By Rachel Tilley

The United Nations have designated 5th June 2019 as World Environment Day.  And although this years’ theme is air pollution, I felt it was still a good day to put the spotlight on how DocTech can support businesses wanting to become more environmentally friendly.

Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about reducing waste, recycling and doing my bit to improve the world we live in.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s plenty more I could do.  But knowing I work somewhere that helps the environment was a huge tick in the box when coming for the interview.

World Environment Day – some frightening stats

  • The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. (I didn’t think this could be right, but scarily, I found the stat in numerous sources.)
  • 6,800 of the 10,000 sheets used are wasted – either by being printed unnecessarily, printing duplicates, or forgetting they’ve already been printed.
  • 40% of people describe themselves as “paper people”. They like to have the paper in their hands rather than looking at a screen.

I do get that last point, as I used to be the same.  I felt I could read things much better on paper, and of course, highlight any mistakes / changes to be made.  But things changed when I worked in a marketing team that was spread across three global locations. There was obviously no way we could use pen and paper.  So the simple answer was Microsoft Word’s – Track Changes, alongside Google Docs.  The tracked changes meant that each user could see another’s edits; accept or reject them, and Google Docs meant multiple people could work on a document at the same time.

It’s my opinion that we only get one world and we should look after it in any way that we can.  A simple way to do this in the office is to reduce paper usage, and to do this, just needs a shift in mind set.  To move away from the need to have a physical piece of paper, and understand it isn’t as important as it used to be. Using electronic documents, storage and approval processes mean there’s no real need to print.  Not only helping the environment, but saving money too.

Making the change to digital

With paper processes comes a whole host of manual processes.  Receiving an invoice, printing it out, stamping it for approval, paying it and filing it away.  This entire process can be drastically reduced with a document management system.  Digitising documents improves efficiency and saves time.  That same invoice described above is received and stored straight from email to digital storage.  It’s checked against parameters already implemented in the system (set by the user), and a task given (emailed), to the right person that it can be paid. All the while, and importantly in this discussion, without a piece of paper ever being used.

If your business can make one change today, on World Environment Day, let it be plans to reduce your paper usage.  Whether it’s starting to recycling, printing on scrap paper or printing on both sides. Then, when you’re ready to move to an electronic system get in touch with DocTech.