Moving to a greener tomorrow
Upcoming Events...
No events currently scheduled
Sustainability in the News
Source: Scientific American


Switch to More Sustainable Paper Products at Seattle Central College

In an attempt to be more fiscally, socially, and environmentally sustainable, all Seattle Central College (SCC) buildings recently switched from Georgia Pacific to American Paper Converting (APC) paper towels and toilet paper. Something many of us often take for granted, paper towels and toilet paper in the workplace have a large fiscal, social, and environmental impact. Below are some highlights of how switching to APC via Complete Office at SCC is a more sustainable means of sourcing paper towels and toilet paper.

1. Complete Office (SCC supplier of APC)
- Fiscally
+Established and headquartered in Seattle (SCC is keeping more money in the local Seattle economy)
- Socially
+ Works with Federal Way Public Schools and Spokane Public Schools with the
Employment and Transition Program (ETP), which is designed to assist students
with developmental disabilities toward the most independent lifestyle possible

+ Partnered with Elizabeth Gregory Home to help serve women who are recovering
from homelessness by providing transitional supportive housing and hospitality that
will help them move toward an enriched life within the Seattle community

+ Recognized by Seattle Business Monthly as one of Washington’s 100 Best
Companies to Work For

+ Highlighted in Puget Sound Business Journal as a Top Corporate Philanthropy
- Environmentally
+ Complete Office has their own “Sustainability Commitment"
+ Recognized by King County as Best Workplace for Recycling
+ Recognized by the City of Tukwila as a Business Recycler of the Year

2. American Paper Converting (APC)
- Fiscally
+ Headquartered in Woodland, WA (SCC is keeping more money in the Pacific Northwest regional economy)
+ Harvest and manufacture in the Pacific Northwest, supporting regional rural forestry communities
- Socially
+ Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) member
+ National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) member

- Environmentally
+ Harvest and manufacture in the Pacific Northwest
+ Supports healthy forests of the PNW
+ Reduces emissions associated with transportation of a very heavy commodity
+ “At APC we understand that there is only one Earth. We are completely committed to the longevity of our planet, so we started making environmentally responsible solutions for your everyday paper needs. “

1. Paper Towels and Toilet Paper
- Fiscally
+ APC paper towels are comparable in price to recently sourced Georgia Pacific products, yet reap many other benefits as outlined
+ SCC did not incur any equipment expenses associated with the switch
- Environmentally
+ Eco Green™ products now used at SCC are Green Seal certified
+ Towels and toilet paper are made from 100% recycled paper fiber
+ Minimum of 60-65% post-consumer waste (PCW) [meaning, it’s made from paper people recycle, closing the loop on consumer recycling]
+ Remaining 35-40% is post-industrial waste
+ Using recycled content reduces energy consumption during manufacturing by 85%
per unit of production when compared to a process with virgin materials
+ Reduces the harvest and use of virgin wood (3.5 tons of wood is needed to manufacture 1 ton of tissue)
+ Packaging is made from recycled material using environmentally safe dyes and inks
+ Manufacturing process is chorine free (PCF)
+ Designed to reduce paper towels used per person- thus waste
+ No-touch mechanical dispensers eliminate waste associated with disposable batteries (a select few units will have battery operated automatic feature)

Special thanks to the following individuals for making this project a reality:
• Bili Basha, Custodial and Ground Manager, Seattle Central College
• Craig Bush, Procurement Director, Seattle Colleges
• Gigi Parrott Jones, Sr. Account Manager, Complete Office

Students participate in Infrastructure and Energy Charrette

The Seattle Colleges serve all of metropolitan Seattle and its surrounding communities, and comprise the largest community college district in the state, educating nearly 55,000 students each year and employing over 2,500 people. The Colleges owns and operates over 2.5 million square feet of conditioned space. Annually, the district uses over 321,000 therms of natural gas ($272,940 in 2016), 24.5 million kWh of electricity ($2.4 million in 2016), 11,000 Mlbs. of steam ($287,000 in 2016), and 45,000 CCF of water ($795,000 in 2015), resulting in approximately 2,900 MTCO2e of greenhouse gases per year.

Historically, each campus (North, Central, and South) has taken individual courses of action to curtail energy use and cut greenhouse gas emissions. In an attempt to better utilize financial and social capital across the district, the District Office of Sustainability is leading an effort to conduct a district-wide review. Seattle Colleges has partnered with the energy service company (ESCO) McKinstry to identify and prioritize potential energy, water, and greenhouse gas reduction projects across all Seattle Colleges building stock, taking a holistic approach to resource conservation.

One very important aspect of this project and all sustainability-related projects at Seattle Colleges is ensuring this work is creating valuable student learning experiences- giving our students the opportunity to practice sustainability knowledge and skills on our campuses. On February 8th 2017, McKinstry facilitated a project c harrette at our Georgetown campus in order to maximize the student learning experiences related to this project and other sustainability-related projects in the future.

Preliminary charrette objectives included;
a. Identify opportunities to integrate this preliminary infrastructure and energy audit into student learning
b. Identify ways to engage faculty and staff in this preliminary infrastructure and energy audit
c. Better understand sustainability goals at each of our campuses and the district

18 students, faculty, and staff attended the charrette (10 students). Attendees formed groups to discuss;
• What is your vision for sustainability at Seattle Colleges?
• How do we enhance the student experience through sustainability at Seattle Colleges?
• How do we optimize the student experience through facilities and infrastructure?
• What is the 21st century education environment?
• How can the campus environment enhance student learning?
• How do we leverage the energy audit to realize our sustainability goals?

McKinstry is currently evaluating the results of the charrette in order to craft a project charter, which will help create a decision-making framework for infrastructure and energy projects across the district. The District Office of Sustainability is very excited to be working with McKinstry to maximize the student learning opportunities of this preliminary energy audit and future sustainability-related projects at Seattle Colleges. This project will not only reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, but it also serves as an example of how Seattle Colleges can involve students in critical college planning, like infrastructure and energy.