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Stopping the Workplace Paper Chase

11 November 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

Approximately half of organisations (49%) are decreasing their paper consumption, according to new research by AIIM, despite just 22% of businesses having an environmental policy to reduce paper use.

While 20% of respondents in the new study – Paper-Free Progress: measuring outcomes – state that consumption of paper is increasing in their organisation, the 2015 net of 29% compares favourably with 23% net when the same research was conducted in 2014 and just 3% net in 2011.

“Slowly but surely, organisations are coming round to the idea that digitising much of the content and information flowing through their business can be beneficial,” explained John Mancini, President, AIIM. “We are never going to eliminate paper completely but when it becomes clear that going paper-free delivers return-on-investment as well as helping the environment, businesses will be more willing to invest in the technologies that let them go paper-free.”

Launched as part of World Paper Free Day 2015, the AIIM initiative is an attempt to challenge organisations to take firm steps on the path to using less paper, eliminating the waste and confusion that piles of office paper can create.

Businesses and organisations from all over the world have taken the paper-free pledge, including Fujitsu, Iron Mountain and IBM. More than half of survey respondents (57%) stated they were committed to digital transformation but the study revealed that in many organisations, there is still a lot of progress to be made in achieving that. Among the findings are:

  • 35% of respondents say that most of the electronic invoices they receive get printed anyway.

  • 34% agree that most of the documents they scan are unchanged from printer to scanner.

  • 31% admit that their desk is ‘piled high’ with paper still, worrying given that the average office worker uses up to 45 sheets of paper per day , of which more than half is considered waste.

  • A lack of management initiatives and staff preferences (both 49%) were the two main reasons given as to why there is still so much paper around.

  • 39% feel there is a general lack of understanding of paper-free options.

“Recycling paper helps somewhat, but by far the best way to reduce paper-related pollution is to use less of it,” concluded John Mancini. “We all need to use less paper than we are now, and despite the evident progress made, this is something we all need to work on and the capture, management and storing of information digitally is a good way to start.”

Picture: The Report

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 11 November 2015


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