SUNY Potsdam has taken the “Design Can Change Pledge” to reduce its impact on the environment.
Design Can Change is an initiative aimed at uniting the world’s graphic designers to use their influence and purchasing power to combat climate change.
With the pledge, SUNY Potsdam will endeavor to engage in the topic of sustainability and seek to understand the issues surrounding it, make a sustainable mindset second nature, put knowledge to use in its daily work, share information and build awareness about sustainability and spark change through collective strength.
While taking the Design Can Change Pledge is new, SUNY Potsdam has made a concerted effort to design environmentally responsible products for some time. Whenever possible, the campus uses a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) printer that uses low-VOC (volatile organic compound) inks. With FSC certification, stringent guidelines are followed from the trees’ cutting to the finished paper product.
“This is one of the best chain-of-custody processes you can have for printing,” said SUNY Potsdam Director of Publications Jessica Rood. “We always use this process for our alumni magazine, ‘Potsdam People,’ and do our best to incorporate it into as many other projects as we can.”
Other papers featuring post consumer waste content are also used in campus publications and recycled papers are offered at SUNY Potsdam Central Printing Services.
“We are continually looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Using sustainable papers is a start, but we are also looking at ways to coordinate projects. This way we're not producing thousands of flyers, but rather one comprehensive piece that serves the purpose better for design and better for the environment. We like to make connections among offices and departments on campus to see where their projects overlap so we can be more efficient when it comes to their communications.”
Design Can Change was developed by smashLAB, a design firm based in Vancouver, BC. More than 1,800 designers have taken the pledge.