Beginning this fall, each time students, faculty and staff at D’Youville College use a collective 8,333 sheets of paper from printers and copy machines on campus, a new tree will be planted in an area of the world that needs to be reforested.
The college of about 3,000 students, working with Toshiba Business Solutions’ Buffalo office, has signed on to a software platform called PrintReleaf Exchange that will monitor paper use on campus. Once a threshold of 8,333 sheets of paper is reached, the program automatically will contact a global network of reforestation projects, which then will plant a new tree in a deforested part of the world.
Conservationists have estimated that 8,333 standard sheets of paper can be produced on average from a single tree.
The college’s Student Association will pick the part of the world where D’Youville’s trees will be planted, and the college will be able to monitor the survival and growth of the trees over an eight-year period. The college has been able to reduce paper use through limits on free copying for students and other initiatives, but some paper consumption is inevitable, said Robert P. Murphy, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. The cost of PrintReleaf Exchange is minimal, “so minimal that why would you not do this?” Murphy said.