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TGS's Admission Office Goes Green

Modified: June 19, 2014

For years, Northwestern’s Graduate School Admission Office has delivered its admission decisions to accepted applicants via two methods, online and postal mail. In keeping with the University’s commitment to sustainability, The Admission Office has decided to eliminate the practice of printing and mailing letters and will be delivering admission decisions online only. This should eliminate approximately 2,300 admission packets, equating to nearly 91,000 pages of paper and 2,300 envelopes.

This amounts to saving 11 (40 feet tall and 6-8 inches in diameter) trees a year. But the environmental impact of choosing to go paperless doesn’t end there; manufacturing paper uses a significant amount of water, energy, and chemicals; greenhouse gases are emitted in the transport of paper to NU’s campus; printing admission materials (which includes a printed copy of Northwestern Magazine) uses electricity and ink; and the cost of postage and environmental footprint to send admission materials throughout the world is also an environmental burden. Lastly, by choosing not to print, this prevents the admissions packet from ending up in a landfill. “We know that going paperless is the right thing to do. The Graduate School is committed to lowering its carbon footprint and the Admission Office is proud to serve as a leader in this regard,” stated Director of Admission and Recruitment for the Graduate School, Beth Bogdewic.

Northwestern’s Office of Sustainability is excited to partner with groups like the Graduate School’s Admission Office in lowering their environmental footprint through reducing paper waste as well as saving other resources such as energy and water. “Paper reduction is a core element of the new Green Office Certification program; the Office of Sustainability website and sustainNU newsletter (published digitally, of course) are filled with tips and ideas on how to conserve,” stated Director of Sustainability, Rob Whittier. Staff and faculty are encouraged to use The Office of Sustainability’s resources to explore how they too can “go green!” 

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