Michigan State University Partners with Boise Inc. to Address Recycling Concerns

Submitted by: Joan MacKenzie 08/12/2011

Summary

Michigan State University (MSU) literally brings recycling its paper full-circle in a collaborative venture with Boise and its distributor OfficeMax.   

Background

Michigan State University (MSU) in Lansing, Mich., is one of the top research universities in the world, and it occupies one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation. 

The Case Study

The MSU Surplus Store, in partnership with Boise and distributor OfficeMax embarked on a reclaimed paper initiative.

Environmental stewardship is firmly established on the 5,200 acre campus, where the Office of Campus Sustainability was created to help MSU reduce greenhouse gases and electrical energy by 15 percent and landfill waste by 30 percent, by the year 2015. Paper purchasing and recycling are two key metrics used to measure progress, and while recycling initiatives have been in place since 1991, MSU had concerns about the final destination of the paper it was recycling. In 2010, the University partnered with Boise to address its concerns.

Linking MSU with distributor OfficeMax and an internal recycling program, Boise re-pulped and processed MSU's paper waste, having the outcome and finished product sold to MSU. The result is a cost-saving, sustainable initiative within a closed loop system.

Environmental and Comercial Customer Benefits

 -MSU receives a higher price for its recovered paper;

 -MSU shifts more purchasing to U.S. manufacturing facilities;

 -Helps MSU achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals.