NERC can boast that it was among the first organizations in the country to use the strategy of regional and multi-stakeholder dialogues to address market concerns.
In the early 1990s, under the leadership of Executive Director Ed Boisson, NERC initiated conversations and forums that included the:
Program Manager Michael Alexander, Board Members Randal Coburn of New York, Judy Belaval of Connecticut, and Guy Watson of New Jersey, and the Newspaper Association of American (NAA) also played leadership roles in these initiatives.
• In 1994, DMA announced the DMA Corporate Environmental Stewardship Challenge. Over 100 DMA members have accepted the Challenge. Each participating company has provided a checklist that addresses waste reduction, recycling collection, and buying or manufacturing recycled products.
• NERC assisted the YPPA in developing the organization's Environmental Action Plan. The YPPA then started using recycled content paper and providing information about local recycling programs.
• NERC organized forums to assist the USPS with retaining and expanding recycling levels during a marked downturn in the market for mixed paper and enabled USPS facility managers to be more effective players in the recovered paper marketplace. USPS officials reported that increased knowledge of the processor and mill marketing preferences influenced them to be more flexible in their contracting for services. The forums also served to provide information to USPS officials on successfully operating stable recycling programs in a volatile and dynamic recovered paper marketplace.
• The Northeast newspaper publishers signed commitments to increase the use of recycled content newsprint and to report annually on their usage. As a result, the average recycled content of newsprint in the region has increased from a baseline in 1997 of 27% to almost 33% in 2005. The Northeast Newspaper Publishers Agreement remains an active initiative, now being managed by the NAA.
EPA provided funding for each of these projects.