Earth Day: Going Green in the Office Just Got Easier

April 22, 2008
According to recent national survey commissioned by Smead, 77 percent of office workers said buying paper office products made from trees grown and harvested in a sustainable manner was important to them.

The Smead survey found that while environmental considerations do play a significant role in corporate purchasing decisions and many companies large and small are adopting green initiatives, the interest in green-at-the-office appears largely driven by the individual. Among those surveyed from large employers (500+ employees), 42 percent said their companies have green corporate guidelines and 69 percent said their companies switched brands to get greener products. Among those surveyed at small companies (under 500 employees), only 26 percent said their companies had green guidelines, yet 54 percent had switched brands to obtain greener products.

The survey also found that 66 percent of office workers agreed that they could be more green in the workplace, and 73 percent indicated that they planned to increase their purchases of green products in the coming year. Additionally, nearly 80 percent of those surveyed make a point to recycle paper at their workplace and 40 percent of respondents said they purchased an office product because it was made from recycled material.

To meet the growing consumer demand for green filing products, Smead, a leading supplier of office filing products and records management systems, has been certified as a member of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Certified Sourcing Program. The SFI program provides rigorous environmental standards and performance measures that integrate the protection of our environment with the perpetual, sustainable growing and harvesting of trees.

Smead is the only manufacturer of filing products to have received this certification, which guarantees that the paper used to make Smead products comes from forests that are grown and harvested in an environmentally sustainable manner.

“Our customers increasingly value environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Sharon Avent, Smead president and CEO. “We take great care to implement practices and procedures that are right for the environment and right for our customers.”

Smead's participation in the SFI program is a new component of its environmental stewardship initiative, which started in 1989 with the introduction of post-consumer waste into its paper products and has evolved over the past 20 years to include a line of 100 percent recycled products as well numerous internal initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle in every aspect of its business.

“Our work is not done,” commented Avent. “Smead will continue to lead our industry to ensure our practices and products meet and exceed not only the latest environmental guidelines but meet our customers’ desire to become greener in the office.”

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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