Arizona State University, Canon work to create a more sustainable university

ASU’s partnership with Canon began in 2006.

Seven years into a system-wide sustainability initiative, Arizona State University is on track to become completely carbon neutral by the year 2025. And it’s not just the campus environment that’s being saved — the university has reduced costs by $2 million a year.

The project, called Sustainable Digital University, is a partnership with Canon, the imaging and electronics company. Through the arrangement, the university uses discounted Canon technology to reduce both costs and the number of printing and copying devices on campus.

For example, a Canon multi-function device can copy, fax, print and scan, potentially replacing four different machines. Canon also plans on introducing digital replacements for traditional print methods.

The partnership first began taking shape in 2005 when the university realized it was time to update its printers, scanners, copy and fax machines.

“We needed $1.5 million to replace the fleet,” said Robert Lane, director of Digital Document Services at ASU. “We told the university what how much we needed, and they, of course, said ‘no way.’”

Lane was then tasked with finding a way to not only update the fleet, but also find a way to save money and energy. The solution would be to build what administrators call a sustainable digital university.

See Page 2 for how the project has affected the university so far. 

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