Microsoft Goes Grays Harbor 100 Green

“Although we have always encouraged our employees to use paper resources efficiently and limit waste, this alliance enables us to conserve resources and reduce waste at a larger, corporate scale while at the same time allowing us to invest in our local economy,” said Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist, Microsoft.

Grays Harbor Paper is a locally owned business that has become a regional leader in sustainably produced goods as a maker of high-quality paper products. In addition to the 8,000 trees projected to be saved annually as a result of Microsoft’s contract, the paper company anticipates it will also reduce wastewater by as much as five Olympic-sized swimming pools and solid waste by eight garbage truckloads. Harbor 100 paper, the type Microsoft will purchase, is also Green-e Certified; the energy used to manufacture the paper comes from wood waste sustainably gathered from the forest floor, and the paper is manufactured completely from recycled fibers of post-consumer wastepaper from the Northwest using a chlorine-free chemical process.

“Not only will this alliance raise revenue and create jobs, but it will help drive awareness that the products a company uses on a day-to-day basis don’t have to be in conflict with overall sustainability goals, and that is among the greatest values for us in working with a company like Microsoft,” said Patrick Quigg, president of Grays Harbor Paper.

Geoff Cottrell of the Microsoft Global Procurement Group drove the project with Staples Advantage, Grays Harbor Paper and Microsoft stakeholders to adopt 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper, which will expand from the company’s Puget Sound operations to all its U.S. facilities over approximately three months. Staples Advantage, the office supply solutions provider for Microsoft, will fulfill orders for Grays Harbor Paper starting with approximately 1,340 cartons a month to the Puget Sound facilities, which will expand by approximately 426 cartons per month when all of Microsoft’s U.S. operations are included. Grays Harbor Paper also produces Staples brand 100 percent post-consumer paper.

Microsoft’s investment in recycled paper follows similar investments by the company to enable its employees to make more sustainable choices while reducing the environmental impact of its operations. In addition to The Connector bus network for commuting employees and successful efforts by the company to reduce travel, all dining facilities at the Redmond campus are certified by the Green Restaurant Association. Each month, the company recycles an average of 208.78 tons of materials from the Puget Sound campus, reducing its landfill waste by more than 50 percent.

More information about Microsoft’s environmental efforts is available at http://www.microsoft.com/environment.

More information about Grays Harbor Paper is available at http://ghpaper.com.

More information about Staples environmental efforts is available at http://www.staplesadvantage.com/solutions/environmental-solutions-intro.html.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.