Microsoft Going Green with Recycled Paper

Microsoft has announced that, in alliance with locally owned and operated Grays Harbor Paper of Hoquiam, Wash., the technology company will switch to 100 percent post-consumer recycled printing paper in all its Puget Sound facilities, including its Redmond headquarters.

Beginning April 22, Grays Harbor Paper will begin supplying Microsoft with a complete rollout of the product line to follow in the ensuing months.

The move will replace Microsoft’s current printing stock, made with 30 percent recycled material, and the company anticipates the substitution will yield an annual savings of approximately 2,500 million BTUs in net energy, the equivalent of 750 million pounds of carbon dioxide, and will preserve roughly 8,000 trees each year.

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“Although we have always encouraged our employees to use paper resources efficiently and limit waste, this alliance enables us to conserve resources and reduce waste at a larger, corporate scale while at the same time allowing us to invest in our local economy,” said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist, Microsoft.

Grays Harbor Paper is a locally owned business that has become a regional leader in sustainably produced goods as a maker of high-quality paper products, says Microsoft.

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In addition to the 8,000 trees projected to be saved annually as a result of Microsoft’s contract, the paper company anticipates it will also reduce wastewater by as much as five Olympic-sized swimming pools and solid waste by eight garbage truckloads.

Harbor 100 paper, the type Microsoft will purchase, is also Green-e Certified; the energy used to manufacture the paper comes from wood waste sustainably gathered from the forest floor, and the paper is manufactured completely from recycled fibers of post-consumer wastepaper from the Northwest using a chlorine-free chemical process.

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“Not only will this alliance raise revenue and create jobs, but it will help drive awareness that the products a company uses on a day-to-day basis don’t have to be in conflict with overall sustainability goals, and that is among the greatest values for us in working with a company like Microsoft,” said Patrick Quigg, president of Grays Harbor Paper.

Microsoft’s investment in recycled paper follows similar investments by the company to enable its employees to make more sustainable choices while reducing the environmental impact of its operations.

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In addition to The Connector bus network for commuting employees and other efforts by the company to reduce travel, all dining facilities at the Redmond campus are certified by the Green Restaurant Association.

Each month, the company recycles an average of 208.78 tons of materials from the Puget Sound campus, reducing its landfill waste by more than 50 percent.

Photo courtesy: Microsoft

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