3 easy ways to curb office paper waste

Posted by Kevin D'Arcy on Jul 8, 2020 12:46:00 PM

Paper doesn't just harm the environment and your company’s productivity—and therefore your revenue—paper also harms your reputation: 87% of consumers surveyed say they look more positively on a company if they run 100% paper free. And that's how you want your customers to see your company.

Environmental harm:

  • 20% of print jobs are never even retrieved from the printer (that hurts the planet and the security of your company). And half of all paper waste from the corporate world ends up in landfills because of a botched recycling process.

Harm to productivity/revenue:

  • Tracking down paper files can eat up 40% of the average employees' day. We’re not math wizards, but that’s almost half of the day. That means you’re paying your employees to look for paper documents for half the day and paying them to do the job you hired them to do half the time. And that sounds like a lot of money being thrown away.


Paper creates waste. And you think waste is...wasteful. And you’re right. So how do you curb the amount of paper waste that your office produces? Here are two quick and easy things you can do today:

Free eBook: Become a Paperless Company in 90 Days


Print less

Kind of a no-brainer. Having a printer means printing on paper. And printing on paper means paper waste. How much waste, exactly? A ton. The average employee uses a staggering 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Maybe you’re not ready to toss that huge, tree-killing printing machine to the curb yet. But you still want to curb paper waste. Start by asking employees to print less. Do they absolutely need to print that document? Could they share it instead?

Chances are that most of your workforce will be on board with that. But maybe not all of them. Maybe Isobel, though she bakes the best pies for your staff in the whole wide world, doesn’t get that share button—or anything digital, really. Maybe Isobel retires in a few months and, until she does, you’re not going to force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do. Because she reminds you of your favourite Auntie and you take care of your favourite Auntie, right? 

Right. So put a sign above the printer that asks everyone to save a tree by not printing a piece of paper. And also put on that sign to print double-sided. Because printing on both sides means using half as much paper. And half as much paper is twice as efficient today as single sided was yesterday. Easy.


Stop printing for signatures! 

You went paperless, but you kept the printer “just in case.” Wrong-o! That encourages a fallback mentality (even though it keeps Isobel happy). But you’ve noticed that it isn’t only Isobel still printing paper. Every now and then, once in a blue moon, you see your younger staff whisking documents off the printer. 

That’s because your employees will always opt for the path of least resistance. And they will always lean on paper if you don’t put paperless options in their place. Did you know that 80% of UK businesses print a digital document because they need a signature? Signatures are paper-dependent bottlenecks

So get an esignature app in place pronto, or your “digitally-on-board” employees will keep turning to the printer for signatures, which turns your shiny digital workflow into a partly analogue workflow—and that’s B- stuff right there.

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Anything else?

You can print less, and you can add a digital signature application to your digital workflow, but there are other things you can do, too. Like scan the paper you don’t depend on every day to zero. You may not deal with that storage locker of paper that you packed away nicely out of sight, but it’s still there. And that means it’s still part of your workflow. And that means your workflow is a whole lot less digital than you thought. If you have thousands of pounds of documents sitting in boxes, let’s get that digitized, shall we?

Those archives hurt the environment a long time ago. Now, it’s only hurting your budget… and your pride as a business process professional. Get that taken care of today. Start with a free quote.

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