Office Paper Purchasing (2.2)

Credit Language

OP 14: Office Paper Purchasing – version 2.2

Frequently Asked Questions

How has this credit changed between STARS 2.1 to 2.2?

Minor edits have been made, including language clarifications and additional guidance under Measurement and Standard and Terms. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.

Do any paper certifications other than FSC count?

Consistent with the recommendations of the Environmental Paper Network (EPN), a world-wide network of over 140 civil society organizations working in the sustainable forestry space, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards are the only forest management standards currently recognized. To learn more, see the EPN’s Global Paper Vision and FAQ, which states:

“The FSC is the only forest management standard referred to in the Vision because it has attributes that set it apart from other standards. The FSC focuses on setting high standards of forest management, for example, the use of genetically modified organisms and conversion of natural forest to plantations are not permitted under the FSC system, and the FSC also seeks the identification and maintenance of high conservation value forests within the forest network. Furthermore, the FSC system encourages the participation of a diverse range of interest in the setting of forest management standards, and requires stakeholder consultation in certification processes, allowing stakeholders such as local communities, unions, indigenous peoples and environmental organisations a say in how forests are managed. Other forest certification schemes lack some or all of these attributes, and therefore were not included in the vision statement… Alternative forest certification systems that we do not recommend or support include PEFC, SFI, MTTC, CSA, CERTFOR, CERFLOR.”

Resources, Templates & Tools

Example Responses

  • McGill University – Great documentation to support exemplary performance. Attached purchasing guidelines reference strict use of 100% recycled paper.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst – Uploaded a detailed inventory of paper purchases, costs, and recycled content. Great documentation!
  • University of New Hampshire – A comprehensive inventory is uploaded that gives a breakdown of the certified products.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Score outlier: Earning full points or close to it indicates that a very high rate of paper purchases that are certified or have a high post-consumer recycle rate. High scores and exemplary performance should be affirmed in descriptive text.
  • Timeframe: Response under “A brief description of the time period” should confirm that the information provided is based on data from within the last three years.

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