Quit Paper — A Bandwagon Worth Jumping on this Earth Day

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall

If every day we as individuals make an impact on the world, how big of an impact can an entire business make?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, printing and writing papers typically found in school and office environments (e.g., copier paper, printouts, notepads, etc.) comprise the largest category of paper product consumption and landfill waste. What’s even more alarming is that paper usage is actually increasingdespite all of today’s advances in technology — The Paperless Project states that the average business’s paper consumption grows by 22% each year, meaning in 3.3 years your paper consumption will double.

So, in celebration of Earth Day, let’s take a moment and reflect on our own contributions to this perpetuating problem and consider the ways businesses can actually benefit from defending our natural resources and eliminating paper.

If your company is still using paper-based, manual processes, an estimated 45% of the paper printed in your office will end up in the trash by the end of the day  — this is the daily lifespan for over 1 trillion sheets of paper every year. And even if your office recycles, a sizeable portion of that number will end up in a landfill. Another thing to consider is the impact paper use has on our forests. Did you know the World Resources Institute predicts that it will take less than 100 years to destroy all rainforests on earth if the current rate of deforestation continues? Take a second to mull that one over …

Excessive paper use isn’t just negatively affecting the planet, though; it’s also a detriment to your business’s productivity and profitability. According to The Paperless Project, a typical employee spends 30-40% of their time looking for information kept in filing cabinets — time that could be used on activities that actually add value to your business. Not to mention that paper prices have recently risen 7-10% and are expected to keep climbing.

But don’t worry, folks. We’ve got good news for you: paper-based, manual processes that greatly contribute to these environmental problems can be a thing of the past thanks to AI-driven automated solutions. We’re living in a digital age where paper isn’t an absolute necessity in business processes anymore, so why not use these advances in technology to help your company and the planet simultaneously?

If you’re doubting your ability to make a difference this Earth Day, here’s one more quote to keep in mind:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

Written by – Taylor Bucher