How low can you go? MPCA paper use drops more than 60 percentThe Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has reached a new low — in office paper use. During the last fiscal year, the agency used 4,526 reams of paper compared to 12,000 reams in Fiscal Year 2009.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has reached a new low — in office paper use. During the last fiscal year, the agency used 4,526 reams of paper compared to 12,000 reams in Fiscal Year 2009.
This is not simply the result of having fewer staff. Sheets of paper used per full-time employee dropped from 6,200 to 2,500 sheets. The average for office workers in the United States is about 10,000 sheets per year.
“The agency has made some large and small changes to reduce its use of paper,” MPCA waste reduction specialist Madalyn Cioci said.
The agency is increasingly managing official records electronically, and it recently shifted print newsletters to electronic publications. In addition, official letterhead is now stored electronically, allowing entirely digital correspondence. The MPCA also uses large, multifunctional printers/copiers which reduce unnecessary printing.
The agency sets printer defaults to print on both sides of the page and decreases document margins to fit more words on a sheet of paper.
Reducing paper use saves resources and provides cost savings. In Fiscal Year 2009, the agency spent approximately $42,000 on paper, compared to $15,800 last fiscal year.
There are also environmental benefits. Paper reduction saved 28 trees, prevented the equivalent of six cars’ carbon dioxide emissions, conserved the amount of energy used by four homes, reduced hazardous air pollutants, and prevented 22,554 pounds of solid waste. The paper the agency does use is primarily 100 percent recycled content, which is also environmentally beneficial.
Find more information about reducing paper use at www.reduce.org. You can calculate the environmental effects of paper use at www.papercalculator.org.