The impact of paper consumption on the environment is real. Only in U.S., paper represent around 26% of municipal solid waste landfills. The U.S. cuts down about 68 million trees each year to produce paper products and approximately 18 million acres of forest are chopped each year to paper production
At global level, paper use has increased by 400% in the last 40 years. In the US rose to 208 million tons (up from 92 million), which is a growth of 126%.
Paper in business
Most of the businesses are still very paper-dependent. Corporations spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time. Annually, an average office’s worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper and 7.5 billion paper documents are created. It has been estimated that average business’ paper consumption grows by 22% per year. Approximately half of paper printed in offices ends up in the rubbish bucket.
Apart from the environmental damage produce by paper production and consumption, there are other reasons to evaluate a company’s paper usage. Security is a big issue, taking into consideration that an estimated 20% of print jobs are never fetched from printers, which means that relevant and sensitive data is left available to anyone who passes by.
Other relevant factor to stop using paper is the amount of time spent searching for document papers. Not surprisingly, businesses want to switch to paperless workflows and processes.
What we can do to reduce paper usage?
Here are the main things we can do to reduce the negative effect of paper consumption:
Use less paper
Here are some things you can do to achieve that. For instance, you can switch to software-based Document Management System instead of using paper documents. Always check your document carefully for errors before printing. You can also try a white board instead of taking paper notes.
If you still need to print some documents, try to do it in both sides of the paper (duplex printing).and keep the paper you don’t need anymore to use it for different purposes. This will help you to stop using new paper when you need it.
Use recycled paper
Try to use recycled printer paper as much as you can in order to save some trees and to reduce the amount of paper that end up in landfills
Why using recycled paper?
Below you will find how using recycled paper can help the environment:
- Recycled paper requires 26% less energy to produce.
- Its production generate 40% less greenhouse gases than normal paper production.
- Using one million tons of recycled paper instead of new paper is equivalent to take 248,000 cars off the road for an entire year or to stop using around 15,000 swimming pools full of water.
- Recycled paper production leads to 73% less air pollution compared to regular paper production.
- Using paper alternatives.
Get digital solutions
Today there are many ways to go paperless. Here we have chosen 3 digital solutions that can help you to reduce paper usage in your office.
Switching to electronic signatures will help your organization to move toward a paperless office. They are also more secure, handy, and cost-effective.
If we are talking about creating a paperless environment, digital forms could be a great tool. They will automate workflows and data entry transforming your duties on strategic work that would drive your business forward.
Document management software
Document management systems can bring many benefits to your business such as reduced storage space, enhanced security and better collaboration. They can also improve business processes and increase efficiency.
While completely eliminate paper in your office can be a challenge, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce paper usage right now.
Today there are different tools and digital innovations that make easier than ever to go paperless. DataScope is a mobile platform that attempt to be an alternative solution to paper for companies, using digital tools that can convert inspections, work orders or reports into mobile forms. Start with DataScope now! Sign up for free.
DataScope is a platform which allows various industries to streamline, organize and evaluate the work of their field staffs thanks to online forms which provide real time indicators 100% adaptable to any field.