Alternative Environmental Solutions to Offset your Paper Footprint
Regardless of the industry that you serve, your clients have likely faced a great deal of pressure to "go paperless." Although there are many digital alternatives available, such as the use of cloud-based document systems, these solutions may not be viable for your clients. It is also true that even though some companies may get close, the ideal paperless company does not yet exist.
Paper is actually not being phased out at the record pace that environmentalists would have you believe. There are still 4 million tons of paper used per annum in the United States alone. Each worker in the United States will use around 10,000 pieces of paper in a year. Paper production makes use of the third highest amount of energy in all manufacturing sectors.
What are we trying to say? The digital age is not yet really the digital age! However, there are efficient and meaningful ways that your clients can advantageously cut back on the paper that they use. Let's go over some of the solutions.
The Type of Paper Used in the Office
The type of paper that is used makes a huge difference in the footprint that an office leaves on the environment. Kraft paper is extremely inefficient when compared to groundwood processed paper. Let your clients know they can reduce the amount of energy that they consume with groundwood paper, even if they cannot reduce the total amount of paper that they use in the office.
Consider the True Cost of Paper
Many offices continue to use paper because they believe it to be the cheapest option. These offices are not considering the true cost of paper.
Reams of paper are relatively inexpensive – your clients can probably find medium quality reams for around five dollars. However, the storage, copying, printing, postage and disposal costs of using that paper can take the cost of using that ream up to around $155. By the time they finish purchasing all of the products that actually make paper useful - copiers, ink cartridges, pens and pencils, envelopes, stamps, notary signatures, etc., etc., etc. - they may find that using digital assets is actually cheaper in some cases.
Many large companies in the financial sector have actually done the numbers and work to reduce their paper uptake. Companies like Citigroup and Bank of America are not necessarily trying to save the world, but they definitely know money. Both of them have actively tried to reduce their paper usage by 25% for one reason - a reduction of that amount saves their companies around $700,000 on an annual basis.
Thinking Before Printing
Your clients can actually create a more cost-effective process by simply thinking before they print. For instance, reducing font size, extending the margins slightly and printing on both sides of the paper can drastically reduce the amount of paper that gets used on a daily basis. Tell your clients to set the print default to double-sided as well - this will save a great deal of paper.
Instead of printing out memos for every person in an office, rework office policy so that people in proximity to each other share memos. In some cases, clients may be able to print envelopes without labels. In other cases, simply changing the orientation of a document may allow them to include more information on one piece of paper. Finally, do not print a document unless it is the absolute final version. The revision process can be done digitally even if the document has to be produced on paper.
Creating a Circular Ecosystem Using Print ReLeaf
We understand - sometimes going paperless is simply not an option. However, there is also no need to destroy forests and create a net loss of trees in the environment to do business. Our Print ReLeaf solution and Certification actually ensures that your clients are involved in reforestation as they use our products to print their documents. Their paper footprint is actually converted right back into trees.
No matter how much your clients need to print, our project helps you keep up with the footprint they create through our cloud-based user interface. All paper consumption details will be calculated using our proprietary algorithm, creating a paper footprint that we will convert into a specific number of trees. This number is the amount of trees that need to be replanted in order to create a 0% net loss of resources to the environment.
There are many reforestation projects that we have partnered with to provide new trees depending on your clients' use of paper. What's more, they can choose which of these reforestation projects they want to participate in. There are choices in Brazil, Madagascar, Ireland, India, the Dominican Republic, the United States and Mexico. The entire process is fully automated, and there is no software to download.
Imagine the potential for PR when your clients publicize the fact that they are helping to plant trees as they use paper in your office. They have the ability to watch the entire process, and they can share in the positive impact that they are creating in forests around the world through social marketing and certifications.
Plant new trees and lose none of your office productivity - what better way for your clients to offset your paper footprint?