The University of British Columbia estimates it will cut its paper waste by 26 per cent and save at least $8 million over the next six years with a new initiative for improved document management and print services across some of its departments.
The enterprise print services strategy, a $40-million, six-year project in partnership with Toronto-based Xerox Canada Inc., will focus on operating cost reduction, a continued commitment to sustainability, improvements to information management, and better customer service for delivery of large documents and equipment maintenance, said Pierre Ouillet, UBC’s vice-president of finance, resources and operations.
“Universities are about managing, delivering and producing information and knowledge,” said Ouillet.
With 19,000 employees on campus, UBC was already spending $18 million to 20 million a year on printing services, said Ouillet.
Phase 1 of the initiative, which started in January 2009 and is estimated to last about two years, will centre on printing management and establishing a platform for document management. Ouillet said that depending on contracts UBC has with equipment manufacturers, some devices (printers, faxes, copiers, etc.) will be immediately replaced with multifunction machines. Ouillet, himself, has three printers in his office including a colour, and a black and white. “That doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “Just moving from three to one, that’s the kind of immediate savings we are hoping to capture.”
The second and final phase will be digitization and document management. “We have so many documents on campus, whether it’s on the administration side like board documents, the legal operations team,” said Ouillet. “We have 400 buildings on campus, each of them has maps, plans, system information.”
Cost savings won’t be the sole benefit. The initiative is green, allowing UBC to cut its solid waste disposal, paper printouts, by an estimated minimum 26 per cent. Currently, the school disposes in excess of 150 million pages a year, said Ouillet.