Businesses need to be doing more to put green back onto their agendas according to a whitepaper by business automation software provider, V1. A YouGov survey revealed that 80% of UK organisations print documents just to sign them, and recycling experts WRAP reported that the average office worker uses up to 45 sheets of paper a day, half of which ends up as waste.
In a new whitepaper V1 has revealed how companies can significantly reduce their use of paper and carbon emissions by using electronic document management (EDM). The paper also highlights the other key benefits this technology can bring. These include:
· Reduced paper usage and carbon emissions – EDM allows documents to be captured, stored and accessed electronically enabling a significant, if not total, reduction in paper production, printing and distribution. UK soft drinks business Nichols plc calculated that it has saved 454 trees and 973.35 tonnes of carbon as a result of using the technology over the past six years.
· Elimination of paper handling costs – Printer maintenance, paper and toner, envelopes and postage costs can all be drastically reduced. Research by the AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) revealed that two-thirds of organisations that adopt paper-free processes see return on investment within 18 months, and 50% do so within a year.
· Processing efficiencies and greater reliability – EDM extensively reduces the time taken to search, archive and distribute documents, and the need to input information manually. This leads to reduced errors, omissions and content loss. Research by business consultants PwC showed that around 7.5% of paper documents are lost and 3.5% are mis-filed.
· Remote and mobile access – With documents available online via the cloud, staff no longer need to travel to the office or meetings to access them, saving on mileage. It also supports flexible/home-working which is increasing – 2014 saw the highest number of staff working from home since records began.
· Disaster recovery support – Digital documents can be quickly and automatically replicated in the case of a disaster, enabling a business to continue providing a consistent service to customers. In a V1 survey earlier this year 82% of senior IT and finance professionals admitted the need to incorporate electronic document storage into their disaster recovery plans is either ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ to maintain business continuity.
Janette Martin, Managing Director, V1, says: “Supporting sustainability should no longer be viewed as a cost and many companies have recognised that investing in green technologies makes sound business sense through gaining tangible efficiency savings.
“With increasing numbers of customers now demanding environmentally-friendly goods and services, there is no reason for organisations to be printing and storing documents. Implementing document management software is a simple step that will boost green credentials, modernise working practices, save costs and time in addition to future-proofing a business from natural disasters.”