Guest Blog, Sustainability
GUEST BLOG: Reducing paper waste in the workplace – top tips to reduce your paper footprint
Reducing paper waste in the workplace – top tips to reduce your paper footprint
The average person gets through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year – of which 6,800 are wasted. As our environmental conscience continues to grow, reducing paper use in your office is a simple but effective way to improve your company’s environmental policy, while saving you money in the process.
We’ve set out our top four tips to start reducing paper use in your office, for the benefit of both your business and the planet.
Digitise all internal communications
Leave printed memos and post-it notes in the past by shifting all forms of internal communication to digital platforms.
There are plenty of online communication channels built for the office that offer instant messaging, reminders and document exchange services. Not only does this promote the reduction of paper, but it also offers a far more convenient and efficient form of internal interaction, boosting workplace productivity.
Print only what you need
That being said, printing is sometimes a necessity – but by following the golden rule of ‘print only what you need’, you’ll drastically cut down on paper wastage (again, saving money in the process!).
Establish a company policy on documentation that needs to be printed. Where appropriate, try to promote paper reduction by encouraging printing in a smaller font and on both sides of the paper.
Tracking individual printing quantities is a great way to raise awareness of just how much paper you use and will inspire staff to reduce their personal paper footprint. You may even choose to incorporate an in-house paper saving competition, with a prize for the employee who uses the lowest amount of paper.
Use electronic back-ups
Internal reviews and external audits often result in multiple copies of the same documents – try reducing this through incorporating an electronic back-up system.
Memory sticks, external hard drives and the cloud are all suitable digital storage solutions that provide a more convenient retrieval process while dramatically cutting back on paper piles.
By far the most effective way of creating a green office environment is to promote environmental consciousness among your employees. Once all of your team start developing a more acute awareness of the environmental impact of their day-to-day activities within the office, they’ll naturally begin to create a more eco-friendly working environment.
There are a variety of eco-friendly packaging options when it comes to lunch time, for example. When employees are encouraged to use sustainable materials, they’re more likely to develop a wider environmental awareness – minimising their use of paper and recycling what they do use.
Making small changes to staff habits can drastically reduce paper usage in the long run.
Following these four tips will help you to save money and lend a much-needed helping hand to the environment – it’s a no-brainer, really.
Elizabeth Raw works for R+R Packaging, providers of biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging materials for businesses within a wide variety of industries.
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