Making Student ID Issuance More Sustainable and Cost Effective

If your higher education institution is putting more emphasis on “green initiatives,” then you know that almost every aspect of your campus is being put under the magnifying glass. While the effort may have started with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation when you built a new dorm or science complex, it’s likely expanded to include curriculum, dining services, landscape biodiversity, waste and many other areas.

In fact, there are 17 diverse categories measured in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS®) self-reporting framework used by many colleges and universities. Among the categories is Electronics Purchasing, because, as The Center for Digital Education noted in a brief, “… the decisions education leaders make in purchasing technology can also have a large environmental impact — and a significant impact on a school’s bottom line. Consciously green-engineered products reduce carbon output and lower power consumption. These factors combine to yield an overall lower cost of ownership.”[i]

While student laptops and copiers may come to mind when you think of campus technology, don’t forget the technology used to produce the thousands of student and staff ID cards issued each year.  If you’re using older printers and lamination systems, you undoubtedly have excess byproducts that aren’t recyclable and are using gratuitous amounts of energy.

Traditional card lamination uses two lamination cores and a carrier film, whereas newer wasteless lamination systems cut that waste by up to 40 percent for a lower cost per card. Traditional lamination solutions also consume a significant amount of energy to heat up and maintain optimal operating temperature. New eco-friendly ID card printers have intelligent temperature control, using less energy to heat up faster — which also eliminates down time to make your card office operation more productive.

Upgrading your card printer may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ways to expand your sustainability initiatives, but it could be an easy way to help the environment while also helping your department’s bottom line.

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