In 2021 the average Australian went through around 230kg of un-recycled paper. It takes 17-24 years for a pine tree to grow enough for the paper to be collected. Although companies are trying to use different types of materials such as bamboo for its fast growth rate. However, it still requires large amounts of land to keep up with consumer rates, due to the slimmer trunks of the bamboo trees.
We all know that deforestation and climate change are huge economic problems right now. With the rise of renewable energy and electric cars, we are doing well to try to limit our release of emissions into the atmosphere. Packaged paper is now trying to be made with recycled paper, and schools have changed to laptop-based learning.
Why become paperless?
Becoming a paperless office is easier said than done, however, there are many benefits to being paperless. In the long run, becoming paperless is better financially. A one-time annual subscription to programs such as ‘Microsoft’ or ‘Good notes’ significantly outweighs the cost of paper supplied for a whole office averaging at about 3% of company revenue.
Other advantages of a paperless business involve a cleaner work area, reduction of expenses, reduced environmental impact, and improved disaster recovery protection. This all contributes to more productive and proactive employees due to them not sorting through hundreds of files or spending half their day tidying stacks of paper away. Going paperless in an office environment is a no brainer. Not to mention the cost of running a printer and the supplies needed for paper such as pens, staples, and paperclips. The downside of having a fully digital-based office is the risk of hacks or lost data. However, with the use of backup storage and hard drives, this can be helped.
What APF are doing
Becoming paperless also saves time when finding documents. Here at APF, we scan all documents into a program called Evernote. This saves us time down the line when looking for documents. Evernote has visual technology that allows us to search for any word and the program will find the documents containing this. Having to sort through hundreds of documents looking for one could take hours, however, with the paperless system it takes just seconds to find the document.
When we are onboarding new clients, we use a software called ‘signNow’. This allows our clients to sign an electronic contract, saving not just the environment but also both ours and the clients’ time.
Another way we are contributing to going paperless is the introduction of electronic timesheets that have eliminated the need at APF to reduce the use of card timesheets.
What you can do
Ecosia is a google chrome extension that is free to download. The money from advertising on the search pages goes towards a cause that plants trees in developing countries to combat the excess co2 in the atmosphere. This is highly beneficial as every 4 searches you have planted a tree, and the extension also gives you a search count so you can see the impact you are making to better the world.
In this ever-changing world, it can be hard to make a huge impact with how little we contribute. But, with everyone doing their small steps, a big change will happen. Do your part and go paperless.