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

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ASU offered Canon a 20-year deal.

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.

Check out our recent webinar on ASU’s Sustainable Digital University

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.

The university would need to strike a deal with a company willing to commit to a similar goal of sustainability and cost saving, even if it meant selling less machines.

ASU found that partner in Canon, offering them a rare 20-year deal.

Under the arrangement, ASU leases machines from Canon, instead of outright purchasing them. These machines can then be more easily switched out for newer, more efficient ones as they are created.

See page 2 for details on just how big an undertaking this was for ASU officials…


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