GreenU Go Paperless

Go paperless and help the planet

By Kaitlyn Riopelle

Go paperless and help the planet

By Kaitlyn Riopelle

You might be thinking, “What does paper reduction have to do with everything going on in the world right now?” As viruses spread, wildfires rage, and hurricanes strengthen and multiply, it turns out that paper reduction has everything to do with the current state of affairs. In 2019, the University of Miami used around 1 million pounds of paper. But thanks to cloud-based measures and telecommuting, the University community has used much less since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The waste we generate, although it pales in comparison to the pollution caused by major corporations, contributes to climate change and natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes. We have been told that as long as we recycle, we can still live sustainably. What we often miss, however, is the most important part of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” campaign—reduction. Luckily, there are a number of initiatives at the University that are helping students, and faculty and staff members to do just that.

Get information at your fingertips.
Workday, the University’s information system, is at the heart of everything, from Human Resources to Finance—including payroll—to business analytics, and more. Workday brings together these processes on a secure cloud that is powered by renewable energy. Not only does Workday eliminate paper waste by bringing everything online, but it also takes sustainability to the next level. 

Create an in-classroom experience online.
During the pandemic, online course capabilities are more important than ever. Even before the need to conduct classes online, Blackboard has been changing the game when it comes to paper reduction. Its capabilities help faculty members create an effortless and organized teaching and learning experience, while cutting back on the need to distribute paper documents and physically grade papers or track student progress in grade books. 

Manage massive electronic data.
OnBase, a cloud-based system that helps reduce paper usage throughout the University, is  utilized by clinicians and staff members at the University of Miami Health System (UHealth) and  is at the heart of almost everything. It currently stores 36 million documents for the University, and 60 terabytes of data for UHealth. OnBase also allows for the systematic and scheduled destruction of data—a legally-necessary action to maintain the privacy of patients and research subjects.

Access cloud storage for everyone.
The University of Miami offers cloud-based storage options, including Box, Google Drive, and OneDrive. These services not only allow for safe and easy file sharing, editing, and collaboration on documents and projects, but they also eliminate the need to print and store paper. Review the available cloud storage options at the University of Miami.

Making changes to our habits can impact others, as demonstrated by this pandemic and how we have cared for one another. By continuing to look at how our behavior affects each other and the planet, we can make choices that reflect our values as a community and as individuals. Choices—like using less paper, purchasing recycled and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper products, and seeking and collaborating with companies that share our sustainability goals—allow us to continue to combat climate change through the smallest of actions, like not hitting that “print” button.  

Visit greenu.miami.edu to learn more about the University’s green initiatives and how you can live more sustainably. Send a note to lifeattheu@miami.edu to share how you and your team are working on your carbon footprint.
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Graduate School