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Library Switches to 100% Recycled Paper

100% post-consumer waste recycled paper

As part of American University’s continued commitment to sustainability, AU Library now uses 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper in all printers and copiers replacing the 30% PCW previously used. This change was instituted in March 2012, and was inspired by the Green Office program, sponsored by the Office of Sustainability. The new paper will maintain the high printing quality of 30% recycled paper while providing substantial environmental benefits.

More than 380,000 sheets of paper are used in the library each year for printing and copying. Based on the Environmental Defense Fund's Paper Calculator, switching from 30% to 100% PCW paper will:

  • Eliminate 51 tons of wood use per year
  • Reduce net energy by 144 million British Thermal Units (BTU’s) per year
  • Prevent the release of 35,724 pounds of greenhouse gasses per year

This change continues the library’s effort to reduce the environmental impacts of paper usage and builds on previous initiatives including default double-sided printing and encouraging scanning over copying.