the Scottish Government speak at the launch ceremony.
Also at the launch ceremony was Anthony Cortese, co-founder of the American Universities and Colleges Presidents’ Climate Commitment, on which the Scottish initiative is modeled to some degree. Tony spoke with passion about the need to act and the importance of engaging all levels of the campus community in developing the necessary plans.More details about the UCCCfS are at: http://www.eauc.org.uk/scotlands_principals_climate_commitment and on the American Universities and Colleges Presidents’ Climate Commitment at: http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/
In Birmingham today for the Cloud computing workshop run by the JISC funded project that is looking at the environmental and organisational implications of the Cloud for higher and further education.After a quick review of the evidence collected from the interviews have conducted, its down to discussing some of the issues being raised. Trust seems to be a real issue for many, with interest in sector tailored shared clouds being of interest to some people. There is some skepticism about the environmental benefits, with many seeing the carbon load being shifted rather than reduced.Trusted sources of advice mentioned were Gartner, JISC, Educause, with vendors being treated with some suspicion.#cloud #greenict #greeningict