Using Recycled Paper

In keeping with its leadership in sustainability, Middlebury uses 100% recycled content, process chlorine free paper in all on-campus printers and copiers, as well as many outsourced publications.

Many campus publications, including the College Viewbook and Arts Calendar, are printed on 100% post consumer waste, process chlorine free (PCW-PCF) paper that is produced in a facility powered with renewable wind energy. Additionally Middlebury’s paper policy encourages paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a highly respected, rigorous assurance that sustainable practices used in the production of paper products.

For paper used in outsourced jobs that require web-fed printing (e.g. the Middlebury Magazine) which cannot currently be done on 100% PCW-PCF paper, the policy calls for the highest percentage recycled content suitable for the job. Currently this is 10%, but hopefully this will increase to 30% as the technology improves.

Impacts of paper

Industrialized nations consume as much 87% of the world’s printing and writing papers, even though with 20% of the world’s population. The increase in recycled content reduces consumption of trees, water, and electricity by 300%. Paper manufacturing is the 4th largest source of air pollutants that contribute to respiratory problems and it releases large quantities of pollutants that are harmful to aquatic life.

Creating the new policy

The paper policy was developed by the College’s Environmental Council in 2007. They worked with a wide range of campus groups to assess paper usage, research the availability, quality, and user experiences of 100% PCW-PCF papers, and conducted an extensive pilot program to test the performance of such paper. The Council’s recommendation to adopt the new policy was accepted by President Ron Liebowitz and put into effect shortly thereafter.