Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.45
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Oct. 17, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Green Mountain College
OP-14: Office Paper Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.57 / 1.00 Aaron Witham
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

Departments will endeavor to purchase a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content office paper. Paper should also be FSC-certified. Departments are encouraged to use digital communication whenever possible to reduce paper consumption on campus with the goal of reducing total cost of paper by 20% by 2020. All printers should be programmed to print double-sided. GOOS paper collection boxes should be available at all major printers, so that people can reuse paper.

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

The College adopted its first sustainable paper purchasing policy in the spring of 2007 based on a project researched by a public policy and environment course. The policy aimed to significantly increase the purchase of recycled paper and to reduce paper consumption at the College. The College has taken this policy seriously and purchased a significant amount of recycled paper since then, while reducing overall paper use as well. In 2014, the College streamlined its sustainable purchasing policies into one policy. The new policy maintains the same standard for purchasing: a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled office paper that is FSC certified. The new policy also puts a specific target on minimizing the purchase of paper by reducing costs 20% by 2020.

The College's communications office prints college materials using post-consumer, FSC-certified paper for all of its pieces including annual reports, periodicals, and admission materials. Since 2011, the communications office stopped printing the academic catalog with the exception of 100 copies for faculty; catalog distribution is now entirely online. In 2014, the College distributed the bi-annual institutional report (IR) electronically instead of printing it. The communications office also uses electronic "flipbook" software to share periodicals like the Bulletin and the AR online, without having to print as many copies; in fact, this effort has reduced printing from approximately 7,000 to 4,000 copies per year. The communications office has also worked with other offices, like sustainability, to help them transition their own periodicals into the flipbook software. For example, in 2013, the Green Guide become a flipbook.

All offices on campus use recycled paper as well. The largest purchasers include computer services, which use a minimum of 50% post-consumer recycled content paper and the academic departments which use a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content paper. Computer services has also switched to using soy-based toner in its printers, and all printers are programmed to print double-sided in the library.

To further reduce use, GOOS paper (Good-on-one-side) boxes have been installed by many of the major printers on campus serving as a first resort for mis-printings. The sustainability office waste diversion crew brings this GOOS paper to the Freepo where members of the community can pick up the paper for note-taking. Outdated stationary from Admissions is donated to the Office Freepo and used as invitations for sustainability events, for holiday letter-writing events, for letter-writing campaigns, and for thank you cards. Several other departments, as well as individuals, donate old notebooks to the Office Freepo as well, which further reduces the need to purchase paper.

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 7,123.98 US/Canadian $
50-69 percent 1,316.70 US/Canadian $
70-89 percent (or FSC Mix label) 0 US/Canadian $
90-100 percent (or FSC Recycled label) 0 US/Canadian $

Total expenditures on office paper :
8,440.68 US/Canadian $

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

The performance year is FY 2013. Tracy Harding in the library orders paper for computer services, which is used throughout the library, in the learning center, in the Withey computer lab, and for the Ames printer. Gerry Fitzgerald in the provost's office orders paper on behalf of Joanne Williams for the academic departments. Kevin Coburn in the communications office orders stationary for all departments. Expenditures on paper reported here include the two largest purchasers: computer services and academic departments.

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.