Sprint Says ecoEnvelope Will Save $500,000, 447 Tons of Paper

by | Jun 14, 2012

Sprint Nextel says sending customers bills in “ecoEnvelopes” will save the company just under a half million dollars in operational costs, and the equivalent of 447 tons of paper, in about a year.

The initiative allows Sprint customers to receive and send payments using the same two-in-one reusable envelope, which the company says in just over a year will save 9,931,834 gallons of water while preventing 859,047 pounds of solid waste and 2,692,185 pounds of CO2e.

Sprint says it’s the first wireless carrier and one of a few select retailers to offer the ecoEnvelope to customers. Canada’s Vancity Visa, a division of the bank that issues credit cards, began using the reusable envelopes in 2009, according to ecoEnvelope. The envelope company was founded in 2002 by a former organic farmer and bee keeper.

Sprint says the shift to ecoEnvelope is part of its broader commitment to responsibly procure printing paper as reflected in its Paper & Print Procurement Policy, which was updated in late 2011.

In the policy, Sprint commits to four goals:

  • Increase purchase of certified paper to 90 percent by year-end 2012, 100 percent by year-end 2017.
  • Increase suppliers’ compliance with Sprint’s social and environmental criteria to 50 percent by year-end 2012, 90 percent by year-end 2017.
  • Increase recycled content in paper purchased to 10 percent by year-end 2012, 25 percent by year-end 2017.
  • Reduce total weight of paper purchased 30 percent by year-end 2012, 40 percent by year-end 2017.

Sprint updated the policy with support from environmental not-for-profit Canopy, which collaborates with large-scale forest product customers to promote sustainable supply chains.

Last year, Sprint was one of a host of Fortune 500 companies that said it would stop using the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s eco-label on branded paper products or company publications, following a report that alleged SFI “greenwashes” environmentally damaging products.

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