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Is Going Paperless Sustainable for Organizations?



Nowadays, many people are familiar with the term “paperless”. Most of the businesses are moving to a paperless system as the paper-based system is more time consuming and not a cost-effective solution.

The paperless system allows the user to access documents that are stored on different computers by utilizing any cloud-based service. Paperless system also helps more than one employee to get access to a document at the same time. So, this method is less time-consuming.

This system increases the efficiency and productivity of work and also helps to eliminate all the problems related to the paper-based system. The workers of organizations can easily view all the documents in electronic form without having a need of finding the documents from large piles of files. Moreover, the sharing of documents between different organizations can be achieved by using a secure mailing system. The user can store all the documents in one place that can easily be shared with other workers when required. Usually, the official documents are stored in PDF format. Any of the best PDF editing software can be used in order to edit a document. In a paperless office system, all the electronic files are stored on servers which have an efficient security system as unauthorized people cannot get access to those servers.

With the help of the paperless system, the required documents can be searched out easily and quickly as this system is very well organized. This helps in saving time and also increases the efficiency of the work.

This time-saving characteristic of paperless office can help the executive body to focus on the business development; therefore, leading to more fruitful outcomes.

Along with the benefit of less time consumption, digital management system also helps in cost reduction as it does not require too much cost for its implementation. The investors can usually get the returns in a period of half year. For progressing businesses, most of the business executives choose the methods by which cost can be saved. So, cost reduction benefit is a driver for the business leaders for moving towards a paperless office system. The huge filing cabinets are not required for storing files and time consumption is also reduced. Both of these features lead to a cost-efficient system.

This article answers the question that whether paperless office helps to make an organization sustainable or not.

Is going paperlessly sustainable for organizations?

The sustainable organizations usually refer to those organizations that have a very little negative effect on global or the local environment, society or community. The policies of such organizations are usually progressive towards the environment and human rights. The sustainable organizations must satisfy the customers but are also required to treat the environment well.

Shifting to a document management system is a sustainability concept that can be implemented easily. This system is rewarding as both the employees and management become skilled in sustainable processes and also witness the productive results.

Paperless offices are also a need of today’s world in order to have a better and clean environment. A huge positive impact can be created on the environment by decreasing the use of paper. The five ways are mentioned below which shows that going paperless is good for the environment.

1) Save trees:

The organization’s carbon footprint can be reduced by moving to a paperless office. On average, one tree has the ability to produce about 17 reams of paper and it takes about 100 years to grow. About 110 pounds of carbon dioxide is released into the environment by producing 17 reams of paper.

2) Reducing pollution:

The digital document management system allows storage of huge amount of data without requiring any paper; therefore keeping the environment green. One of the major polluting industries in the world is a paper industry that is also a contributor to greenhouse gases. About 900 million trees are cut down every year for producing paper. Most of the paper is utilized by organizations for documentation purposes. However, the environment can be made less polluted by reducing the cutting of forests for the manufacturing of paper. So, paperless offices are very useful in reducing pollution and preserving the wildlife of the forests. The waste can also be reduced by shifting to the paperless system as according to EPA, 40% of the waste is contributed by paper. Hence, by going paperless, the businesses can be made eco-friendly.

3) Reduce transport:

Fuel is used for transporting the paper across different parts of the world. Harmful gases are released on burning of the fuel. But if an organization switches to a digital document management solution then it will save up the transportation/ delivery cost while keeping the environment clean.

4) Save water

One sheet of paper is produced by using 1.5 cups of water. In today’s world, fresh drinking water is a growing concern as millions of people especially in the third world countries are facing the horrors of draught. Therefore, water must be saved in any method available one of which is a paperless office.

5) Less use of other stuff:

It is not just the use of paper that is bad for the environment. There are many other materials used in paper which are also dangerous for the environment such as ink. Fossil fuels are used for the production of ink. Usually, chemicals present in inks are made with elements that are dangerous to our environment.

The paperless system is not only environment saving but it is also money saving. Organizations can save a lot of money per year by shifting their businesses to eco-friendly processes and solutions. The filing and retrieval cost can be saved by using
digital documents and optical character recognition (OCR) technology. A user can easily save the electronic documents in PDF version, which is a universal format, by using any of the best PDF converters. Moreover, the paperless system also cuts down the data entry cost and the cost associated with paper and ink.

Therefore, going paperless is absolutely sustainable for organizations as it can help them to achieve the environmental friendly processes. Moreover, it also helps the organizations in cost reduction; hence leading to more productivity.