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Paper Reduction Challenge

Cosand Center Paper Reduction Challenge

The Cosand Center Paper Reduction Challenge is part of the Green Business Challenge, a friendly competition between 60 businesses in the St. Louis region. The objective is to help companies improve the sustainability of their business operations, share best practices and work together to help St. Louis become a greener region.

Fifteen teams at the Cosand Center competed to try and lower their printing and copying paper usage by 10 percent during the two-month challenge in July and August. This reduction goal was measured against the team's baseline paper usage measured in May and June by copier/department.

There were some BIG surprises the last two weeks of the paper reduction challenge. The metrics were approximate, but the idea was to reduce the baseline usage from May and June during July and August.

The Cosand Center came in collectively at 27 percent reduction from the baseline. In two months, 16.5 cases of paper were saved which equals 825 pounds and 9.9 trees.

  • The Largest Reduction Prize goes to Purchasing department for using 74 percent less paper than during the baseline!  They saved three cases of paper over their baseline = 150 pounds = $123.60 = 1.8 trees. CONGRATULATIONS! They were awarded a free lunch for their team!
  • The Innovation Prize goes to Kris Dysert and Carl Brunatti (nominated by Ginny Schorle) for making the phone bill electronic and sent via e-mail to users saving the college three reams of paper = $12.36/month ($148.32/year) = .18 trees per month. Congratulations, they won breakfast for five.
  • The We Did It Prize was earned by 10 teams for reaching their original 10 percent goal.
  • Human Resources continued to be commended for their efforts using 23 percent less paper than their baseline. They began the challenge as the department using the most paper, their efforts saved us 180 pounds of paper = $148.32 = 2.16 trees.

Lessons

Everyone seemed to realize that we can use less paper in our work responsibilities. One colleague commented that when paper reduction is a directive and not optional, conservation happens. At the Achieving the Dream kickoff, it was pointed out “students don’t do optional.” Ultimately, we are not only doing right for the college (saving money), but paper is the largest landfill item (~60 percent). Landfills generate methane, which is a leading contributor to climate change. 

For more information, contact Peggy Moody.

Cosand Center Teams Baseline Usage Challenge Usage
TESS – 1st floor 1 case = 50 lbs. 1.1 cases
Downtown Education Center – 1st floor 2 cases = 100 lbs. 1.3 cases
Engineering and Design – 2nd floor 2 cases = 100 lbs. 1.1 cases
Human Resources and Risk Management – 2nd floor 15 cases + 6 reams  = 780 lbs. 12 cases
TESS – 3rd floor  3 cases + 6 reams  = 180 lbs. 3.5 cases
Accounts Payable and Foundation – 4th floor   3 cases + 1 ream  = 155 lbs. 1.3 cases
Controller, Payroll, General Accounts and Bursar – 4th floor  6 cases + 2 reams  = 310 lbs. 6.4 cases
Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance office, Student Accounts and Auxiliary Service – 4th floor  4 cases = 200 lbs. 2 cases
Purchasing – 4th floor   4 cases + 1 ream  = 205 lbs. 1.1 cases
Chancellor’s office – 5th floor  3 cases = 150 lbs. 2 cases
Community Relations, Enrollment Management and Institutional Research – 5th floor  3 cases = 150 lbs. 2.1 cases
CBIL – 6th floor  6 cases + 7 reams  = 335 lbs. 7.4 cases
Workforce and Community Development – 6th floor  5 cases + 3 reams  = 265 lbs. .2 case
Career and Technical Education – 6th floor  3 cases + 3 reams  = 165 lbs. 3 cases
Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs office Internal Auditing and Institutional Development – 6th floor 4 reams = 20 lbs. 2.3 cases
63.3 cases = baseline 46.80 cases = 27 percent reduction

1 case = 10 reams of paper
1 case = 50 pounds

100 pounds of paper (two cases) has the following environmental impact:

  • Wood - 150 pounds
  • Net energy used - 1 million BTU’s
  • Greenhouse gases - 257 pounds CO2
  • Wastewater - 933 gallons
  • Solid waste - 85 pounds