Limit Your Paper Usage: Go Green, Go Digital
In a world that is constantly being damaged by pollution, wastage and many other by-products of everyday life, there’s never been a more important time to rethink exactly how we are impacting the environment.
One of the biggest yet most inconspicuous culprits is paper. It’s used for almost everything in the office, from documents and files to notes and even coasters. Much of this will probably be thrown away and ultimately wasted, too.
The Office Numbers
There are a number of quite alarming facts, figures and statistics that highlights just how much paper is used and wasted at work.
- Up to 10,000 sheets of paper are used on average each year by a single office worker.
- As many as 6800 pieces are thrown out. That’s a massive 68% wastage rate.
- Paper usage is up by 126% to 208 million tonnes from 20 years ago. That’s over 1.4 million tonnes of wasted paper in just two decades.
- There’s so much paper around that additional staff are needed to keep it. For every twelfth filing cabinet, an extra employee is needed to make sure everything is in order.
- Office use keeps on escalating. An annual increase of around 22% means that the amount of paper in the office will double in less than four years
These facts all add up to a less than eco-friendly setup for businesses. Although conscious efforts are being made to ensure that trees for paper are taken only from sustainable sources, it can sometimes be a losing battle.
Harmful Effects on the Environment
It isn’t just the physical cutting down of trees that contributes. As the need for more and more paper shows no sign of slowing, harvesting, manufacturing and engineering has been subject to advancements in technology in a bid to make the process more efficient.
We haven’t always been as eco-conscious as we are now though. Historically, improvements were only geared towards reducing the cost and time taken to convert trees to useable paper.
The machinery-based paper manufacturing throws up some less than impressive issues. The process results in emissions of nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, elevating the chances of acid rain. Carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas, is also given off, contributing to climate change.
Greener attitudes recognise the importance of limiting the side effects. Environmentalists all over the world commonly call for regulations and to some extent have been successful. New guidelines to help protect the atmosphere are in place but that they don’t completely solve the problems at hand.
You may not think about exactly how your office is contributing to a downfall in the environment. It can be difficult to see exactly how the seemingly insignificant amount of paper in the workplace adds up.
With the facts and figures laid out, it’s much simpler to see exactly why you should cut down on paper use. It’s not just the environment that comes into play.
Keeping high volumes of paper documents on site takes up a great deal of space. Reducing the quantity means that this room can be better utilised for actual work processes.
Digitising your paper records is one way to free up this space. Having electronic copies of your files and records means that you no longer have to keep massive amounts of paper on-site and in turn will improve your environmentally-friendly approach.
There’s also a host of benefits that come with digitising documents that your business can take advantage of.
Electronic files are much easier to retrieve. It’s estimated that around 40% of an office worker’s time is taken up trying to find documents.
Around 70% of all businesses would go under if all paperwork stored on site was destroyed. Digitised documents offer the ability to restore files at any given time.
On average, a lost document costs between £280-600 to replace. If a lot more than one are lost, it can all add up to a frightening total. Digital backups and copies can be retrieved at any time with no additional price tag.
Here to Help You
At Cleardata we understand the importance of reducing the amount of paper in the office. Our range of services are geared towards helping you achieve a solution that works for you. With services that assist in preserving the environment, cutting costs and saving time and space, there’s almost no limit to the benefits you can achieve.
Get in touch with us today to see how you can stop wasting paper and move towards an efficient system for both the environment and your business.