The sustainability benefits of UB’s new student printing

A print kiosk in O'Brian Hall on North Campus.

Photo by Douglas Levere

Published September 14, 2020

By now you’ve probably seen the new, touch-free printing kiosks around campus. What you might not know is that, by eliminating cover sheets and using 100% tree-free paper, these kiosks dramatically reduce UB’s environmental footprint from printing.


The new UB Print Anywhere service (powered by Wepa) was introduced in August 2020, and provides more convenient, safer printing to UB students using their UB print quota

While the new student printing service makes the UB community safer during the COVID-19 crisis by reducing crowd density and eliminating high-contact surfaces, it is the result of a years-long collaboration with UB students to design a printing solution that reflects their needs and values.

UBIT met with UB’s chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World and other student groups regularly over the project’s implementation. Student advocates urged UBIT to eliminate wasteful cover sheets, use more sustainable materials and work to change the culture around excessive printing at UB. 

No more cover sheets

Previously, individual colorful cover sheets separated individual students’ printouts to ensure they didn’t get lost. While effective, these sheets accounted for nearly 2 million additional sheets printed each year.

The new UB Print Anywhere system offers on-demand printing—students can walk up, open the app and print their documents. Cover sheets are no longer needed, reducing waste with every printout.

100% tree-free paper

You wouldn’t know it from holding it in your hand, but the paper in UB’s new print kiosks isn’t made from trees. It’s made using waste sugar cane stalks, which would otherwise be burned—a double-win for the environment.

Changing the culture of printing

Not surprisingly, students cited assigned readings and essays as the greatest driver behind printing. They encouraged UBIT to work with instructors to provide new ways to share academic materials.

UBbox was introduced in 2016 to provide secure cloud storage to everyone at UB. Instructors can share documents from UBbox with students in UB Learns, and students can submit assignments electronically by sharing a UBbox link, in many cases eliminating the need for printing altogether.

Need help?

For help with printing, contact Wepa support at 1-800-675-7639, or visit

A better way to print

By reducing waste, using more sustainable consumables, and offering electronic alternatives to printing, UBIT is proud to provide a better, more sustainable printing solution at UB. UBIT wishes to thank the passionate students and other members of the UB community who demanded greater sustainability and helped make UB Print Anywhere a reality.

To learn more about sustainability at UB, visit

Students can learn more about UB Print Anywhere (powered by Wepa) at