Case Study: Hull College Group Case Study

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Hull College Group, incorporating Hull College, Goole College and Harrogate College, provides higher learning facilities for 30,000 students. They approached United Carlton looking for a print solution which would support their policies of being environmentally friendly wherever possible.

Hull College Group’s facilities are amongst the best in the country and investment has enabled Hull College to move into new buildings, including the multimillion-pound-construction, Centre of Excellence. Constructed using sustainable building practices, the building demonstrates what can be achieved using modern methods and sustainable materials, including solar panels, ground source heat pumps and rain water collection.

Encouraging environmentally sustainable behaviour is central to Hull College Group’s policy and a Sustainability Committee is committed to employing best environmental practice. The Group was keen to reduce and recycle waste materials within the organisation, in addition to reducing the amount of print being produced.

Many departments still had desktop printers from different manufacturers and of varying age, meaning the management of replacement parts and repairs was becoming increasingly problematic. The age of the devices also meant that energy consumption was high.

United Carton undertook a print audit and found that it was possible to reduce print volume by as much as 50 per cent, through the introduction of new devices and print controls. All of Hull College’s printer fleet would be replaced with the latest technology, offering efficient print with reduced energy consumption.

A centralised reprographics department was created within the Group to enable the production of long-run print work such as course notes and newsletters. This allowed desktop printers to be replaced with Multifunctional Printers (MFPs) that offered the ability to print, copy and scan. The new devices took up less space and were more efficient than the devices they replaced, printing at faster speeds and lower cost. A specialist print management application, Pcounter, was installed to allow Hull College Group to measure print output, identify what was being printed to which device and therefore monitor their total print cost.

To further establish whether applying control measures would reduce print volumes, a trial was conducted within the Art and Design Faculty to charge students for excess printing. Print volumes within the department were measured for a period with no controls in place, and then for a further period with printing controlled using a system of print credits. Each student was pre-allocated a £15 print credit, against which print costs were charged according to a simple pricing structure that saw A4 mono pages charged at 5p and A4 colour pages at 20p. With a pre-allocated block of print credits students may still enjoy free printing but by placing a monetary value on print output, they have been persuaded to balance their print needs against
sustainability.

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“United Carlton didn’t just supply photocopiers; they helped us drive the project. With their help we cut print volumes and improved efficiency.” Hull College Group