One of the most tangible examples of digitalization is the paperless office (reducing the use of paper in business processes by shifting all documentation, files and records to a digital format). Along with positively impacting the environment, it also increases the overall efficiency of business operations. Companies are increasingly turning to paperless office principle for very good reasons – paper is costly, inefficient and unnecessary as paperless technologies become widespread and easy to use.
The environmental impact of paper
Deforestation – Nearly all the paper generated in the world comes from wood harvested through logging. Around 93% of paper comes from trees, and the global demand for pulp and paper is expected to double by 2060 — even in the so-called digital age.
Paper production pollution – The manufacturing of paper and pulp also contributes to pollution via greenhouse gas emissions.
Paper waste and disposal pollution – Paper waste represents a substantial component of municipal solid waste in facilities – which is dumped into landfills. It eventually decomposes, releasing toxic methane and potentially leeching printing ink into soil and water sources, causing greater environmental damage.
Benefits of Going Paperless
Besides contributing to a greener earth, going paperless is beneficial for both consumers and businesses alike.
- No paper to store and manage
Storing paper takes up space, and costs money.
- Reduced errors
Digital processes have lower error rates, especially when it comes to lost or misfiled information.
- More engaged customers
It’s much easier to keep clients and customers informed when you work with digital processes.
- It’s more secure and transparent
Paper when physically moving between offices or departments is subjected to data theft unlike when saved in a computer system protected with adequate security controls. By going paperless, critical information is held safely in the cloud and continuously backed up, which ensures that one will still have access to critical information.
- Reduced costs
An organization saves more than just paper by adopting a paperless office. The money spent on printer upkeep, ink, toner, postage, and physical storage also decreases.
Reducing reliance on paper allows one to create a more sustainable business. Along with paper, the printer, ink, and ink cartridges are also harmful to the environment as well.
Paper use generally doubles every five years for an average company which is very alarming. Every year, more trees are cut than planted, and we need to do something about it. Exchanging paper for digital processes won’t solve the problem immediately, but it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Reduce paper waste to create more sustainability in your day-to-day life. Download Receipts Minder to switch from paper receipts to digital receipts and take a step towards a greener Earth.