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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Dec. 12, 2008

Paper trail will be certifiably green

by Paula Van Brocklin

By the end of December, the white, 20-pound copy paper available to Iowa State units through Central Stores will have a new name, but its recycled content and quality remains unchanged. The difference? It's manufactured by Domtar paper company, meets State of Iowa and EPA guidelines of 30 percent post-consumer waste, is Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)-certified and is less expensive.

The university has contracted with Xerox the past 15 years for its white 20-pound ream paper. Xerox's contract expired in October, and the company did not bid on Iowa State's new contract. Domtar offered the lowest bid on the white, 30-percent post-consumer recycled and SFI-certified paper.

Printing and copy services employees tested about four skids (8,000 pounds) of the new paper, called Husky, to compare its quality to the previous paper. They were pleased with the results.

"The quality is the same," said Gary Boyd, printing and copy services manager. "We experienced no problems running this paper through our high-speed equipment. In fact, some operators thought it performed better."

The new paper also will help departmental budgets. Per ream, the Domtar paper will cost 20 cents less. That's a savings of about $2 a case.

White paper is "green"

The Domtar paper also will help central stores and printing and copy services in their joint effort to certify ISU with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). These are forest-management organizations that track "green" paper from the forest to the consumer. The new Domtar contract covers all of Iowa's regent institutions, but Iowa State is the only university seeking certification. Currently, approximately 84 percent of paper used in printing and copy services is either FSC- and/or SFI-certified.

Certification requires central stores and printing services to establish internal "chain-of-custody" procedures for storing and tracking the new paper. Once Iowa State passes the certification audit, projects produced at printing and copy services using this paper may display the logo on their printed pieces -- with approval from FSC and SFI -- indicating the paper is certified.

"We're trying to follow through with president Geoffroy's Live Green! initiative," said Norm Hill, director of central stores.

The goal is to complete the certification process by spring, Boyd said.

Live Green!

More information on Iowa State's "Live Green!" initiative is online.