Five compelling reasons for reducing the paper within your business

Posted: 3rd September 2015 16:20

The UK uses the equivalent of 4.48 trees of paper per person every year, with global consumption of paper increasing by almost half since 1980. Despite the fact that there has been a rise in technology during this time, which means we have less of a need for paper, you will still see plenty of it used within businesses.
In fact, paper is the number one item used and wasted in offices, with the average worker using 6,800 sheets a year and forgetting to pick up more than 600 sheets from the printer. There has been talk of paperless offices for years. This doesn’t necessarily mean not using any paper at all - this would be extremely difficult as sometimes it is a necessity for office tasks - but cutting down where possible.
There are many easy ways for businesses to cut down on their paper use. First avoid using paper where possible and think before you print! Do you really need it printed, if so can it be double-sided? Or can the information be sent over e-mail instead? Recycle and re-use paper where possible, and use document management software to make moves towards a completely electronic office.    
If you have been thinking about saving paper in your office, then here are five reasons why you should start reducing the paper used within your business today! 
1. Saves Money
Buying the paper in the first place is just the start of the financial impact to your company. There are also costs that come with storage, copying, printing, postage, disposal, and recycling—and it all adds up much quicker than you think! Studies have found that associated paper costs could be as much as 31 times the purchasing costs.
2. Makes Space
You may not realise it, but paper actually takes up a huge amount of space in offices that could be put to better use. It would be much quicker to find a document that is saved electronically as opposed to searching through piles of wasted paper for hours to find the right one. Using a service such as Kelly's Document Scanning, which will create electronic versions of any documents that you wish, will save you paper and as a result time and money.
3. Increases Efficiency
Too much paper can reduce the efficiency of your business and by cutting down you will save time and increase productivity. How often have you scribbled down notes that really you didn’t actually need and then thrown it almost straight in the bin? There are both notepads and sticky notes on computers that can be deleted when finished with. Computer documents can be saved into convenient folders and sub folders, so they are quick and easy to find.
Likewise, you automatically have a record of correspondence if email is used. This will save you the time and stress of having to search through a huge pile of paperwork to find the required one or prevent you accidently disposing of important information.
4. Help the Environment!
Most importantly, saving and recycling paper is vital to work towards helping the environment and tackling climate change. One million tonnes of paper is used worldwide everyday! Much of this is unnecessary and ultimately wasted, putting huge pressures on the environment and threatening the remaining natural forests; as a result the people and wildlife that rely on them are affected.
5. Educate and Inspire Employees
Reductions of 20% or more are possible in offices, which could save up to 10 times the purchasing costs. Making this cut in business is a start towards helping the environment, but it is not here alone that paper is used. If employees have to think about their paper usage at work, then perhaps you will both educate and inspire them to do the same at home.
So, start making simple changes towards saving paper today in order to start making significant changes both within your business and much further afield.