Go paperless: 5 tips for reducing dependence on paper

Thinking about reducing your business’s carbon footprint? Looking for ways to hit your organization’s sustainability goals? An article from Smart Cities Dive reveals how leading businesses are doing just that by focusing on reducing the amount of paper they use.

Keeping cardboard boxes stamped with those green recycling logos in your hallways is not going to cut it. Today’s sustainability bar is much higher. The article’s author has put together the following five tips, suggested by green leaders in business, for those looking to go paperless:

1. Utilize software and digital tools

Think pixels, not paper. With lightning-fast Internet speeds and ever-increasing percentages of employees who grew up in front of screens and keyboards, holding on to archaic (and wasteful) ways of doing business is becoming less and less smart.

2. Start (or re-energize) an office paper recycling program

If you’re reading this, more than likely you already have a program in place. But do your employees know about it and how it works? Or do they wander the halls with a handful of packaging looking for the right bin to put it in... then eventually give up and toss it in the nearest trash container? Or bring it home to recycle it?

3. Limit the amount of copying and printing

There are plenty of progressive companies that would be surprised at how much printing goes on in the corporate world. Believe it or not, traditionalists and “play-it-safe”ers still bring packets of handouts to meetings in case any of their old-school office mates or seasoned executives prefer to scribble and turn pages, versus clicking and tapping on a keyboard. Let these sentimentalists know it’s okay to embrace their digital side.

4. Move to digital billing

With POs, invoices, envelopes, duplicates, triplicates and more, billing is a great place to focus on digitizing what can amount to a mountain of paper for maximum impact. 

5. Incentivize and educate your workforce

We touched on education above, but what’s in it for your employees who are considering cutting the paper cord and trying to go paperless? Can they expense a tablet? Do they have a software stipend? Providing evidence for how going paperless makes a positive impact, as well as perks for trying out digital alternatives, can encourage more employees to actively participate.

Interested in implementing some or all of these tips yourself? You can read the original article here.