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Purchasing Office Paper

Deforestation is one of the leading drivers of biodiversity loss, flooding, and drought worldwide, and we wish to fight this trend by purchasing office paper as sustainably as is possible.

We at UMass Lowell are reducing the amount of printing through the UPrint program. Since 2011, there has been over a 40% reduction in printing due to this program.

We are simultaneously increasing the percentage of the office paper we buy that has:

What This Means

Post-consumer recycled content and agricultural residue content both reduce the number of trees cut down to create paper.

  • Post-consumer recycled content comes from paper products that have been broken down and then reformed into paper. As this New York Times article explains, paper can be recycled 4-7 times before it is un-recyclable. This is because the cellulose fibers in the paper shorten each time they are recycled.
  • Agricultural residue content comes from the parts of cultivated plants that are not sold commercially. Incorporating these into paper similarly reduces the number of trees cut down to make paper.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified content in paper indicates that the trees cut down were done so in a sustainable fashion. The Forest Stewardship Council uses 10 principles and criteria to ensure that the trees were sourced in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable fashion.

However, this is only part of the battle when it comes to sustainable paper use! Please help us to:

  1. reduce the amount of paper used here at UMass Lowell,
  2. reuse paper when you can, and
  3. recycle the paper that you do use, to make sure our impact on the world’s forests is as sustainable as possible.