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Printing Control (Option 2)

1. Action: Printing Control System (Option 2)

1.1. What


We have broken our Printing Control System action plan into two parts:

The first part, IES keeps the printers full of paper and a software program keeps track of how much free paper each student gets and when they pass their allowance. This program involves finding, installing, and maintaining a software program to run on the IES network. The second option is more of a comparison for this first option, as we feel the second option would not work very successfully, and thus more of a reason to implement the software program. We have developed this to evaluate if there is another printing control method besides one that involves a software program.

For the second option, The IES students would buy all of their paper from the secretary at the front desk. This eliminates the need for the technology aspect of the other plan and the potential difficulties and complications involved with finding and maintainging this program. IES would not have to install a software program to keep track of each students allowance. How the "Printing Control (Option 2)" would work would be that IES buys a certain amount of paper that the secretary keeps behind the desk. When a student wants to print, they can purchase how ever much paper they want. They can have X amount of free paper to start from the secretary, but once they pass that X amount, they will have to start paying per sheet of paper that they buy. The secretary will keep the paper behind her desk and will have a clipboard with a spreadsheet of each students name on the front of the reception. When a student goes to pick up paper, the secretary will give it to them and then the student fills out themselves their name and how many pages and signature. At the end of the day, the secretary enters this information in the computer and updates it. The reason why we would have IES be the middle man for buying paper is because it eliminates the stess and tension that could potenially come from students having to constantly make the effort to go out, find a store, buy, and carry around their own paper. It also eliminates the amount of paper that students would waste if they all had to go buy their own big packs of paper that only come in bulk. Also, with this program, students will still have a certain amount of complimentary paper that IES will provide for them. This will not only drastically reduce the amount of printing and wasted paper, it will cut major printing costs for IES and force students to think sustainably.

1.1.1. SWOT Analysis


Strengths: Will reduce the amount of paper used and wasted at IES because students will have to start paying everytime they want paper, past their alotted amount. Also, since going to the secretary takes a certain amount of effort, some lazy students may choose not to print something they don't absolutely have to. This will also encourage people to start thinking more sustainbly in general. Students will also use the backside of paper for printing and scrap paper more often because of the restraint of free paper. The main difference between this program and the other printing control program is that this one eliminates the time, money, and effort involved in finding and implementing the right technology that goes along with the software plan.

Weaknessess: Students may complain that IES should be providing them with as much free paper as they need. Also, issues may develop if each student has to go to the printer and insert their own paper each time before printing. This could cause a hold up if a lot of people are trying to print, or potential breakage or issues with the printers from students who may not know how to work the printers properly or at all. There is a large chance that the time spent fixing the printer from it contantly being opened and closed by different students will be greatly increased. These printers will have a much shorter life expectancy, and the costs of investing in a new printer will be significant, and probably more often. Also, it may be time consuming, difficult, and tedious for the secretary to have to keep track of how much paper each student buys so IES knows when to start charging the students. It may also be difficult for him/her to count of the sheets of paper each time for the students

Opportunities: Research can be done to see the effect that this has on printing, this information can be shared with other IES programs. There is potential to implement this in other IES programs and schools.

Threats: Students may complain about the additional effort and money required in this new printing system. They may complain that loading and opperating the printers is too much additional work.

1.1.2. Feedback loops

The underlining goal of this action is to reduce the amount of paper used by students at IES Barcelona. In order to reduce the amount used, the desire to print needs to decrease. By forcing students to take responsibility for there paper, they will have less of a desire to print, as it will cost them money every time they do so. Therefore, this is a reinforcing loop, that, when implemented will target a decrease in the disire to print, thus a decrease in the overall amount printed.

1.1.3. Advertising

This printing control system will be explained during IES orientation. They will be told that they can purchase printing paper from the secretaries desk. There should be signs at the computers that reminds students where they can buy paper, but no further advertising is needed because this is not hard to rememeber and the students will constantly be thinking about buying paper everytime they need to print.

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

It forces students to use less paper and ink than they are using now, because before there were no limitations.

  • Change in Attitude - students now have to think conservatively when they printing.
  • Reducing dependency on paper - creates less of a need to print certain things
  • Ecological/Water footprints - Saving paper saves ecosystems and water
  • Long term effects - Will allow students to become less dependent on paper, and more concious when printing
  • Free Software - No need to use a software program with this plan
  • Eco-effectiveness (vs. Eco-efficiency) - This is improving the eco-efficiency of IES Barcelona, because it allows for students to use less resources, and produce less wastes.


