Talking about "going paperless" or reducing paper waste is all fine and good, but to understand how these initiatives can actually benefit a business, the decision-makers have to know how much paper is actually being used. According to Conversable Economist, it's a lot.
Citing a report from the Environmental Paper Network, the news source shows that, while paper usage in North America has been on the decline, average paper consumption per year was still over 500 pounds in 2009. Additionally, even with a 24 percent decline between 2008 and 2009, total world consumption of paper continues to rise annually. And the average consumer in North America uses 30 times the amount of paper in a year that a consumer in Africa, and six times more than someone in China, despite massive paper usage growth there. When considering the average consumer's paper usage, this doesn't even take into account the average business's usage in a year.
For businesses, this demonstrates a major area where not only savings can occur, but increased environmental awareness as well. Reducing paper consumption cuts back on waste generated, storage needed and the cost of printing, storage and maintenance for related hardware. However, to really embrace paperless solutions and begin to earn these benefits, a business needs the right document management solution.
Document management allows a business to more easily migrate to digital information, cutting paperwork out of its daily workflow and utilizing computers, tablets and other devices to speed up the flow of information and make collaboration and communication easier. Ultimately, implementing a digital information management solution can help a company do more than help the environment and cut costs – it can increase productivity and make flexible working a reality, rather than a goal.
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