Because we are a service-based business that depends on written communications, white paper represents a significant portion of CH2M’s materials consumption and waste generated. We have reduced consumption by eliminating excessive and unnecessary printed paper, standardizing to double-sided printing and printing-on-demand features. In 2016, we further expanded our on-demand, PIN-based print management system, which we began in 2014 in North America. We have rolled out PIN-based printing to 45 percent of our offices outside of the United States and Canada, and we increased the number of printers that default duplex to 96 percent. In addition to saving paper, the program has been economically valuable, saving equipment replacement costs and providing flexibility to grow and shrink as our geographies change.
We are seeing clients move away from hard copy reports and documents, with an increase in electronic submissions and online file sharing. Our paper reduction is supported by communications to raise employee awareness about decreased costs and waste minimization, because good management of resources makes good business sense.
United States and Canada
We began tracking our paper consumption in 2005. Now approximately 90 percent of our paper is purchased through a firmwide contract. The remaining 10 percent, obtained from a myriad of local suppliers, is not tracked for reporting.
We establish goals to decrease paper consumption while increasing recycled content. To date, we have saved 417 tonnes of paper since 2005. Our print management system enables PIN-based printing at 100 percent of capable printers, 99.9 percent of which are configured to print in duplex as a default setting.
In 2016, we set an ambitious goal to further reduce paper consumption by 36 tonnes. We surpassed that goal, achieving a 46-tonne reduction. Our recycled content purchases currently exceed 84 percent. We achieved this through paper standardization, communication and close monitoring of paper purchasing. The actual post-consumer recycled content ranges from 30 to 100 percent, depending on the paper. Our paper included 43 tonnes of recycled fiber and 134 tonnes of virgin fiber.
Our goals in Europe are to reduce paper consumption and monitor both actual absolute reductions and paper use per employee. We use technology to reduce paper use and maintain paper consumption at a level below the WRAP UK good practice guidance figure of seven reams of paper per person per year (3,500 sheets). Across the UK and mainland Europe, paper consumption decreased to less than 2,000 sheets per employee in 2016.