SF to Purchase 100% Recycled Paper

(March 4, 2008)

California Green Cities announces effort to reduce environmental impacts from operations

San Francisco, CA--Making good on his pledge to make San Francisco the most sustainable city in America, Mayor Gavin Newsom today issued his second Executive Order of the year, directing City departments to only purchase 100% post-consumer content recycled paper. Nine of the largest cities and counties in California, including the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Berkeley, Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and Santa Monica, as well as the County of Marin, also have pledged to purchase only 100 percent post consumer recycled copy paper.

The environmental executives of these jurisdictions joined together to form Green Cities California (GCC) for the purpose of taking action cooperatively and collectively to accelerate local, regional, national and international efforts to achieve sustainability.

"It is imperative that cities and counties help develop the market for recycled paper," said Mayor Newsom. "Together we will send the message that we're committed to recycling, and to buying recycled products. It's disgraceful to purchase paper made from virgin tree fiber when there are alternatives available."

The Executive Order also called for City departments to reduce paper use by reducing paper purchases by an average of 15 percent of 2007 levels by the end of 2008. Additionally, the Order directed departments to purchase only green products that have been approved. The Department of the Environment maintains a list of "SF Approved" products that have been fully screened for their environmental benefits, cost, reduced toxicity, and performance.

Together, GCC members annually purchase half a billion sheets of office paper, at a cost exceeding $5 million dollars. By converting to 100 percent post consumer recycled paper, the ten cities and counties will see their governments save 8,600,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, 19,600,000 gallons of water, 11,500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, and 67,000 trees.

"Although we are recycling more and more paper, we need to do a better job of buying recycled paper," said Jared Blumenfeld, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. "Consumers are looking for ways to combat climate change and buying 100% recycled paper is a great way to start."

The members of Green Cities California will announce collective Eco-Actions each quarter that will be taken by member cities to reduce climate change and help enhance California's environment. GCC is funded in part by the Blackstone Ranch Institute.