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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.76
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
OP-14: Office Paper Purchasing

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.47 / 1.00 Mark Ellis
Sustainability Project Facilitator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an institution-wide stated preference to purchase office paper that has recycled content and/or is certified to meet multi-criteria sustainability standards for paper?:

A copy of the paper purchasing policy, directive or guidelines:

The paper purchasing policy, directive or guidelines:

GW's Office of Sustainability and Procurement Department have partnered to implement a sustainable paper procurement program which stipulates that all office print & copy paper procured by GW employees through "iBuy", GW's internal online purchasing system for most of the university's major purchase categories, must contain at least 30% recycled fiber content.

A brief description of steps the institution has taken to ensure that the purchasing policy, directives, or guidelines are followed :

GW's Office of Sustainability and Procurement Department have partnered to implement a sustainable paper procurement initiative. Beginning in 2013, virgin (0% recycled content) paper was removed from "iBuy", GW’s online system for ordering the university’s most commonly purchased products. Instead, users have the choice between paper comprised of 30%, 50% and 100% recycled fiber content. When GW personnel log in to its iBuy purchasing system, only those office and copy paper products with 30% or greater recycled content are available for purchase. The vast majority of all paper purchased at GW is made via iBuy from Staples Inc.

To help offices choose which paper is best for them, a balanced scorecard tool for paper purchasing has been created that provides users with additional information on environmental and social characteristics of paper processing so that the purchase decision can be made on sustainability attributes in addition to traditionally used price and quality dimensions. The scorecard evaluates paper products by economic, environmental and social factors, such as meeting fair labor standards.

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (expenditures on office paper)?:

Expenditures on office paper with the following levels of post-consumer recycled, agricultural residue, and/or FSC certified content::
Expenditure Per Level
10-29 percent 0 US/Canadian $
30-49 percent 108,053.10 US/Canadian $
50-69 percent 2,978.54 US/Canadian $
70-89 percent (or FSC Mix label) 0 US/Canadian $
90-100 percent (or FSC Recycled label) 35,389.60 US/Canadian $

Total expenditures on office paper :
270,308.20 US/Canadian $

The website URL where information about the paper purchasing policy, directive, or guidelines is available:

This initiative directly impacts goals and targets set forth in The George Washington Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy, which was released November 2012. This Strategy calls for the university to source products that reduce the impact on biodiversity, climate and water. As a large urban university, GW purchases a significant volume of products to support its faculty, staff and student community. Sourcing raw material inputs, processing and manufacturing paper and transporting it to GW impacts natural, human and economic capital on a global scale. In addition to the sustainable paper procurement initiative, eco-friendly procurement strategies are targeted for electronics and water by 2015.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.