Limerick County Council and the University of Limerick
The overall objective of this project is to reduce the amount of paper consumed within each of these organisations by at least 20% by the end of December 2008.
How? Well by raising awareness of paper consumption overall, particularly in terms of inappropriate use as well as investigating more IT based solutions for information transfer within the Council and the University.
Whatís been done? Firstly we had to collect the procurement data for paper so we would have a baseline or starting point to measure our reduction from. The period chosen for UL is the academic year 2005/6 and for Limerick County Council itís the financial year 2006.
The figures for paper consumption in both organisations for this period were high at:
- 25 Million Sheets of A4 paper in University of Limerick
- 3.1 Million Sheets of A4 paper in Limerick County Council
As part of this initiative we are funding a Masters Research Post at the University of Limerick and the student undertaking this work has calculated an ecological footprint for the purchase, consumption and disposal of this paper within each of these organisations:
- The ecological footprint for University of Limerick is 125 global hectares
- The ecological footprint for Limerick County Council is 5.56 global hectares
Waste audits conducted in both organisations found a heavy reliance on single sided printing and apparently little value placed on paper as a commodity or resource with an environmental impact. Each organisation has now implemented a programme to reduce paper consumption and both are well on the way to achieving the 20% reduction in paper with Limerick County Council reporting a 13% reduction in paper purchased during 2007 and UL consuming 7% less during the same period.
A significant development since commencing this initiative was a decision made by the Deanís Council at UL to request all students submitting final year projects and theses in 2008 to do so double-sided. UL are the first University to implement such a decision in Ireland and ultimately this could save up to 8 million sheets of A4 paper a year!
Ė Click on this document to find out more about Ecological Footprinting.
You can also play a part think before you print Ė do I really need a paper copy of this? Is yes, remember to duplex print to reduce the overall number of sheets you use.