1.2.1. Potential Benefits

Students will be forced to think more consevatively in term of consumption, when it comes to other things too besides printing. Sustainable behavior could potentially be another benfit of this Printing Control System because it reinforces the idea not to waste, as well as more cautious wasteful behavior. Students may remember to reuse a water bottle more often than just once, or turn off the lights when they are leaving the room, because this printing pan could potentially get students more into this mindset. The printing budget for IES will also drastically be reduced by this program because what ever they put forth to spend on paper, will be partly recovered when the students have to start buying the paper. IES will only have the costs of ink cartriges now and however much free paper they decide to provide to each student.

1.2.2. Potential Costs

The potential costs would come out of the students pocket because they now need to buy their own paper when they pass their alloted free amount. While paper is not very expensive, it is still one more thing that frugal abroad students will not be happy about spending money on everytime they want to print. Also, there is a potential that repair costs could become high since these printers will be fidgeted with so much. The useful life of the printers could also potentially be decreased because of the over use of constantly having students reload paper and try to fix jams and other issues on their own that could lead to worse problems. IES must consider the potential costs of having to depreciate their printers at a faster rate, and therefore replace them much sooner.

Also, one of the main costs of this program may be the opportunity cost of the secretary and what that person will not be able to accomplish in a day when a lot of their time will now be allocated towards entering students paper logs and monitoring this program. This is why, even though the software program might involve a more significant fixed cost, that it will be worth it in the end because this technology will be taking the place of the secretary.

1.3. How

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

This design will produce a limited amount of waste compared to previous semesters. The reason why the secretary at IES should be the middle man for buying printing paper is because usually printing paper only comes in bulk. If each student had to go to the store on their own and buy their own paper, then if they only needed to print 10 pages, they would probably end up wasting huge quantities of paper. The first semester of implimenting this new system could potentially involve some trial and error to figure out where the supply and demand meet, or how many students will be printing and buying paper. The good news is, if IES purchases too much paper and it does not get used, they can easily save this paper and just it for next semester and buy less after that. WIth the secretary acting as the middle man, this system is extremely effective and sutainable. Hardly any paper will be wasted and paper costs will be cut dramatically for IES.

1.3.2. Incentives

Students will not be given a choice if they want to participate in this system or not, so there is no further incentive needed. The cash aspect of this program will cause students to cut way back on printing because students studying abroad are usually very frugal and would try to resist this additional cost as much as they can.

1.3.3. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

Simply the idea that this promotes a more sustainable way to reduce paper use. Other than that, once the program is set up, the sustainability club may want to take action if it is in need of change, based on the results.

1.3.4. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

IES will take matters into their own hands because further student involvement will not be necessary unless the program is unsuccessful and needs to be revamped.

1.3.5. Who will do what

Once this program is implemented, the secretary will be responsible for buying and keeping stalked printer paper. He/she will act as the middle man where students come to them to buy paper. There is not really any need for student involvement once the program is implemented.

1.3.6. Comparison to similar actions form previous semesters

The big idea that seperates this from work in previous semesters is cash incentives. It gives students financial responsibility to control how much they print. And that, above all, will make reduce the amount they print. This plan differs from the allowance printing plan because it requires no new technology or software programs to work. It does however, require more hands on with the printers and student having to pay for all of their paper.

1.3.7. Document format

All documentation is open and free source software (FLOSS), all of which is located here on tiki website.


We chose CC-BY for the copyrights of our action plan because we want this plan to be able to be revamped and reused so that in future years it can be taylored and adjusted to work more smoothly. This copyright means that whoever chooses to reuse or edit our work must give the authors credit. This method enforced sustainability, as instead of just loosing this plan and starting a completely new one, changes can be made to make the plan fit better.

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

1) Secretary buys paper and keeps it behind the desk.
2) Students who need to print go ask the secretary for paper then sign their name and how many pages they took out.
3) At the end of the day the secretary enters this information into th computer to update how many of pages each student is at.

1.5. Students involved in this action

This action was plan B alternative to the action: Printing Control System, carried out by Pauline Eichler and Philip Sellstrom. The proposal to have this plan B alternative was given to us by our professor Xavier de Pedro.

Licencia de Creative Commons
Printing Control System - Sustainability by Philip Sellstrom and Pauline Eichler is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-CompartirIgual 3.0 Unported License.
Creado a partir de la obra en iesbarcelona.org.





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Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:15:36