Students at Ohio State University are pressuring the university to commit to a sustainable purchasing policy. Led by the campus environmental group, “Free the Planet,” OSU students are calling on the university to sever agreements with companies who source paper products from indigenous conflict areas, dramatically increase the amount of post consumer content paper throughout the university, and reduce OSU’s overall paper usage.
Of particular concern is paper from OfficeMax, a major supplier to OSU’s campus. OfficeMax sources some of its paper from boreal forests of the Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario. For several years, Native American leaders have urged the Canadian government to cease clear-cuts in the region, claiming that the heavy logging violates hunting, trapping, and fishing rights guaranteed them by federal treaties.
Free the Planet is organizing protest rallies, petitions, and a sit-in at the office of the university president, and has secured a meeting with university officials to discuss their demands.
The push for a sustainable paper purchasing policy is also backed by the university’s Business Operations Environmentally Responsible Purchasing Task Force, which plans to formally present a recommendation to the university’s administration.