Husband, Thomas

Advisor Department

Natural Resources Science




Sustainability; Green Energy; Publication; Campus; University

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


An Environmental and Economic Analysis of the Printing Practices of Periodicals and Publications by the University of Rhode Island and Similar Universities Nationwide

Matthew Cotton

Faculty Sponsor: Thomas Husband, Natural Resources Science

Being environmentally-friendly, or “Going Green”, is a relatively new way of thinking that provides both immediate and long term benefits for the environment and the planet while also creating new and exciting business and marketing opportunities. To tap into this movement requires a great deal of commitment, acceptance to change, and selflessness. It means altering one’s perception of the world and their place in it, along with the roles and responsibilities that all humans have to keep our planet as sustainable as possible, for as long as possible.

Like many colleges and universities nationwide, the University of Rhode Island produces many publications and periodicals on an annual basis including the URI Catalog, Student Handbook, Undergraduate Admissions Viewbook and brochures, QuadAngles, and inAdvance@uri. Each of these institutions has their own views and policies on sustainability which translate into how they produce and distribute their individual publications. I have conducted an analysis of how selected colleges and universities do just that. Through numerous interviews as well as campus visits, I have become well-versed in the practices of other colleges and universities in regards to their publications and their stances on sustainability. The interviews were conducted with personnel in each institution’s publications office, asking the same set of questions during each interview. The campus visits consisted of me posing as a prospective undergraduate student attending an admissions information session and tour of the campus in order to discover how specific schools market their sustainability directly to prospective students. I have done the same with the University of Rhode Island: closely examining URI’s methods of producing and distributing printed materials, as well as their overall campus sustainability, in order to find out how URI compares with other institutions nationwide.

My results will paint a picture of opportunity for the University of Rhode Island. As sustainability and the “Going Green” movement become increasingly important to society and in the minds of young, college-bound individuals, there are many ways for the University of Rhode Island to capitalize both environmentally and economically. I will demonstrate these opportunities in my project and show what URI has to do in order to cement itself as a leader in the sustainability movement.