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Friday, May 08, 2009

World's First Paperless University

Anaheim University's commitment to becoming paperless in 2010 will make the nationally accredited online education pioneer the world's first paperless university.

Anaheim University is an accredited online institution of higher learning headquartered in Anaheim, Calif.

According to Anaheim University spokesman David Bracey, "We hope to set an example for our Online Green MBA and Sustainable Management Diploma and Certificate students to follow so that they can have a similar impact on the environment at their places of work. It is not our goal to be the first paperless university. It is our goal to be one of many paperless universities and we hope by setting an example, many universities around the world will join us in becoming sustainable and socially responsible institutions that put people and planet before profit. Many of our processes are already digital, and we are now working with the publishers to convert all of our textbooks into e-books so that our entire curriculum can be downloaded and stored on the Sony Electronic Book Reader or the Amazon Kindle."

There is a clear need for paperless offices and paperless campuses, as the paper industry is one of the world's major polluting industries and one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases with over 900 million trees cut annually. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, paper is the number one material thrown away, making up 40% of our waste system. Studies indicate over 45% of office paper that is discarded was thrown out on the day it was printed, and that of the paper filed, over 80% is never referenced again.

Although we have heard that the "paperless" office is just around the corner, paper consumption has tripled during the past decade. The United States uses nearly 3.7 million tons of copy paper (more than 700 billion sheets) per year. According to a Xerox survey, the average U.S. office worker prints 10,000 to 12,000 sheets annually.

Other environmental commitments by Anaheim University include President William Hartley's signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in February. Universities who have joined this commitment include Cornell University, Duke University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and University of Pennsylvania. By signing the document, Anaheim University promised to within two years, set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral, Anaheim University says.

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