Nitro Blog

Why Going Paperless Is Good for Business and the Environment


Paper-based processes clearly need to go, but many companies are reluctant to get rid of them.

Most businesses are remote right now, yet many still heavily rely on paper. Our recent Future of Work report found 56% of remote workers are still printing but 60% do not have a printer at home. This means employees are going out of their way to get work done. Doesn’t sound like an effective use of time, right?

Paper-based processes clearly need to go, but many companies are reluctant to get rid of them. If your company needs some convincing, here are three business and environmental benefits of going paperless:

1. Save money and trees

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates the average knowledge worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year, which is about two cases of paper per worker. With each case costing $40, you can see how paper-based workflows have a significant budgetary impact.

In addition to being a major expense, paper products also take a huge toll on tree density. Forests make up around 30% of the world’s land area, but they are rapidly disappearing. We also know that trees are essential to support life on the planet. By eliminating or reducing paper usage, businesses will see noticeable cost savings and can champion themselves as a “Green Company” while preserving the environment for future generations.

2. Improve productivity and sustainability

Employees waste over 4 hours every week completing paper-based tasks. With paperless workflows, they don’t have to spend extra time pushing paper, chasing down signatures, and filling out forms. These tasks are easier and faster when they’re done digitally, leaving time for the more important work to get done.

Did you know it takes 11,134 kWh to produce 1 ton of paper? That’s how much electricity an average household uses in over 10 months! On top of increased efficiency, going paperless can also help reduce a company’s energy usage and costs. Bottom line: the less paper you use, the more energy you save.

3. Collaborate more while using less

Collaboration is challenging when you need to print or scan multiple documents. How can employees keep track of everything and work together efficiently? By digitizing documents, your team can easily and quickly create, share, edit, track versions, sign, and file—all without printing a single page.

And without printing, you no longer need ink and toner cartridges, those cost savings can then be distributed to other areas of your company’s budget. Ink and toner cartridges are also full of toxic dyes and can seriously harm the environment if they aren’t disposed of properly. For example, the EPA estimates more than 400 million ink and 100 million toner cartridges end up in landfills each year.

As you can see there are quite a few advantages to going paperless for businesses and the environment. So, the sooner you cut out paper, the more you save and the better for all.

Future of Work

The Nitro 2022 Productivity Report

Learn how the pandemic has transformed productivity, workflows and digital initiatives, as well as the trends and technologies shaping work in 2022 and beyond.