Collaboration to reduce external print

The Getting in Shape team and External Relations have been working with colleagues across the university on an initiative to reduce our carbon footprint from external printing.

The aim has been to:

  • understand external print requirements
  • learn about good practices and behaviours already in action across the university
  • promote a digital first principle, with the decision to print based on end user wants and needs and organisational priorities (determined through data and insight)
  • free up production resource to be reallocated to digital channels 
  • promote printed materials that adhere to University quality standards

What did we do?

We looked at our usage and the finances involved to establish current and historic levels of print, and spoke to colleagues within faculties and professional services. This activity has identified common themes, and highlighted some excellent work that is already underway to reduce our levels of print.

This work complements the appointment of our sole print partner, CDS, in August 2020. CDS was selected based on quality, value and sustainability priorities.

What was the outcome?

While behavioural change has without doubt been accelerated by lockdown, we have seen a reduction in print over recent years. In the last two years, university spend on print has reduced by 39%. Key drivers for these changes have been diversification in the way we communicate as well as a response to the needs and preferences of the user and a drive towards sustainability.

We continue to make steps to reducing our carbon footprint and reduce levels of print in favour of more sustainable alternatives. Examples of these include the decision not to produce a prospectus in 2020, and providing students with lecture notes and handbooks on Moodle.

What can you do to support?

Print will be retained where it adds value and is the best fit for our user needs. For example, to support physical open days once they can resume.

However, you can:

Posted on Wednesday 21st April 2021

Sustainability Team

Estate Office, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD