A nationwide poll conducted by Eric Mower and Associates (EMA) for Domtar, one of North America’s leading paper companies, reveals that while most college students consider themselves environmentally conscious and think going paperless helps the environment, nearly 70% said the idea of receiving an electronic copy of their diplomas either bothered them or they considered it so terrible they hated it. USA Today featured the survey results today as its front-page Snapshot.
EMA researchers contacted 420 college juniors and seniors nationwide in April to ask what they could do to protect the environment and also about personal paper usage. The survey, commissioned by Domtar, has a margin of error of five percentage points. The results showed that while two-thirds of upperclassmen think that going paperless helps the environment, only 4% think converting to electronic diplomas is a great idea.
“Even though paper is the most recycled product on the planet, in today’s ‘think before you print’ world, paper gets a bad rap,” says EMA Senior Partner Rick Lyke. “We wanted to research what people thought of paper and the role it plays in their lives. It’s clear from the results that students believe there are times when a substitute won’t do because paper is simply more convenient, more effective and more meaningful.”
The survey also found that:
- When it comes to studying at school, 52% of students like notes and other materials on paper.
- Students clearly prefer paper copies of key documents. Less than a third want electronic copies of their legal contracts (29%), real estate deeds (25%), marriage licenses (23%), birth certificates (17%), passports (15%) or driver’s licenses (12%).
- College juniors and seniors identified the top four ways they personally display environmental consciousness: turning off power when electronic devices aren’t being used (81%), recycling (75%), using less water (54%) and doing only full loads of laundry or hanging clothes to dry (53%). Only 36% say they are “going paperless,” which ranked fifth in the survey.
- Less than 30% would give up printed books, magazines and newspapers, photos or official documents. However, more than 60% would be comfortable going paperless with bank statements, class schedules/grade reports and bills.
EMA produced a video to illustrate the survey results. Visit www.domtar.com/diploma to see the video, review the complete survey findings, and learn more about Domtar’s commitment to the responsible use of paper.