"In a best practice small office, employees will use as little as 15 sheets of paper a day compared to a less resourceful
office where each person can squander a staggering 100 sheets of paper per day. This means that many companies have the
potential to reduce costs and help reduce environmental damage. Cutting down on paper usage would help to reduce the 5 million
tonnes of printing and writing paper UK businesses are estimated to throw away each year." (www.envirowise.gov.uk)
1. Only print documents when absolutely necessary.
- Instead of printing copies of documents for review and editing, email it,
or email a link to it to
ensure the editing is done on the original document and not a copy. When a document is finalised, it can then be printed for
signing and sending to the customer. This can save several sheets of paper per document.
- If possible, set your printer to print double sided on certain long documents. This will half the paper usage per document!
- Don’t print a copy of every email received. Only print emails if they contain relevant information.
Before you print an email, check the print preview. If the email disclaimer runs the document onto two or more pages, change
your print settings to only print the relevant pages of the document.
- Create and store documents in a shared drive, or in a document management system, instead of in paper
files. A document management system is a more secure and efficient way of storing documents.
This will eliminate the need to print duplicate copies of all documents for filing.
- Invest in software that sends faxes to your inbox as if they were an email. This allows you to
decide which faxes to print and file, and which faxes can simply be read and deleted.
2. Issue documents electronically rather than in paper form.
When sending a document to a customer, rather than printing and posting it find out if they would mind receiving it via email.
Email is fast becoming a popular and secure method of transmitting information. Information can be sent quickly and easily back
and forth between yourself and customers, saving time and money, and reducing the amount of paperwork in the office.
3. Scan and file paper documents
A popular method of achieving a ‘paperless office’ is to invest in a scanner and scan paper documents into a networked drive
or a document management solution. Scanning documents into an electronic system has many advantages, including increasing the
overall security of documents, and improving disaster recovery options.
Documents which have been scanned into an electronic system do not need to be kept in paper files in the office.
This dramatically reduces the amount of storage required, enabling a positive step towards a paperless office.