School of Management leads Yale graduate schools in decreasing paper use

November 12, 2012
Successfully meeting the challenge set by its Sustainability Action Plan, the Yale School of Management (SOM) decreased its paper use by 19 percent—more than any other Yale graduate or professional school—between the 09-10 and 11-12 academic years. SOM accomplished its goal even as its population increased by six percent. Students, faculty, and staff collaborated on this effort, led by the SOM Student Sustainability Group, the SOM Student Government, and Acting Chief Administrative Officer Richard Bascom, co-recipient of the 2012 Yale Sustainability Achievement Award.

Student Sustainability Leadership team member Chris Magalhaes held an information session for faculty assistants on ways to reduce paper use. This included suggestions like not printing slides for students, and, when absolutely necessary, printing multiple slides per sheet of paper. The Student Sustainability Leadership team emailed SOM students advising them to print multiple pages per sheet of paper and to print double-sided. With help from the SOM Information Technology Group, the team ensured that default settings on the School of Management printers facilitated double-sided printing.

The team also helped promote the use of iPads for course readings and reduce the number of course packets printed per year. Years ago, the School of Management printed so many course packets that they had to use an entire classroom to store them. Gradually, SOM cut down on the number of course packets printed until the packets could be stored in a single storage pod in the school’s service lot. As of fall semester 2012, the number of printed course packets has decreased to three.

Other departments in the School of Management are working toward their own sustainability goals. The SOM Business Office has a long-term goal to become completely paperless and has increased its use of electronic billing, digital archiving, and double-sided printing. As a whole, SOM has set the standard high for commitment to sustainability at Yale.