The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, 45% of that paper ends up being thrown out each day. Even if your organization only has 50 employees, that’s still 225,000 sheets being thrown out annually or 11,250 lbs. of paper (nearly the weight of 3 cars!). You may not consider your organization to be “green” but it’s still important to consider your environmental impact, as well as the additional benefits to reducing your paper usage.
Why become paperless?
If you’re working to become a certified B Corp or acheive LEED certification, continuing to invest in paper-based resources can hinder you from that status. You may not be currently seeking outside certification, but your organization may still place high value on “going green” in your core beliefs, and by reducing paper you can showcase your values.
Even if environmental friendliness is not part of your organization’s core, reducing paper usage can still benefit your bottom line. You can easily save your organization money simply by reducing your paper usage, businesses annually spend about $1,367 per employee annually on printing supplies alone. By becoming paperless you can easily offset a good portion of that cost, as well as cost incurred from loss of productivity from searching for or correcting files.
How can your organization go paperless?
If there are certain things you must print, consider doing it on the backside of recycled paper (as long as it doesn’t have confidential information). By doing this you’ll reduce the amount of paper you throw away, and save money by not needing to buy nearly as many sheets.
If there are invoices, purchase orders, or other forms that need approval from different managers company-wide, utilize an electronic content management system (like DocStar) to share, markup, and approve any important documents related to Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable. Leverage tools such as web forms to start any process with structure computer generated data to drive downstream processes and not produce paper.
Rather than throw away unused paper, look to see if your city has a single stream recycling program you can participate in. If there are pages with sensitive information that you aren’t sure about, you can invest in a paper shredder or find a local shredding day to be able to utilize an industrial shredder.
Keep all your employee records on a digital database. Instead of taking up space with full filing cabinets, scan your current records into an ECM. For future employees consider utilizing online forms (like those from frevvo) to complete new hire paperwork, including benefit elections, i4’s, W-9’s, and direct deposit.
By taking small steps to reduce your reliance on paper, your organization can save money while doing good for the environment! Need assistance implementing some of these changes into your organization? Give PiF Technologies a call at 888.934.4443.