University switches to recycled paper


Princeton NJ -- The University will begin using 100 percent recycled paper for all general office needs as of April 1.

The new policy was formulated by the Princeton Environmental Oversight Committee, established by President Tilghman in April 2002 to monitor the University's relationship with the environment and to identify and recommend ways to improve that relationship. The 14-member committee is made up of faculty, staff and students. This is the first new policy to come out of the committee's work.

The policy will affect paper used in copying machines, printers and fax machines. Currently about 48 percent of the paper used for those needs at the University is recycled paper. Official University stationery is not included in the policy, since it is a different weight and color than office paper.

"There is no reason for the University not to take the lead in this area," said Donald Weston, director of purchasing and a member of the committee. "Princeton will be one of the few private universities that will be taking the lead and converting to 100 percent post-consumer paper."

The recycled paper will be 40 cents per case more than the least expensive virgin paper currently in use.

To try out the new product, the committee ran a blind test during the summer of 2003 in more than 100 departments. One person in each department was given the task of substituting recycled paper for the department's current paper without telling anyone. Ninety-nine percent of the feedback the committee received reported that the paper performed well, Weston said. A few isolated complaints were brought to the attention of Boise Office Solutions, the University's vendor for paper and other supplies, which worked with those offices to address their concerns.

The recycled paper, available from Boise, is Aspen 100, part number P1054922.

The Princeton Environmental Oversight Committee has a number of other recommendations under review and expects to present them to the administration in the fall of 2004.


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