When Cantec Ireland responded to a tender from one of the world’s ‘greenest’ universities, MD Greg Tuohy never anticipated how much he would learn.
Sustainability is an area where actions very much speak louder than words and one institution talking the talk and walking the walk is University College Cork in Ireland. Considered to be one of the most sustainable universities in the world, they view the entirety of the university through an impact perspective and have scrutinised every element of campus activity to create ‘green’ policies that are both realistic, ambitious and – most importantly – widely actionable.
About The Project
When we refer to sustainability, we refer to those social, environmental and economic principles which allow us to create and live in a society which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs; that lead us towards a thriving, equitable and ecological healthy world for all.
UCC'S Sustainability Goals
- To engage our student body, staff and wider community in becoming active citizens for sustainability
- To minimise the local, regional and global environmental impacts of our educational, research, operations and infrastructural development
- To promote and engage in the sustainable use and management of the landscape and natural resources of the University, in all its campus areas, with respect to ecosystem services, natural and cultural heritage
- To be an overall positive force in the journey towards creating a sustainable world for all
UCC needed greater control over their devices and how much they were outputting in order to be more efficient in their print workflow. This had to be achieved through maximum sustainability in every possible aspect. After completing a print audit, Cantac proposed a fleet of remanufactured Canon EQ80 machines, combining this with a three-phase plan to audit and remove the existing machines, install the new streamlined, secured, and networked fleet, and implement a Managed Print Solution with a student pay-for-print facility.
- The installation of a 300+ strong mixed fleet of managed Canon EQ80 remanufactured machines under a minimum five-year contract.
- A reduction in energy consumption and significantly lower cost of print for UCC, based on pay for click only.
- A place for Cantec on UCC’s sustainable print steering group.
A Greener Future
For UCC, such devices, installed in the kind of quantities required by an institution of such a size, represented an immediate sustainability win, both in terms of the circular economy and reduced environmental impact in manufacturing. Particularly when you consider that the machines would be installed with a new print management system that naturally creates efficiency and consolidates consumables. The subsequent creation of a sustainable print policy took this one step further and embedded even deeper cultural change around the use of print at UCC. But what happens to the hundreds of existing machines? “There was a plan,” explains Greg. “Any machine over four years old could be taken home by staff members, machines under four years and any available cartridges were to be donated to charity. And really old and battered machines would be recycled.”
Working with the ‘green’ requirements of his alma mater has been a truly eye-opening experience for Greg, and he freely admits that it has changed the way he lives – and the way he runs Cantec. A family business, founded in 1994, Greg took over the running of Cantec from his father in 2011 and has already quadrupled its size. He now has his sights set on sustainability. Cantec has formed an environmental team within the company to change their internal policies and are in the process of changing all their vehicles to electric, with a target of 100% electric by 2023. They also offer discounted office space to fledgling local companies and work with the community on returning to work schemes. It all forms part of a bigger picture, the ability to offer a balance of products and services that sit comfortably with their current and future aspirations as a responsible corporate citizen. And in bringing new, more sustainable options to the table it’s been possible for Cantec and UCC, to teach each other a more sustainable way of operating.
“Every day is a learning day,” says Greg. “But the biggest influence on me has been the Energy & Utilities Manager at UCC. I was semi-environmentally conscious until I met him, and he’s basically changed my life as a businessperson. He’s so prepared to come up with practical solutions and talk to people who are on the journey. People just like me.”