Document Management & Workflow Blog

01 Jun 2021 Colin Graf

World Environment Day: Why You Should Choose to Go Paperless

Going paperless and adopting more eco-friendly practices helps to ensure business continuity

World Environment Day (celebrated every year on June 5) is a day for us to consider how we can protect our planet, and how we can adapt to the changing world around us. Established by the United Nations in 1974, World Environment Day is honored in over 100 countries around the world. With almost 50 years of raising awareness and promoting sustainable practices, there’s never been a better time to implement these ideals at your company.

How and why should your business implement more eco-friendly business processes? Energy, water, and waste disposal costs are rising, and the scarcity of these resources will increasingly shape the economy of the next decade. In an increasingly volatile market, a business continuity plan with eco-friendly business processes is critical. The survival of your business may depend on how well you adapt to rising operating expenses, new environmental laws and regulations, new ways of working—namely working from home—and a public mandate for efficient resource utilization.

Consumers are increasingly demanding businesses to become more eco-friendly. It’s crucial for companies to be transparent about their environmental practices and leverage this to attract more customers. Simply planting trees or holding recycling drives is no longer enough. These short-term harm-reduction initiatives are helpful, but they need to be complemented by more transformative long-term changes that eventually lead to energy efficient, zero-waste operations. Fortunately, that’s less expensive than it sounds and it can also increase your business’s returns. Sustainability can save money while boosting customer retention and brand loyalty, as well as help businesses increase their revenue.

Cost-Effective Ways to Lower Your Company’s Ecological Footprint

While many companies approaching environmentalism for the first time focus on sweeping, photogenic changes—like building upgrades or investments in green transportation—there are other ways to reduce your ecological footprint without intensive investments.

One of the least expensive actions with the greatest returns—the lowest hanging fruit—is waste reduction or elimination. Technology has advanced enough in the past decades that the bulk of the waste produced by an office can now be avoided altogether.

Become a Zero-Waste Company Using Digital Transformation

In the past, businesses have sought to reduce their environmental footprint through recycling drives. Creating goods from recycled materials takes less energy than using virgin commodities.

But, recycling is more of a harm reduction strategy than a complete waste solution. Eventually, recycled materials find their way to a landfill. A more sustainable solution is to use fewer materials in the first place and eliminate waste at the source.

For companies who are making a commitment to the environment by adopting zero-waste policies, going paperless is a no-brainer. Paper files and documents cost your business money, processing time, and storage space. It also strains natural resources and makes it difficult for employees to share information, especially when working remotely.

Wood products (paper included) account for 10% of deforestation globally and continuously consume energy over their lifetime. Consider (or calculate) the resources it takes to transport paper to your business, the carbon footprint it generates, the manufacture of ink and ink cartridges, and ultimately ship these goods from your business to a landfill or recycling facility. Think of the energy involved in running said facilities and properly disposing of the toxic chemicals involved in paper and ink production. By reducing the number of paper documents (or going completely paperless), you reduce both your bottom line expenses and the harm done by paper products over their lifetime.

Say Goodbye to Paper Waste with Document Management Software

Aside from the environmental impact of using paper, shuffling it around your offices also costs you. On average, it costs 30 times as much money to manage paper than it does to purchase it. These additional costs come from purchasing and maintaining office equipment such as copiers and printers, making copies of paper documents (the average office document is copied 19 times), distributing them, storing them, searching through files, and recreating lost or misplaced paperwork. Because these tasks require knowledge workers’ labor to complete, you’re actually paying your employees to push paper rather than focus on more important, value-added work. According to a 2018 study by IDC, knowledge workers spend up to half their time looking for information. Thus, using paper documents not only wastes natural resources, but also your business resources.

Implementing document scanning, document management software, and automated workflows is a simple way to significantly reduce paper waste. Whether you choose to handle it in-house or outsource to a BPO partner you trust, digitizing your documents is one of the best ways to minimize resource consumption and begin the digital transformation of your workplace to become more competitive and efficient in the future.

Document scanning and cloud software don’t eliminate paper altogether, but it sharply cuts usage by eliminating the need for copies and physical distribution. It also paves the way for electronic order and document processing, so that eventually, all of your transactions can be paper-free. The benefits of document scanning are many:

How Digital Transformation Makes Your Company Green and Ensures Business Continuity

There’s no going back. With remote work becoming part of the new normal, it’s challenging for teams to transition between working remotely and going to the office with paper-based documents. A statistic by Small Biz Genius found that businesses that offer the option of remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t. By implementing digital transformation at your company, you are ensuring your business will continue to operate seamlessly in the future and going paperless is a big part of a business continuity plan.

Minimize Resource Consumption With a Digital Mailroom

A digital mailroom, or outsourced mail processing, takes document scanning one step further. Digitizing your documents at their point of entry prepares your business for the future. So modernize, cut costs, and celebrate World Environment Day all at once—make today the day you stop contributing to deforestation by making your business paperless. Learn more about stopping paper waste at the source with a digital mailroom.

You can also contact MetaSource to find out how to easily transition into going paperless or read our whitepaper on Digital Transformation Without Disruption to learn more about stopping paper waste and how digital transformation pays off in the long-term.

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