Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.06
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date April 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Columbia University
OP-14: Office Paper Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.64 / 1.00 Hugh Horowitz
Executive Director
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an institution-wide stated preference to purchase office paper that has recycled content and/or is certified to meet multi-criteria sustainability standards for paper?:

A copy of the paper purchasing policy, directive or guidelines:

The paper purchasing policy, directive or guidelines:

Sustainability Directive:

Storeroom Solutions is committed to supporting environmental initiatives that reduces impact on the environment. To this end, all purchasing personnel are directed to:

1. Identify and present to environmentally friendly materials which provide equivalent service and performance
2. Develop supply base that embraces “green” not only in their products but also in their operation and culture
3. Provide quarterly reporting on sustainability initiatives including actual dollars spend

A brief description of steps the institution has taken to ensure that the purchasing policy, directives, or guidelines are followed :

Through the Staple’s University Agreement, departments at Columbia are urged to purchase 30% Recycled Paper. To support this initiative, Staple’s has priced the recycled paper at the same price as the 100% Virgin Paper.

Purchasing receives a report from the University’s office supply vendor, which provides the majority of the photocopier paper utilized at Columbia. From this it can be determined what departments that continue to purchase non-recycled products. Overall, 40.2% of all purchases through Staples were recycled products over the last year. 68% of all contracted paper purchased was a minimum of 30% recycled content which is an improvement from only 35% of all paper in 2009.
Columbia encourages departments to modify their procurement practice relative to papers that are environmentally favorable by:
* On the Staple’s EWay for Columbia, the default paper option for purchase is 30% recycled paper.
* Purchasing contacts departments appearing on the Staple’s report to encourage them to use recycled paper.
* On the Staple’s page, within the Purchasing Guide, there is information on the front page highlighting the benefits of recycled paper.
*New employees are informed of the benefit and price advantage of purchasing recycled content paper during new employee orientation.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on office paper)?:

Expenditures on office paper with the following levels of post-consumer recycled, agricultural residue, and/or FSC certified content::
Expenditure Per Level
10-29 percent 0 US/Canadian $
30-49 percent 52,683.37 US/Canadian $
50-69 percent 0 US/Canadian $
70-89 percent (or FSC Mix label) 526,052.85 US/Canadian $
90-100 percent (or FSC Recycled label) 15,421.92 US/Canadian $

Total expenditures on office paper :
884,048.40 US/Canadian $

The website URL where information about the paper purchasing policy, directive, or guidelines is available:

The University has also implemented a Paper Reduction Pilot program with the Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Facilities and Operations, which directly impacts the amount of purchased paper. Paper purchased is the metric used to measure success, and the goal is to reduce this number by 10% for each group, respectively.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.