Going green is about more than one’s self-esteem. For businesses, reducing their environmental impact and going paperless brings significant financial and efficiency benefits. It’s not surprising, therefore, that 49 percent of CEOs surveyed claimed sustainability ranked among their top three business initiatives, according to Nitro.
Sustainability is more than a pipe dream: 33 percent of surveyed businesses reported being “nearly there” in becoming paper free, according to Nitro’s research. With the help of the right software, organizational know-how and an openness to change, your business can go digital and reduce your environmental footprint, resulting in more office space and better asset management.
At PayJunction, we’ve dedicated our business to disrupting an entire industry with paperless technology. The Smart Terminal collects electronic signatures for card-present and remote transactions, allowing businesses to store receipts securely and search for them easily in the event of a chargeback. With a belief in green technology solutions, we felt inspired to ask other businesses to share how they achieved a paperless office. Below you’ll find tips and tactics businesses have used to reduce paper waste ranging from opting for reusable plates, cutlery and napkins to digitizing medical records and business documents.
This past April all the paper clutter in the office about drove me crazy. I couldn't find anything when I needed to and it was costing us time and money.
“I announced a new paperless initiative. Luckily, I had three volunteers come in one Sunday and the four of us spent all day digitizing every paper document we had and neatly organized everything into our Dropbox account.
“The end result was no more paper, no more clutter and digital files that are accessible from any device. It's simply beautiful and it was definitely a Sunday well spent.
A major initiative I have been pushing for this year is to go paperless.
"So far, there has been a lot of advantages to this. Going paperless has not only reduced our environmental impact but has also reduced our overall loose-leaf clutter — allowing us to seamlessly organize and find documents. One system I’ve been looking into to manage this conversion to digital is Laserfiche. By using these type of digital document management tools, it allows our staff to find documents with ease, regardless of the age of the file or knowing who originally created the document.
“Additionally, by scanning our current paper documentation and storing them as digital files, it allows us to discard old file cabinets, resulting in more office space and reduced liability should a disaster strike, such as a fire or criminal activity.
We went paperless by simply reducing our printers and implementing new technology. We used to have multiple printers in the office, now we just have one. This has made it more inconvenient to print, so our staff naturally adjusted to technology quicker and printed less.
As a sea turtle hospital and ocean conservation hub, it is critical that we walk the walk in an effort to protect our blue planet. In 2016, Loggerhead Marinelife Center created a Campus Sustainability Initiative to reduce waste in our daily workflows.
"We eliminated paper plates and cutlery on campus and now provide reusable plates, glasses and cutlery in the breakroom for staff and volunteers. We also unsubscribed from catalogs and magazines sent to LMC and transformed the expense reporting system into a completely digital one. Any shredded paper is immediately placed in our on-campus composting bin. As the public relations and communications coordinator, I save digital clippings of media coverage rather than paper copies.
"Perhaps most impactful, late last year our hospital staff began implementing a completely electronic medical records system for the Center's sea turtle patients. Loggerhead Marinelife Center's retail operations department also greatly improved retail sustainability by communicating with dozens of vendors to consolidate packaging and reduce its associated waste.
When we first acquired our tutoring academy, everything was paper based. Customer and tutor records as well as contracts were all recorded and maintained on paper, and stored in a filing cabinet. One of the first things we did was copy all customer and tutor records into Excel and eventually into a database. We then switched to SignNow for tutor and customer contracts and records.
"We began to use an education-based SaaS (OASES) to track tutoring hours and payment records, as well as assessment testing. At this point, everything is stored either in a proprietary database, Dropbox, SaaS or PDFs. No more paper and filing cabinets. We have been 100 percent paper-free since early 2016.
Has your business gone green and reduced its environmental footprint? If so, what tips would you add? Leave a comment and spark a discussion below.