Singapore Environment CouncilCity Developments Limited

Save Papers

Buying Paper

  • Purchase paper containing as close to 100% post-consumer waste as possible (above 70% is good).
  • Purchase paper made from alternative fibres. Many of these fibres are extremely fast-growing and are perfect paper-making fibers.
  • Purchase paper that has produced minimal wastes and emissions during its manufacture, e.g. totally chlorine free production process.
  • Purchase paper with an accredited environmental or green label.
  • Printing Document.
  • Print documents on both sides of the paper if your office printers have a double-siding facility.
  • Make it part of your standard format for all reports and materials printed by your office to be double-sided.
  • Read and alter documents on the screen to avoid printing out numerous draft copies of a report or other documents that may be unnecessary.
  • Store documents, files and archives electronically.
  • If printing is necessary, format documents to minimize wasting space, e.g. reducing font size, line spacing of not more than 1.5, smaller margins, etc.
  • Use the back of letterheads as well when sending letters.
  • Print addresses directly onto envelopes instead of using sticker labels.


  • When photocopying, use the double-siding facility available on most photocopier machines.
  • Use the reduction capability of photocopier machines (e.g. A3 reduction to A4 halves the paper required).
  • Ensure all staff familiarize themselves with the functions of the photocopier. Simple guidelines on how to use the double-siding and reduction facility should be provided so that they can operate the photocopier correctly and avoid mistakes that waste paper.


  • Use electronic methods of communication where possible rather than sending letters or internal memos. Also, avoid printing out emails unless necessary.
  • Use emails, notice boards and meetings for disseminating information.
  • If you must send memos, reduce paper size. E.g. from A4 to A5.
  • Use computer-linked faxes instead of paper faxes. These allow documents to be sent directly from a computer without requiring a printed hard copy.

Reference Material

  • Have documents for reference stored electronically where staff can easily access them.
  • If hard copies are necessary, limit your office to one that can be circulated amongst staff or kept in a centralized reference centre.
  • Cancel all unwanted and redundant publications and receive them via email if possible.


  • Purchase photocopiers and printers that have double-siding functions.
  • Purchase plain paper fax machines.
  • Give preference to equipment capable of using unbleached paper with up to 100% post-consumer recycled content
  • Set up paper reuse trays for the collection of paper that has only been used on one side. Always reuse paper that has been printed on one side for note-taking, printing drafts or message-taking, etc.
  • Reuse envelopes whenever possible, especially for sending information internally.
  • Use the revision / changes marking function available in most word processing software.
  • Scan your letterhead into the computer to produce an electronic template copy.
  • Do not use fax cover sheets.
  • Create a space on your website for publications so that reports and documents can be downloaded and viewed on screen.
  • Compile an email listing to distribute e-versions of your reports.
  • Use email or mail a postcard first to check if recipients are interested in receiving your reports and materials.