Reduce your paper, reduce your costs


How to make meaningful reductions to save money and reduce environmental impact

The digital era has brought many changes, including new consumption habits for paper. But, is your business reducing its paper use enough? The majority of businesses and employees reply with an unhesitating “yes”. But is that accurate?

Back in 2014, Australia’s National Waste Report calculated that Australians use approximately 223kg of paper per personal annually. Since then, our paper consumption has declined, but we are still placed as one of the highest-ranking paper consumers compared to the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Australia’s high paper consumption comes despite an increase in electronic and digital document use. E-signed documents are gradually taking over the traditional signed hardcopy version, and there isn’t a lot that can’t be approved, agreed upon or verified via a trusted eSignature solution or app. Magazines and newspaper publications are also available in electronic format, and most libraries now provide access to digital e-books and audio. So, why then does Australia still have such high paper consumption rates? Here’s how you can start making a difference today.

Where to start

You can begin implementing better paper management practices today by: 

  • Reducing the volume of paper entering your business and moving processes to online-only.
  • Start classifying. Assess what paperwork your business is holding and determine what’s essential and where it should be located.
  • If you’re keeping a large quantity of paper documents, consider digitising it and moving the original off-site. Or, document shredding is available through ZircoDATA’s secure destruction process. 
  • Making it accessible. A document management platform will allow you to manage your documents and implement document-centric workflows. 

The environmental benefits

As well as the potential to reduce business costs and improve the bottom line, less paper usage in your organisation has numerous environmental benefits, including: 

  • Cutting manufacturing emissions. Did you know that paper manufacturing is one of the worst offenders when it comes to carbon pollution? Making one tonne of paper emits more than 1.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent
  • Reducing transport emissions. Every physical document that is transported across town or across the world is most likely being transported by fossil-fuelled vehicles. 
  • Saving water. It takes approximately 1.5 cups of water to make 1 sheet of paper

Better document management

If you have never used the services of a records and information management provider, consider the benefits: 

  • Purposely built records centres that house and protect files. 
  • ​​Vaults kept at a constant temperature within those record centres ensure historical or extremely vital documents are preserved to their greatest ability. By protecting the original documents, you can help reduce the reproduction and reprinting of existing files. 
  • Together with a Scan-On-Demand option whereby if a file needs to be referenced regularly, an electronic version can be provided, helping to protect the original further. 

Learn more

For more about the paper monster we are all capable of creating, check out the blog post Defeating The Paper Monster.

Where to next?

How to start a recycling program

Do you want to start recycling, but can’t do it alone? We’ve prepared some insider tips and resources to help you create practices that you will be proud to share!

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