Trees are the lifeblood of our ecosystems.
More than shade on a warm summer afternoon, they provide oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, yield food and give shelter. Naturally, when it comes to using them as a resource for paper, less is more.
Like most companies, Sprint uses a fair amount of paper. It plays a large role in business operations, from direct marketing and customer invoicing to information sharing and reporting. Of course, paper production relies on the natural resources of trees and water, and requires energy to get it done. Unchecked demand and mismanagement of these resources can affect the climate, biodiversity, and the health and well-being of communities we serve.
We hold ourselves responsible to preserve our resources through smart and sensible use and purchasing.
Optimizing how we purchase paper
We first take a look at our own paper use. It’s the most efficient way to reduce paper waste and help grow sustainable practices. The Sprint Paper Leadership Council, comprised of the key decision makers who buy paper for the company, has set three goals in our Paper & Print Procurement Policy
- Turn to the Forest Stewardship Council: By 2017, 100 percent of the printing paper Sprint purchases will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means the paper is confirmed to be from North American forests and supplied by U.S. companies. We achieved 90 percent in 2015.
- Use more recycled content: Total weight of the printing paper Sprint purchases annually will contain a minimum of 25 percent post-consumer waste (PCW) by year-end 2017. We achieved 19 percent in 2015.
- Reduce the overall use of paper: Our original goal, which we’ve already surpassed, was to reduce the total weight of printing paper purchased annually at least 40 percent by the end of 2017 (compared with a 2007 baseline). We achieved an 84 percent reduction in 2015, exceeding the 2017 reduction goal. This reduction saved Sprint nearly $30 million in 2015 alone.
In 2015, Sprint became the first company in the U.S. to send customer communications on
wheat straw paper
Helping our suppliers to become more sustainable
. The paper, made of wheat-straw byproduct, is not noticeably different to the naked eye than wood-derived paper. However, it offers a new, sustainable alternative and potential longer-term cost savings.
Sprint employees have encouraged print suppliers to become more sustainable by setting goals for them and providing support. These printers strive to meet goals for each Sprint project, ranging from increased recycling to reduced VOC levels (Volatile Organic Compounds). They also embrace company-wide goals, such as reporting greenhouse gas emissions and identifying hazardous air pollutants in the workplace.
It’s going to take the efforts of many to help preserve and protect our world’s resources and minimize the impacts of foresting. Sprint has come a long way as a company; and we strive do even more.