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Commitment to Sustainability

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to environmental stewardship through sustainable purchasing, designed to conserve natural resources and preserve the environment. Environmental stewardship initiatives include the purchase of recycled content products, environmentally preferable products and services, bio-based products, energy and water-efficient products, and products using renewable energy.

For more information on Penn's sustainability efforts and the University's Climate Action Plan, please visit the Green Campus Partnership.

Sustainable Printing and Paper

To help you make the most sustainable choices when choosing paper for your project, Penn has developed the Directed-Buy program. Through this program, Penn encourages its Preferred Providers to use Forest Steward Council Certified and recycled papers.

Forest Steward Council - FSC - Certification:

Penn requires FSC Certification of all preferred print vendors. FSC Certification is a Chain of Custody Certification, therefore printers must also be certified, not just paper.

FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC’s certification system provides internationally recognized standard-setting, trademark assurance and accreditation services to companies, organizations, and communities interested in responsible forestry.

The FSC label provides a credible link between responsible production and consumption of forest products, enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment as well as providing ongoing business value. To learn more about FSC please visit their website.

Recycled Paper:

There are environmentally preferred choices within each classification of paper that are FSC Certified and contain post-consumer recycled content.

The typical uncoated Glossary Link opaque Glossary Link stock contains anywhere from 10% to 30% post-consumer recycled content. There are 100% recycled uncoated stocks available, but they usually cost more. Coated stocks typically have lower percentages of recycled content than uncoated stocks – 10% is the norm. But there are some coated stocks that contain Glossary Link up to 30% recycled content – the highest of any coated sheet (gloss, dull, or matte finishes).

The design and function of a printed piece typically dictate paper selection, but to be sustainable you should choose the paper stock with the most recycled content possible.

Learn more about how Penn is working to make sustainable paper choices more affordable.