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Lehigh University Transitioning to 100% Recycled Stationery

Lehigh University will begin using 100% recycled paper for letterhead, envelopes, and business cards starting January 2010.

Glenn Strause, director of printing and mailing services at Lehigh University, is watching excitedly as the last pallet of old stationery dwindles down to nothing. He’s beaming because, once the pallet is empty, he’ll never have to order it again for Lehigh University.

The current paper used for Lehigh stationery, which was selected years ago for its superior quality, look, and texture, is 100% virgin stock, meaning none of it is recycled.

“It truly met our needs when it was chosen.” Strause says. “It’s a beautiful paper, and at the time, recycled paper didn’t have the quality an institution like Lehigh needed.” According to printing and mailing staff, the quality of recycled paper has gone up significantly, and they saw this as a prime opportunity to support Lehigh’s Environmental Initiative.

Starting this January, all letterhead, envelopes, and business cards will be printed on a new, 100% recycled, high quality stock. Both the President’s office and University Communications have approved the new paper.

Additionally, customers should see no cost increase for the recycled paper and will not see any difference in quality. The cost stability comes because the old stationery had a cotton content, which makes paper extremely expensive. The new paper, though recycled, is not any more expensive because it does not have a cotton content.

Strause and his team at Printing and Mailing have stayed on the forefront of the green initiative; offering 100% recycled paper for printing and copying projects, using only SFI, FSC, and Green Seal Certified vendors, purchasing a more environmentally friendly mail truck, and playing an active role in the Environmental Opportunities and Choices group.

Additionally, departments that order copier and printer paper from Printing and Mailing Services can request 100% recycled paper. If no recycled content is specified, the default recycled content for copier and printer paper is 30%. Lehigh’s other preferred paper supplier, Office Depot, also offers 100% recycled paper with 30% being the default.

The addition of the new stationery to Printing and Mailing Services’ list of achievements is an important one, but as best said by Strause, “we’re just here to meet the needs of our customers. The requests were there. We just needed to make it happen.”