Wednesday, April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We here at EOX Vantage support greener workplaces. In fact, we recommend going paperless (or at least reducing your amount of paper) not only as environmentally responsible, but as a good business model as well.
Digitizing paper processes is usually the first step of a Digital Transformation for any organization. Paperless offices can also support the remote workstyle currently burgeoning due to the pandemic, and which might stick around afterward.
So, consider lessening your paper reliance as one way to observe Earth Day – and also to secure some serious business benefits. When you’re considering paper reduction, keep in mind not just your own usage but that of partners. You can ask for electronic rather than paperless communications from vendors, for example, and offer e-documentation, such as invoicing, to customers.
In honor of Earth Day, we’ll first list our top 3 advantages of paper reduction for the environment, then finish up with 3 key financial and business benefits.
Top 3 Reasons:
Paper Reduction Is Good for Our Environment!
Reduce Energy Consumption
When less paper is used, it results in less energy usage due to less work demanded of printers, copiers and fax machines. Another factor is transportation costs and the associated energy usage – for the raw paper itself, plus delivery of paper letters, billing, etc. Some estimates indicate that billions of dollars in cost reductions could be achieved with more businesses buying into paperless initiatives.
Tree consumption has exploded, up 400% since the 1980s, leading to increasingly rapid and non-sustainable deforestation (about 35% of trees go to the paper industry). Among the host of benefits provided by trees: they produce oxygen, capture carbon dioxide, help to clean soil and prevent or curb some types of pollution. While one tree can make only 17 reams of paper, it takes 100 years to replace.
Conserve Other Valuable Resources
In a world where water and fossil fuels are at a premium, it can take up to 3 gallons of water to make just 1 sheet of paper, and by the time a replacement tree is mature, it might soak up more than 200 gallons of water a day. Meanwhile, 10 million tons of paper requires more than 250 gallons of oil. With hundreds of millions of tons being produced each year globally, those numbers really add up.
Top 3 Reasons:
Paper Reduction Is Good for Your Business!
Electronic documents are more convenient in almost every way, for the business itself, its partners and its clients and customers. Digital files are easier, faster and more affordable to access, share, store, secure, send and receive. Plus, of course, they can cut down on clutter. All of these taken together mean going digital can result in greater productivity.
Reduce paper-related costs – which include not just the cost of the paper itself, but more subtle costs like printer toner, equipment maintenance/service visits and the energy charges for running paper-using machinery. There are also labor savings as staff members enjoy the benefits of the convenience just discussed. Finally, while there may be some offsetting training and technology costs associated with going paperless, studies have shown many companies may be able to recoup those costs within as little as one quarter.
As mentioned earlier, moving from paper to digital paves the way for Digital Transformation. The process creates a digital trail of data that can be used to power visibility and decision-making across the entire organization. Helping companies achieve their own Digital Transformation to amplify business efficiencies is one of the main aims of EOX Vantage. For more information, please see our Digital Transformation webinar series to learn about the steps to digitizing your processes.
Happy Earth Day to all!
5 Benefits of Going Paperless in the Workplace, by Iron Mountain
5 Ways that Going Paperless Is Good for the Environment, by Rupert Cochrane
6 Reasons Why Going Paperless Benefits Your Business, by Mike Kappel (Forbes)
The Green and Blue Water Footprint of Paper Products, by P.R. van Oel and A.Y. Hoekstra