Contributed by Essity

Since 2015, Essity and their partners, Foley Distributing and SecurShred, have enabled University of Vermont to close the loop for their office paper through the Closed Loop Recycling initiative and the Power of Three recycling program.

For University of Vermont, the program has helped divert over 15,000 cubic feet of office paper from traditional recycling. Instead, it is converted into new tissue products locally and comes back to be used on campus. So far this has avoided the burning of 75,000 gallons of oil, and cut 12,000 pounds of air pollutants from transportation and production.

University of Vermont has a national reputation as a leader in campus sustainability. Forty-two percent of students say that the university’s sustainability reputation influenced their decision to study there.

“Participating in the Power of Three program was a no-brainer,” says Caylin McCamp, education and outreach coordinator, UVM Office of Sustainability. “By collaborating with Essity, SecurShred and Foley Distributing, we can recycle our shredded office paper in a mill only two hours away from campus and buy back what we recycle as new tissue products.”

The Power of Three program covers the full loop of recycling of office paper from the customer’s facility. The approved shredder, SecurShred, collects office paper and shreds the material, ensuring secure destruction. The shredded paper is then transported to the local Essity paper mill in South Glens Falls, New York, where it is used to produce Green Seal-certified paper towels, toilet tissue and napkin products. To close the loop, Foley Distributing delivers the recycled products back to be used at the facility.

“The Closed Loop Program utilizes what is considered an end-of-life raw material and allows it to be used again for tissue products,” says Chris Loures, president of sales, Foley Distributing. “We’re very fortunate to have a partner in University of Vermont, an eco-conscious shredder in SecurShred, and a local producer of third-party certified tissue, towel and napkin products from Essity and the Tork brand, to make this program seamless.”

Brad Bingham, key account manager at Essity, believes that customers are more educated on sustainability today and they set ambitious targets. “That means you have to do more as a manufacturer and a distributor than just giving them products that are environmentally sound,” says Bingham. “You also need to provide them with solutions that enable them to reclaim a product so it can be reused. That’s what Essity and our Tork brand of professional hygiene products are doing with the Power of Three program and our distributor and recycling partners.”