Suzie Johannes
KU Information Technology

Changing for Excellence initiative wins international sustainability award

Tue, 05/14/2013

LAWRENCE — The Changing for Excellence initiative to increase use of multifunction printers at the University of Kansas has been named a 2013 InfoWorld Green 15 Award Winner. International Data Group’s InfoWorld, an international technology publication, recognized the 15 most innovative information technology sustainable initiatives.

The international award winners were announced April 22 and include Fortune 100 companies, Cisco and Proctor & Gamble.

KU launched the Increase Multifunction Device Usage initiative in 2011 as part of the larger Changing for Excellence strategic plan, which is aimed at finding operational efficiencies. The collaborative project team included members of KU Information Technology, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and KU Purchasing. Through more centralized print management KU has reduced the number of printed pages by approximately 11 million―a stack of paper more than 3,600 feet high or approximately 1,900 miles long if laid end to end.

KU’s Chief Information Officer Bob Lim said the award is indicative of Changing for Excellence’s success.

“Our challenge was to increase the use of MFDs, not simply increase the number of MFDs,” Lim said. “The real win for the university is that we’ve saved paper and toner, which equates to $376,000 in cost avoidance or reallocation to date without adding a significant number of MFDs.”

Diane Goddard, KU vice provost for administration and finance, views the award as a well-deserved national spotlight on KU’s administrative transformation that is currently under way.

“This award shows that — through Changing for Excellence — we are doing more with the resources we have and that the results are commendable on a national level,” Goddard said.

The project team provided enhanced training to users and added new functionality. The team also created a consultation process for interested departments to order a multifunction device. This consultation process ensured that the device met the department’s needs. Additionally, students must log in to the multifunction devices to release documents they send to print. This has saved more than 300,000 pages that were typically sent to printers but never picked up.

The first fleet of multifunction devices arrived in 2010 to replace traditional copiers.

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