Most Office Depot orders will soon be delivered to campus box-free. Instead of being encased in corrugated cardboard and plastic packing materials, they will arrive at their destinations in brown paper shopping bags that have been shipped inside reusable green plastic bins called totes. This innovative program, only the second of its kind nationwide, will save 9.6 tons of cardboard and plastic annually.
The new program will begin June 23rd and will be kicked off with refreshments on June 21st from 11:00am-1:30pm on the Fieldhouse Mall, which is adjacent to the LaFortune Student Center. Office Depot staff will answer questions about the totes as well as eco-friendly products available through Office Depot.
“The Tote Program was one of the opportunities we identified early on as a great sustainability initiative,” said Rob Kelly, Director of Procurement Services. “This program is an extension of the great partnership the University has with Office Depot as our preferred source of office supplies.”
The thousands of cardboard boxes and plastic air pillows made unnecessary by the totes will reduce campus-related carbon dioxide emissions by 53 metric tons annually, the equivalent of 5,500 gallons of gasoline.
“We are excited that our mutual desire for sustainability has culminated in the first reusable tote program in the Midwest,” said Office Depot campus representative Scott Zintz. MIT is the only other university in the country that currently has a Tote Program for shipping office supplies.
The Tote Program is the result of an ongoing partnership between Procurement Services, the Office of Sustainability, and Office Depot. In 2009, Procurement Services and Office Depot negotiated lower pricing for Green Top 30% recycled content paper. Prior to 2009, only 9% of paper purchased on campus had recycled content, but now over 60% of paper on campus has recycled content.