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Sustainable Printing

Interesting Facts - Did you Know?

  • 1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333 sheets
  • 1 ream of paper (500 sheets) uses 6% of a tree
  • The average employee prints 6 wasted pages per day – 1,410 wasted pages per year at a general cost of $ 84 per employee
  • The average US worker prints 10,000 pages per year
  • The US is the largest market in the world for paper products, consuming over 100 million tons per year
  • Production of one ton of paper uses 11.134 kWh- the same amount of energy an average household uses in 10 months
  • Production of 1 ton of copy paper produces 19,075 gallons of waste water, 2278 pounds of solid waste and 5690 pounds of green house gases (an equivalent of 6 months of car exhaust)
  • It takes 3 tons of wood to produce 1 ton of copy paper

Sources: Greenprint, a software company devoted to Environmental Conservation

Sense and Sustainability

We at Drexel University have a unique responsibility to be good environmental stewards. As the print and paper industry is so resource-intensive, requiring large amounts of wood, energy and water, it is especially incumbent upon us to protect and preserve those resources for the future of our students, our business and generations to come.

To demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, more universities are choosing to meet the high standards set by non-profit environmental guardian groups and thereby earning these groups’ coveted product certifications. Environmental organizations allow their endorsements, in the form of logos, to appear on products that meet their criteria.

The following are a few initiatives that Printing and Mailing Services can help your department adopt when purchasing a printed piece. To assist the Drexel University community in making sustainable choices, the following are a list of the most commonly used terms in the printing industry.

Post Consumer Waste Fibre (PCW)

PCW is a material recovered after being used by the consumer, as opposed to waste from industrial processes.


Identify and use paper that has been manufactured by using electricity generated by using wind energy.


This is the nations leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy products. Green-e certifies that the wind generated electricity purchased by the paper mill meets strict environmental and consumer protection standards.


The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) works to conserve biological diversity and old growth forests. The FSC chain-of-custody tracks products from FSC certified forests all the way through to finished materials, thereby providing consumers with the confidence that the printed product is made following the most sustainable practices currently available.

Green Seal

An independent non-profit organization, dedicated to safeguarding the environment, and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase and use of environmentally responsible products and services.

Process Chlorine Free (PCF) papers

PCF papers contain post consumer recycled fiber that was processed without the use of any additional chlorine or chlorine compounds.

Carbon Neutral

Carbon Neutral is an emerging global trend. It can describe products, operations and activities which have had their carbon dioxide emissions: 1) calculated; 2) reduced where possible; 3) offset through credits that fund additive, emission-free energy projects such as wind farms and solar installations. By purchasing these credits, organizations can apply them to their own emissions, and reduce the net carbon impact. The end result is termed carbon neutral.

Example of a Seal of Approval

If a brochure is printed on “Mohawk Options” 100% PCW the following claim can be used:
This brochure is printed on Mohawk Options 100% PCW manufactured entirely with wind generated electricity and contains 100% post consumer recycled fiber. This paper is certified by Green Seal.

Sustainability is good citizenship and good business. By choosing some of the components when purchasing paper, you help the university deliver a message that demonstrates a respect for the environment. Together we can establish a competitive advantage, enhancing our public image, especially with environmentally aware consumers, and send a socially responsible message to our community, students, parents, business partners and to our next generation.

Source: Mohawk Fine Papers

To learn more about Drexel University’s sustainability efforts, go to the Drexel Green site.