Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District’s Environmental Action Plan Starts by Wasting Less Paper

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District hopes learning can happen with less wasted paper.

An environmental sustainability action plan, approved by the board in September, lists the development of a policy to reduce paper use as a goal. The school district enlisted the help of a Konica Minolta representative last spring to conduct an investigation of the schools’ printing systems, and administrators were briefed on the results at the November works council meeting. .

The school district will purchase larger multifunction printers that scan, photocopy and print, according to Mark Walsh, SD68 secretary-treasurer.

He said many of the district’s printers were coming to their “useful end” and a staff report noted that across the district there were 382 single-function printers, which are less energy efficient and less economical due to the costs of ink and maintenance. Reducing to 278 printers and replacing current multifunction copiers with more efficient models would reduce the district’s monthly energy consumption by 371 kilowatt hours, which would come with lower monthly energy costs and reduced carbon emissions, according to the report.

Walsh said the district will install software to limit instances of “ghost printing” when staff members don’t actually retrieve their print jobs from the printer.

“That means individuals will have to stand up and they will have to type in their number or the print job will never be released,” he said.

On average, 1.5 million black-and-white pages and 44,000 color pages are printed each month in schools across the district, the report said. The software is estimated to reduce black and white pages printed by 21% and color pages by 47%.

Trustee Tom Rokeby, a former teacher at John Barsby High School, expressed concern that the transition away from paper highlights a “digital divide” in the district.

“I noticed as a teacher…when we moved from paper to online report cards, we lost a lot of families and it’s not easy for a family to navigate a new system,” he said. -he declares. “It’s not always easy for them to ask for help. I often had families coming to parent-teacher interviews who hadn’t seen the report card yet and it was uncomfortable for them, so hopefully we can make sure that still doesn’t happen.

Walsh said the district will not completely remove old printers.

“Where these single-use clothes [printers] are needed, like say there’s a disabled person who doesn’t have that mobility or [where it is] very difficult to access the printing machines available, we will of course adapt to that and so this number that we are talking about … may well be a little higher than what we propose, ”he said.

There will be consultations to address concerns and opportunities for the district to receive feedback, the report notes.
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