A series of operational changes and improvements – and a lot of encouragement for people to change their behaviour – has resulted in Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) reducing its paper consumption by almost half over the past four years.

‘Sustainable RSM’ began tracking just how much paper was used in its printers and copiers in Mandeville (T) and Bayle (J) buildings in 2010. In the Operations section of the Sustainability at RSM web pages organised by the school-wide initiative, they documented paper usage as follows:

  • 2010 – 18,301 kg
  • 2011 – 16,211 kg
  • 2012 – 14,330 kg
  • 2013 – 12,565 kg
  • 2014 – 9,474 kg

The reduction in usage of paper is a result of a combination of installing multi-use printers with two-sided printing onto recycled paper as the default setting, and staff and faculty members at RSM choosing digital communications instead of printing.

Joey Johannsen is RSM’s Sustainability Co-ordinator. “The result of using less paper is a cost saving for RSM. A single tree accounts for 7,560 pieces of A4 paper. It takes approximately 324 litres of water to produce a kilogramme of paper, so this means we’re saving water, energy, and trees. along with reducing costs,” she said.

In Line with WWF Guidelines

"RSM has followed steps similar to the practical approach recommended by the World Wide Fund for Nature's (WWF) Guidelines for paper reduction," she added. Here are the WWF guidelines in short:

  • Think before you print
  • Use both sides of the sheet of paper
  • Avoid printing out single line e-mails or unnecessary copies of documents
  • Start with recycled paper products
  • Put used paper in the recycle office bin
  • Use digital filing with shared access for on-going communications


Sustainable RSM

Sustainable RSM is an initiative of RSM employees and students working on projects and activities that are focused on environmental and social sustainability. Its next major event is the third Annual RSM Sustainability Forum on Friday, 10 April 2015, which will feature leaders from business, academia and society, and will demonstrate how different types of innovation can pave the way to sustainable business. Speakers will explore the interface between innovation and sustainable business by showcasing best practices. Lively debate and discussion will be encouraged at the Forum.


Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is a top tier European business school and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan. www.rsm.nl

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at mschouten@rsm.nl.

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