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Oct 23

Despite Green Efforts, Companies Use More Paper Than Ever

business paper - more paperWhile there are smartphones, tablets, emails and paperless solutions that companies can use to help reduce their paper consumption and support the environment, a report from The Economist said global paper consumption has increased significantly since 1980. But to save money and go green, organizations need to explore ways of reducing their dependability on paper.

“In a 1980 briefing in The Economist entitled ‘Towards the paperless office’, we recommended that businesses trying to improve productivity should ‘reduce the flow of paper, ultimately aiming to abolish it,'” according to The Economist. “Since then, alas, global paper consumption has increased by half. The average American uses the paper equivalent of almost six 40-foot (12-meters) trees a year.”

Findings state that Belgians consume the most paper, with each inhabitant in the country using on average the equivalent of 8.51 40-foot trees per year. The country’s overall consumption average may be higher because it houses the European Union’s, which has to print paperwork in multiple languages.

Other notable paper-consuming countries, in order, include Finland, Germany, Japan and Sweden, despite the fact that these countries have technology-driven economies. Other countries in the top 10 include the United States, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands, South Korea and Canada.

Even though the United Kingdom came in at No. 11, a Defra study notes that their paper recycling rose every year from 1997 to 2008, at which point it did taper off.

Whether it is recycling, using solar energy or simply cutting down on the amount of printing, there are a multitude of options for businesses that want to go green. Going paperless is just one of the ways organizations are aiding their green initiatives.

Going paperless has its benefits though, not just for the environment. With content management and workflow automation combined, a company can help increase productivity, improve customer service, reduce operating costs and give a company better security – all while becoming more environmentally sound. This has caused many companies, large and small, turn to paperless options. It is a win-win for the environment and the business.

Companies should consider their options for going green. While the use of paper has spread across the world, businesses can use their paperless operation as a way to advertise its eco-friendly mindset to potential customers and clients. The only way to reduce paper consumption is by having a commitment to doing so.

Samantha McCollough works for iDatix and has a passion for business and technology.

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