UCSF Sustainability Stories

Gene Kahn, UCSF Documents, Media & Mail

Opinion Piece: UCSF Departments Can and Should be Working Together to Further Sustainability Goals


There are some very obvious money saving advantages to UCSF team work: no tax on internal transfers, operational excellence, economies of scale, shared legacy systems, shared expenses, shared resources and a reduction in our environmental foot print. And especially when inside services are equal or superior to outside vendors, it’s just common sense to keep UC dollars from leaving UCSF.

Six years ago, Capital Programs and Documents, Media & Mail consulted to consider the above and determined to give working together a try. As illustrated by the following print LiveGreen milestones, the results speak for themselves:

2006 Focus on Quality Control
• Intensive front-end quality control has stopped wasteful printing. All incoming projects are reviewed to ensure that every supplied document matches the index. By itself this one very basic quality control check has stopped tens of thousands of pages from printing in error.
• By ending these print errors, there’s been additional green savings in lowered reprinting, packaging and mailing costs.

2007 UCSF Plans & Specs Internal Website
http://ucsfplans.com is both intuitive and user friendly. This site has powered a substantial improvement in project specific communications between bidders, contracts, project managers and builders exchanges.

2008 On-line Ordering
• Plans & Specs can now be ordered at http://ucsfplans.com.
• Outside architects, engineers and contractors can receive secure access to place internal printing orders for their specific projects. This curbs wasteful printing and possible reimbursable abuse.

2009 Conversion to Recycled Paper
• All 8-1/2”x11” bond paper for specification books is now 100 percent PCW (Post Consumer Waste). Roll paper stock for half & full size plans (blueprints) are 30 percent PCW. 
• Eco Audit Saved: 5,455 trees, 2,327,280 gallons of water, 257,462 pounds of solid waste.

2010 Paperless Document Distribution along with Digital Archiving
• Space Management now has secure on-line access to the current contracts bid sets (saving time and money previously spent on after project document scanning).
• Bidders now have option to purchase the digital version of plans and specs, saving them re-scanning costs. Feedback indicates very high satisfaction for this service. Builders Exchanges have also been very satisfied with Capital Programs paperless implementation.
• And most importantly, paper consumption has been reduced by greater than 50 percent.

2011 Materials and Service
• Although the cost of paper products has substantially increased, thoughtful reduction in consumption, along with sensible staffing and shrewd equipment purchases has limited this impact.

•    Print Management is now available to size the right multi-function printer (includes copier, scanner, and fax) for your department and eliminate expensive desk printers while providing recycled content paper,reusable toner cartridges, and repairs all for one price. This saves dsepartments money on toner cartridges and ensures recycled content paper supplies.

So YES, working together has been a very good thing!

Date:  March, 2012