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Fewer and Better Purchases

Woodard & Curran has a longstanding history of making improvements in our business operations that both reduce environmental impacts and improve efficiency and processes. Beyond our efforts to assess and reduce the carbon emissions from our business operations (link to this story), we’ve been evaluating areas of our office supply purchasing since 2016.

Paper use and purchasing reflects changed habits

Since 2016, when we started analyzing our office paper purchasing, we’ve seen a marked decrease in the amount of paper used per employee. Habits have adjusted and more processes and deliverables have turned paperless, allowing for an 82 percent decrease in the total pounds of paper used per employee from 2016 to 2021 (from 92 to 16 lbs. per employee). The total quantities of office paper used have seen a similar shift, from a total of 56,000 lbs. in 2021 to 10,000 lbs. in 2021. We saw a notable increase in the overall recycled content of our paper from 2016 to 2019, as our standard convenience paper shifted to a higher recycled content. That percentage has decreased the past two years since the amount of convenience paper purchased has dramatically declined.

Bar chart showing reduction in paper use

Bar chart showing change in recycled paper use

Office purchases and communications adapt

Our ‘green’ spend on office supplies from our national vendor has ranged from 19 to 32 percent of our total office supply spend. And while the percent of ‘green’ spend has varied, the overall spend and volume of purchases has declined by 64 percent from 2019 to 2021. We are continuing to consolidate and review our office purchases and their impact on environmental sustainability.

Efforts to improve the sustainability of our office-level business operations are led by our Office Leaders and Facility teams, with the help of our dedicated Green Team community. In 2021, our Green Team continued to contribute to our annual Office Sustainability Program and shared communications to their colleagues via three environmental engagement campaigns. Our environmental advocacy messages have shifted towards the new, virtual work environments that began in 2020.

Looking forward

Over the next year, as part of our company’s forward-looking strategy to expand our sustainability solutions and commitments, we’ll be reevaluating our strategies and goals. This will include reviewing sustainable procurement practices, across our business operations and beyond.

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