Tomorrow, November 6th marks the annual AIIM ‘World Paper Free’ day, an occasion where individuals and businesses vow to reduce the amount of paper they consume. As a paperless company, Nitro is delighted to be partaking in this great initiative as it gets individuals and businesses really thinking about how and why they use paper. It also gives us the opportunity to think about the benefits of going paperless.
Why should you go paper-free?
With proper planning, transitioning to a paperless office can be smooth and hassle-free. The change can also provide a slough of benefits for your company, like improved document security and heightened productivity and efficiency in work done with documents. A study conducted by AIIM also reports that most people believe going paper-free could increase efficiency by up to 4 times.
Although there’s broad awareness about the many benefits of moving away from paper, very few organizations have developed a plan to move to a sustainably paperless office.
Many companies believe that they are making an environmental impact by recycling the large volumes of paper that they use every day. While recycling is better than not recycling, it still comes with the costs of collection, transportation, and processing. What’s more, paper can only be recycled between 7-10 times before the fibers break down completely. Cutting down paper consumption from the start, on the other hand, is much more impactful, both from the perspective of sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The benefits a paperless approach include:
Rapid ROI. Most people believe that going paperless will increase costs, as new tools (and training on those tools) must be purchased to fill the role of paper. While initial investment may be required, the return can be much larger—and come much sooner than expected. According to Konica Minolta, most companies will realise the full cost of their investment within 18 months.
Upfront cost reduction. It costs approximately €1.37 to print a single sheet of paper (including printer costs, ink etc). According to Kefron, the average office worker uses 45 sheets of paper per day. In an office of 25 people, this equates to 261,000 sheets per year, a figure which is increasing by about 10% every year! Clearly, cutting down paper consumption—even by a mere 20-30%—can make a large and immediate impact.
Productivity gains. Dealing with paper documents—filing, scanning, locating, recreating, and especially ensuring the right version is being used—can be extremely time-consuming, which of course translates into cost. The estimated cost of filing a single document is €18, tracking down a misfiled document is a further €107, and approximately €222 is spent recreating a lost document. This certainly adds up, considering about 7.5% of paper documents are lost each month.
So, now that we’ve got your wheels turning about the benefits of going paperless, here’s how to get started by participating in Word Paper Free Day:
Step 1: Take the pledge!
Pledge to avoid paper at all costs for the entire day on November 6th. Take the first step to change your habits for a more sustainable, paperless future. Simply submit your pledge, and AIIM will make a donation in your name to ‘One laptop per child’
Step 2: Download your badges
AIIM provides lots of cool World Paper Free Day badges for you to post on social media, use in your email signature, and share with your networks. Once you’ve taken your pledge , you will be automatically redirected to these great badges—you saw one of ours at the start of this article!
Step 3: Spread the word and celebrate World Paper Free Day
Display your badges with pride and tell people why you’re participating in this initiative and how you plan to reduce your paper consumption. And most importantly, be paper-free on November 6th.