Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.59
Liaison Maria Mendes
Submission Date Aug. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Red River College Polytechnic
IN-50: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Print Optimization Working Group

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In 2015, ITS, Ancillary Services, Sustainability and Xerox established the Print Optimization Working Group (POWG) which took on a new approach to managing printing at the college. For more than a year this collaborative, cross-departmental group met on a regular basis to identify the goals for a new print contract which were embedded into a Request for Proposal (RFP) document that was used to screen, interview and select a new print provider.

In 2016, RRC Polytech is entered into a new partnership with Xerox Canada for Managed Print Services (MPS) with the following goals of increasing productivity, achieving sustainability objectives, and improving the ability of users and budget managers to understand the costs and impacts of their printing.

Since 2016, some of the strategies POWG has employed to optimize the college’s print environment include:

The supply and service of devices through a single supplier led to a standardization of devices and improved services and support. Employees have benefitted from better device performance and reliability, proactively replaced consumables (e.g. printer toner), and faster resolution of problems that may occur.

After Xerox representatives completed an assessment of existing print/copy/scan/fax devices to ensure that printing services and devices met departmental needs, personal printers were removed and centralized Xerox devices were installed. Most users now shared multi-function devices or printers that are more capable and efficient.

To support the continued optimization, POWG is developing print optimization guidelines that provide the framework for an organization-wide strategic direction for all print output and equipment. Specifically, the objectives of the Print Guideline are to optimize office print infrastructure by: Reducing the number of devices and removing low efficiency, redundant equipment; Reducing single function desktop, personal printers and migrating users to digital, fully networked devices; Right-sizing devices for the needed purposes; Continually ensuring equipment and technology is up-to-date; Reducing the financial and environmental impacts of printing at the College; Establishing a transparent, standardized assessment process for device acquisition requests and regular fleet reviews; and Ensuring end user access to Secure Print technology to ensure the security of all printed information.

Online learning resources including tip sheets, user manuals and “how-to” videos are available to staff. There are also quick reference posters located at each device. Additionally, extensive training was held with Administrative Assistants to initiate the project and onsite training for groups of staff are available upon request.

PaperCut print management software Is installed on all College‑issued laptop or desktop computers which enables College computers to print on network printers. PaperCut monitors all print jobs and tracks the associated costs in order to allocate them to each department’s budget. Additionally, the PaperCut widget on all staff desktops tracks the cumulative costs of their printing and photocopying. PaperCut software allows us to track staff and student printing and photocopying as well as colour printing, double-sided printing, sheets of paper used, and even the environmental impacts of our printing. This has greatly enhanced our ability to communicate and engage with staff and students, allowing us to provide departments with detailed reports on their print history and personalized tips and tools.

In 2018, a two-year term position was created within the Sustainability Office to bring a focused and dedicated effort to campus paper reduction and plug load energy reduction. The Resource Reduction Specialist position worked closely with the Print Optimization Working Group, providing leadership and helping to carry out initiatives to reduce paper consumption on campus.

In 2018, print release was installed on all Xerox devices, requiring staff to log in at the printer in order to release a print job. This process was put in place for security reasons and also to help reduce paper consumption. An estimated 10% – 15% of all printed paper is never collected. In the first year alone, an estimated 188,103 sheets of paper were saved.


Academic Print Reduction: The Resource Reduction Specialist worked with Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) instructors to identify and remove barriers to print reduction. Through peer-to-peer support, digital technology adoption, and behaviour changes the team reduced their printed pages by 23% and their printing costs by 33%.

Administrative Print Reduction: In 2019, Financial Services printed the most of any department at the College. It is estimated that 350,000 documents were being added to storage on campus annually from this department alone to be kept for a minimum of seven years. With the support of POWG, Financial Services developed principles and processes to transition files to digital format for filing and in two years had reduced their annual printing by 93% and their annual estimated CO2e emissions from printing by roughly 6.8 tonnes.

Consistent and effective communication and engagement are pivotal to POWG’s work. Some examples of the way POWG has (and continues to) engage staff and students in print reduction and optimization efforts
- Regular communications through All Staff News and blogs with tips, progress reports and reminders. PaperCut balances are reset annually, providing an opportunity to remind staff about print optimization efforts.
- Visual presentations and displays help convey the message in interesting ways. For example, in a busy hallway at the Notre Dame Campus, a large RRC Printing by the Numbers display tracked our paper consumption progress year-over-year by term for staff and student printing and photocopying. It also demonstrated interesting facts visually (such as “Did you know that if you stacked up all the paper used for printing and photocopying by RRC staff and students in one year, the pile would be the 4th tallest tower in the world?”).
- Events: events such as a consultation event to learn about staff and students ideas and barriers to paper consumption (including a pallet with paper demonstrating a month’s worth of printing at the college!); a new year’s paper reduction resolution event with pledges written on recycled paper airplanes and hung up beside our paper display; and Pulp Non-Fiction – a display during Waste Reduction Week depicting fun facts about how pulp becomes paper, and what happens to your paper after you throw it in the recycling bin. POWG also attended the annual RED Forum – a PD day for all RRC Polytech Staff – with fun ways to engage staff around print optimization including handing out trees and a game challenging staff to guess their print balance (reminiscent of the Price is Right’s Cliffhangers game).

From 2017/18 to 2019/20 (pre-pandemic) staff printing at RRC Polytech decreased by 18%, reducing annual paper consumption by over 1,000,000 sheets of paper and estimated annual CO2e emissions by over 33 tonnes. With work shifting to remote and online during the pandemic, there has been a significant decrease in printing however the future of that reduction is uncertain as more operations return to campus. POWG is set to continue to work towards further optimizing the print environment at RRC Polytech as work and processes shift.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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