Deborah Fleischer & Jennifer Armenta
Green Impact, February 2016

Two New Ways to Save Paper and Money!

During 2015, UCSF continued to lead the way in healthcare with many achievements to increase sustainability. One of these accomplishments was brokering a deal that made 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper cheaper than virgin and 30% PCW recycled paper. UCSF also signed up with DocuSign, an eSignature software program that saves thousands of sheets a year from being needlessly printed.  For 2016, read on for two easy ways to save money and save trees.

Go 100% on BearBuy

UCSF joined forces with UC Berkeley to negotiate an impressive procurement deal that gives BearBuy users the option to purchase 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled content paper at a new lower rate. The new 100% recycled copy paper is cheaper, more earth friendly and high quality, meeting the same demanding technical specifications as virgin paper.

Office Max, through BearBuy, allows all UCSF staff and faculty at both the campus and medical centers to purchase Georgia Pacific paper with 100% PCW content at no cost premium. In the future, 100% recycled paper will be the default for paper purchases. 

Before the 100% deal was negotiated, UCSF used an average of around 69 trees worth of virgin pulp a month.  Due to the change to 100% PCW paper, UCSF reduced this to three trees worth of virgin pulp;  this was due to Documents and Media needing some 30% PCW for heavy print jobs.

Purchasing paper with recycled content is an easy way to continue to make green changes in your life and at the office. Choosing recycled paper has a multitude of environmental benefits, including:

  • Saves trees, energy, water and landfill space compared to virgin paper—since the change was implemented, UCSF is saving an average of around 60 trees worth or virgin pulp a month;
  • Protects forests, watersheds and ecosystems;
  • Produces less pollution than virgin paper production;
  • Offers environmental savings many times over, since fibers can be recycled repeatedly;
  • Needs less bleaching than virgin papers, reducing the use of toxic chemicals;
  • Concentrates inks, chemicals and other potential hazards for responsible management, instead of releasing them into the environment; and
  • Incorporates full-cycle production costs, unlike virgin paper which includes no responsibility for its eventual disposal costs.

According to Conservatree, a site devoted to educating the public on environmental papers, capacity is not what’s holding back the recycled paper market - the problem is lack of demand. So the more you buy, the more these mills will have reason to increase production.

A New Way to Save Paper and Time

UCSF faculty and staff on both the campus can now use DocuSign, a cloud-based application that is fully integrated with MyAccess (coming soon to the Medical Centers).  The current process of printing a form, signing it, scanning it and then emailing it takes up too much administrative time and wastes a tremendous amount of paper. DocuSign is a legally-binding, easy-to-use eSignature application that saves paper, automates workflow and allows you to complete forms and sign documents securely. All UCSF users now have access to a DocuSign account through MyAccess.

DocuSign will significantly speed up any processes that require signatures and saves thousands of sheets a year on forms that get signed once and recycled. Users can sign from anywhere and on any device, and it not only captures signatures, but also allows signers to enter initials, full name, or email address, the date signed, attachments, or more general data fields designated by the sender. Several UCSF groups are already using DocuSign and more are currently converting their processes. Join DocuSign today!

Story by Green Impact.