Total Macy’s, Inc. Solar Electricity Production on 04/19/2018

14,030 YTD

11,504 YTD

$1,551,672 YTD

25,533,839 YTD

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Stepping Up to Sustainability: How MMG Cut Paper Usage by 15 Percent

POSTED UNDER Recycling & Waste Reduction

You probably know that effective resource management, including reducing the amount of paper we use, is a significant part of Macy’s sustainability goals. Macy’s Merchandising Group (MMG) is taking a tremendous step forward in sustainability, cutting paper usage 15 percent in 2016 through an innovative pilot program – with an eventual goal of 25 percent. How did they do it? Read on.

MMG Senior Project Manager Peggy Blake says “MMG is a paper-heavy group, with many large reports printed on a daily basis. We decided the biggest way for us to have an immediate impact on sustainability was to reduce paper consumption – which is great, because it’s sustainable, but it also generates financial savings.”

Blake says the idea was introduced near the end of 2015, with a goal of reducing paper usage by 25 percent. The first step was to identify how to measure paper use and paper reduction, and to put those measurements in place.

Senior leadership support has played a significant part in the program’s success, collaborating on goal-setting and providing ideas and tips for reducing paper usage. Frequent communication helps everyone keep the goals top-of-mind, and the New York City Go Green ERG has provided support as well. “That constant communication has really been key to making this a success,” Blake says.

Paper usage is tracked monthly and reported quarterly, including the 10 best- and 10 worst-performing groups. The best-performing group is asked to provide insights into its success and share ideas to cascade through the rest of the organization.

“The focus has been on utilizing technology – laptops instead of written notes, overhead projection of presentations instead of paper copies – and when we absolutely have to print something, using duplex printing,” Blake says. Smart boards and Office 365 have also played a significant part in helping reduce the amount of paper MMG uses.

Over the last year, MMG successfully reduced paper usage by about 15% in total, and an average of 31% person to person. Blake says their success is generating interest from other groups, and she offers some advice based on what the MMG team has learned:

  • Changing culture is never easyBe patient. Change takes time, and not everyone may be on board at first.
  • Communication is key – frequent communication keeps the project top-of-mind and helps build support and participation.
  • Manage the change – part of communication includes asking for feedback – ensuring questions are answered and that your team is comfortable with what they need to do.
  • Be creative and flexible – find new ways to share information that don’t require paper to be effective.
  • Embrace technology – smart boards, One Drive, presenting on screen instead of through paper copies, and taking notes on laptops versus paper are all great ways to use less.

Do you have a smart idea for reducing paper usage, or a story to share about something you’ve done to be more sustainable? We want to hear about it!


You might also like:

Store Tablet Rollout Has Green Benefit
Macy’s Sustainable Packaging Initiative
Recology and the Art of Upcycling
Nine Green Mistakes You’re Probably Making

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