Ohio State University – a major thorn in OfficeMax’s side

Written by Annie Sartor

Topics: Climate

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Students at Ohio State University in Columbus are in the midst of a major campaign to pressure the University to commit to a sustainable paper purchasing policy. As a part of this campaign, Free The Planet at OSU participated in RAN’s day of action against OfficeMax last week – and one of their demands was that OSU’s president Gordon Gee cut contracts with companies whose paper products are sourced from First Nation Territory – of course this would include OfficeMax – a major supplier to OSU’s huge campus.

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Right now Free The Planet’s campaign for a sustainable paper supply on campus at OSU is at a critical juncture and they need support to ensure that paper products coming from controversial sources such as Grassy Narrows will not be falsely considered “sustainable.” Take a minute and sign on to Free The Planet’s petition and support sustainable paper at one of the largest universities in the United States!

- Annie

To: OSU President, Gordon Gee

Dear President Gordon Gee,

If the Ohio State University truly aspires to be among the world’s truly great universities and you are among the most highly experienced university presidents in the nation, why then are you refusing to clean up your act and make OSU into an environmental leader? Free The Planet OSU has confirmed that The Ohio State University purchases forest products made from clear cuts in North America’s Boreal forest. They have further confirmed that The Ohio State University receives large amounts of paper products from the Grassy Narrows First Nation’s tradition territory via university contracts with OfficeMax. This despite that last January, the people of Grassy Narrows called for an end to clear-cut logging within the community’s traditional territory over concerns about the their health and welfare.

In addition to being home to the people of Grassy Narrows and hundreds of other indigenous communities, the Boreal Forest is one of our first lines of defense against global warming. It provides critical habitat for many species, including endangered caribou and half of North America’s songbirds as well.

To improve its environmental record, we the undersign support the call of Free The Plant! OSU for the university to Publicly state that The Ohio State University does not support logging in endangered forest areas, Dramatically increase the use of Post Consumer Waste recycled paper across the University, Ensure that all remaining virgin fiber is sourced from FSC-certified operations, Immediately cut contracts with companies that source from Endangered Forests, off-limit caribou range & First Nations Territory and finally Reduce overall Paper Use

As you may know, after two years of campaigning Free The Planet and allies at ForestEthics reached an important environmental agreement with OSU Board of Trustee’s member, Les Wexner and his company, Limited Brands. The Limited joined companies like Dell and Williams-Sonoma who have developed exemplary procurement policies and are actively implementing them in collaboration with suppliers and environmental groups. They are making a real difference for forests, the climate, and how forest products are used and produced. Now it is time for The Ohio State University to pave the way for institutions of higher education and join this growing trend toward social and environmental responsibility.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

2 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Patricia A. Marida says:

    Do it, president Gee!

  2. Karen Mears says:

    Take the long view President Gee! You have a responsibility to the campus community and all alumni of OSU who are working hard to be good stewards of the environment.

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