As an institution committed to improving health and the integration of sustainability, the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and the YSPH Sustainability Committee are dedicated to reducing paper consumption.
The pulp and paper industry is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases among U.S. manufacturing industries, based on data collected by the Green Press Initiative. The industry is therefore a major contributor to climate change and its devastating effects on human health and the environment. The current demand for, and waste of, paper is simply unsustainable. At YSPH, we believe that there is no better time to take action than the present.
As part of Celebrate Sustainability Week in October 2016, YSPH launched its first Paper Reduction Competition. Over a 6-month period, YSPH departments, including students and administration, vied for a $5000 sustainability prize for being the most effective paper-reducers. In partnership with the Office of Sustainability and ITS, current usage was compared to baseline data from 2015-2016. The prize was used to support an educational, research or administrative initiative to address climate change and health.
The School saw a 29 percent decrease in paper use overall during the contest period compared to the baseline period of the prior year. Purchases of paper went do 44 percent during that same period. The Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases was the prize winner with a 38 percent decrease in paper use.