Paper Reduction

The Paper Reduction Program works to reduce paper consumption across the University of Washington. Guided by a multi-disciplinary committee composed of members from all three UW campuses, the program supports:

  • Reduction of paper consumption by 30% beginning July 1, 2010;
  • Transition to purchasing of 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper for copiers and printers;
  • Increase recycling of all paper products and 100% of all copy and print paper.

Why reduce?

It's the law! In 2009, the Washington State Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2287, directing all state agencies, including the University of Washington, to develop a paper conservation and recycling program; to purchase 100% recycled paper for office copiers and printers by December 31, 2009; and to reduce paper consumption by 30%.

It can save your department money! Switching to double-sided printing, investing in laptops and projects instead of note-taking and printing presentations on paper and generally reducing printing and copy volume will cut down on paper and toner costs and save money in the long run.

It's good for our environment! The University of Washington is a local, regional and national leader in sustainability with a dedicated investment in the environment. Our practices reflect our values as we celebrate our campus and community, and we invite you to celebrate with us by implementing more sustainable practices into your work.

UW's Paper Reduction is a Transforming Administration Program project.

Become a Paper Reduction Pro

Paper Reduction Pros is a program that gives recognition to those who make significant and conscious efforts to considerably reduce the amount of paper they use, as well as people who educate their peers in paper reduction. Learn more and take the pledge today!

The Green Office Certification program has several resources and tips for paper conservation

For more ideas, use these programs and resources to help reduce your paper consumption:

  • University of Washington Managed Print Services LogoManaged Print Services
    a sustainable service offered by an external supplier, Ricoh, to improve the way we copy and print documents, resulting in a reduction of paper consumption and can save departments up to 25% over current costs.
  • Utilize Green Office resources for paper conservation
    • Create a migration plan to replace printers without duplex capability at the end of the current contract
    • Utilize computer programs or online websites (such as Google Docs, OneNote, Wiki, or others) to share notes and workspaces
    • Track your printing
    • Print duplex (double-sided)
    • Use network printing to reduce personal desktop printers
    • Turn expired stationary or unneeded one-sided documents (non-confidential) into scratch paper or notepads
  • Centralized Fax Service
    enables individuals or groups to send and receive faxes without maintaining a physical fax machine. Rather than having faxes print out, faxes are sent or received using email or by accessing a simple-to-use web page.
  • Reduce Junk & Misaddressed Mail 
    a service offered by Mailing Services for departments experiencing a lot of unwanted mail from former staff members that would like to reduce and eliminate a lot of that waste.
  • Follow UW Scanning Requirements
  • Paper recycling infographic
    a downloadable poster with details on the ins and outs of paper recycling at UW

See the latest data on our paper consumption on the Information Portal "Workplace" page.

Claudia Christiansen(Co-Project Leader), Procurement Services
Katy Folk-Way(Co-Project Leader), Creative Communications
Claudia Frere-Anderson (Project Manager), Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability
Ann Anderson, Financial Management
Ruth Johnston, UW Sustainability
Nancy Grey, School of Nursing
Suzanne Zitzer, College of the Environment Dean's Office
John Carroll, Facilities
Toren Elste, UW Sustainability
Regi Hampton, Capital Planning & Development
Dawn Lake, Procurement Services
Nana Lowell, Office of Educational Assessment
Tamara Puckett, Evans School of Public Policy
Rebecca Chen, Procurement Services
Howard Chizeck, Faculty, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering
David Wright, Procurement Services
Tony Guerrero, UW Bothell
Elena Johns, Arts & Sciences, Music
Jennifer Raines, Arts & Sciences, Physics
Jan Rutledge, UW Tacoma
Bethany Staelens, UWEO / UW Tower
TBD, UW Recycling