Was increasing the organization’s emphasis on sustainability a major resolution for the new year? It’s a popular goal, and there are many great reasons why.
According to a survey by Harvard, 78 percent of Fortune 500 companies have sustainability initiatives and issue a yearly report on the company’s progress towards a greener office. (That number is up from 57 percent from a similar study by McKinsey in 2011).
As conversations about the environment and climate increases, sustainability is a major topic in business. The majority of consumers expect the brands they support to care about their carbon footprint and are prepared to forego brands that don’t – even if they’re cheaper.
That means many organizations are actively seeking ways to promote sustainability in their office and to their customers. Document management is one strategy gaining in popularity. Read on to learn about it, and why document management is a smart move for any company that handles data.
6 Ways Document Management Promotes Office Sustainability
Document management is the set of strategies and tools that a company uses to keep its documents organized, accessible, and secure. Historically, this has involved filing cabinets and paper trays. However, modern offices frequently deploy software that digitizes paper documents and leverages the cloud.
The benefits of document management solutions are well-known: It accelerates workflows with process optimization, prevents breaches, and reduces an office’s operating expenses. However, it’s also a valuable tool for any organization seeking to create a green office. Document management promotes office sustainability through:
1. Reduced Paper Output in the Office
Printing represents one of the most wasteful office processes of all. The average employee prints off about 10,000 sheets of paper each year – at least 15 percent of that will go straight into the waste bin. A document management system helps a company reduce its paper output by migrating to electronic documents. Reduce that printing and watch the company’s carbon footprint shrink.
2. Better Document Tracking
Lost paperwork is stressful – and expensive. It needs to be found or reprinted, and if it happened to fall into the wrong hands, it could result in a breach. In contrast, a document management strategy introduces document tracking so that employees always know exactly where the document is – and who has edited it, accessed it, or sent it off to the intended recipient.
3. Eliminate Personal Printing
According to DocuTrend, over three-quarters of office workers admit to printing personal items on the company’s printers. Whether it’s a single page or an entire PDF book, unauthorized printing drives up the bottom line and increases waste. A document management solution can help eliminate personal printing by locking down the printers so that only authorized individuals – and print jobs – use it.
4. Conserve Toner and Cartridges
Not all documents are the same and need the same printing requirements. A document management strategy may consider the types of print jobs that an office undertakes and adjust the printer settings accordingly. For example, companies that print massive amounts of text-based documents may appreciate thinner margins and toner-saving modes, saving more excessive toner use for images.
Cartridges are particularly problematic from an environmental standpoint. Each puts nearly 11 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during production. By reducing cartridge use, a company can reduce this impact.
5. Emphasize a Culture of Sustainability
There are many wonderful ways to reduce a company’s carbon footprint without disrupting workflows – using remanufactured cartridges is one. However, many of these methods go unnoticed because nothing changes.
In contrast, a document management system is a visible change in the office. It’s one way to encourage employees to consciously adopt a culture of sustainability that transfers to other areas, too.
6. Implement Waste Management
Many companies put a lot of thought into how documents flow through an organization but less thought into their disposal. Document management considers all aspects of a document’s lifecycle, and that includes what happens to the documents when they’re no longer needed. For some companies, this means using the waste bin or the shredder.
However, document disposal is one area where organizations can embrace greener alternatives. This might include recycling or even reusing shredded documents as packaging filler.
Sustainability Means Doing Better Business
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword floating around the business world – it’s a critical move that consumers expect companies to take. Office processes are frequently wasteful, but they don’t need to be. Green solutions are sustainable, cost-effective, and support productivity. By implementing strategies like document management, companies enjoy better workflows with reduced waste and consumption.
Looking for ways to make the office more productive and sustainable? Try out a document management strategy. It may just be the key to transforming the office.
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