A typical office disposes of about 350 pounds of wastepaper per employee per year*. What’s more, a document is copied 19 times on average throughout its life.
Now that a new year is upon us, it’s time to reevaluate your company’s policies on paper usage. While document management can help store, organize and access archive and active files, there is more you can do to reduce your paper consumption. Implementing e-forms, automating workflow, and scanning documents can also help reduce paper throughout your organization.
Below are some simple paper reduction tips to begin taking the first steps towards achievable paperless goals in your organization in 2013:
- Set Computer Defaults to Print Double-Sided. Set up computer software for default two-sided printing including word processing, spreadsheets, electronic mail, and others.
- Preview Documents Before Printing. Proofread documents on screen before printing. Don’t forget to use the speller/grammar function to detect errors.
- Print Only the Pages You Need. You just got back that 20-page report you wrote and there are changes to make on pages 2, 3, 4, 7, and 15. Consider instead printing only the pages you need.
- Print Envelopes Without Labels. Save the cost of buying mailing labels and eliminate the waste associated with those labels by printing addresses directly on envelopes.
- Provide Trays to Collect and Reuse Envelopes and File Folders. Encourage reuse of large envelopes and file folders by providing centrally located trays for their collection.
- Send Information Electronically. Use email for forms, document transmittals and faxes. Think carefully before printing electronic information. Make sure to back up your information on an external hard drive, flash drive, cloud or by other means.
- Let employees know that their paper reduction efforts not only save paper, but also postage costs (from reduced mail volume), and storage space requirements. All these savings add to a leaner, more efficient office that benefits everyone.
- Promote a “Think Before You Copy” Attitude. Workers should be encouraged to make sure they really need the copies they are making and not to make excess copies.