Policy to Purchase 100% Recycled Paper

Puget Sound made an institutional policy decision to purchase all 100% recycled paper. 

The university purchases all 100% recycled paper for the following reasons:

  • Paper sustainability decision-making is one aspect of overall sustainability/cost decision-making.  Comprehensively Puget Sound makes sustainability decisions that also reduce expenses; e.g. energy, water and refuse reduction programs and measures.  Savings from other sustainability actions far exceed the extra expense of purchasing 100% recycled paper.  We use savings from other sustainability endeavors to fund the incremental additional cost of 100% recycled paper vs. virgin paper.
  • Virgin paper production adversely impacts forest, energy, water, and air resources.  These are major Pacific Northwest environmental concerns.  One ton (40 cases) of 100% postconsumer recycled paper saves the equivalent of 24 trees (forty feet in height and 6-8 inches in diameter), 7,000 gallons of water, 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity, and 60 pounds of air pollution.
  • Purchasing only virgin paper would be inconsistent with Puget Sound’s commitment to sustainability under the Talloires commitment and other sustainability representations.
  • We are the Puget Sound Loggers.  Our primary sustainability logo is “Loggers Live Green”.  Our waste reduction logo is “Loggers Cut Waste”.  Tree sustainability is among our highest Puget Sound sustainability priorities.
  • The Sustainability Advisory Committee partnered with Technology Services on a PrintGreen program to reduce campus-wide printing (and paper expense).  The program theme is “Future Steps to Sustainability.”  PrintGreen efforts will reduce paper use from library and printing lab printers as well as through course material distribution options, including putting course packs on Moodle, on-demand printing of course packs by The Bookstore, and posting weekly course materials on Moodle.  It is important to use recycled paper in the PrintGreen program, which is promoted as a sustainability endeavor.
  • A prior practice of allowing departments to choose between recycled and virgin paper was confusing.  Departments had difficulty assessing sustainability vs. the higher cost of recycled paper in their decision making.  They wanted to be sustainable but also were under pressure to minimize operating expenses.