"Sustainability" has become a prominent subject in today's business landscape as more and more companies embrace and prioritize sustainable practices. Many organizations have implemented measures to ensure sustainability and have even established dedicated C-level positions to drive progress in sustainable business practices.
Sustainable thinking is increasingly permeating our society, impacting political decisions and our daily lives.
96% of the world's largest 250 companies (G250) have embraced sustainability reporting, employing diverse metrics to measure their environmental and social impact.
This global shift towards socially and environmentally responsible business practices has led to the development of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria for corporate investment decisions. Organizations increasingly embrace transparency and incorporate sustainable and socially responsible practices in today's business landscape. Frameworks such as ESG provide stakeholders and investors with a standardized way to assess a company's global impact. By prioritizing ESG and other green initiatives, businesses can make informed technology choices that align with their environmental and social goals, driving long-term positive change.
Going paperless in offices can do wonders for your sustainability initiatives. Paper accounts for a significant amount of environmental harm. Putting it in simple words:
Sustainability = Paperless Office = Digitization
Given that, we can't ignore the significant role of document digitization and scanning in these efforts. Document scanning makes it easier for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and increase sustainability. Dive below to learn more about the role of document scanners in increasing sustainable business practices and the benefits of documents in improving businesses' green initiatives.
From Paper to Pixels: Document Scanners as Catalysts for Business Sustainability
Approximately 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to paper products, which require substantial energy and resources for production and disposal.
Despite the rise of tablets, smart devices, and paperless office initiatives, paper consumption continues to rise. Here are a few facts about paper consumption in today's workplace.
- A single tree can produce approximately 12,500 sheets of paper.
- The typical office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of paper annually.
- On average, documents are imitated or printed 19 times.
- Within a day, 45% of these documents are discarded or recycled.
- Printing a document costs roughly $0.02, filing it costs $5, and retrieving it later costs $20.
- Misfiling occurs in up to 20% of cases.
- The expense of locating or reproducing a lost document is approximately $220.
- Up to 50% of documents remain unused due to printing errors and other errors.
These figures underscore the urgent need for sustainable and efficient paper management practices in workplaces, which supposedly have only one solution - digitization. Workplace digitization plays a vital role in reducing paper usage by a significant amount. Adopting digital solutions such as document scanners can contribute to environmental preservation, lower operational costs, and streamline document retrieval solutions.
Document scanning and digitization have a significant positive impact on the environment and operational efficiency. By transitioning from physical paper to digital formats, businesses can conserve natural resources, minimize waste, and reduce their carbon footprint. Digitized documents offer enhanced security through encryption and backup systems, safeguarding important information against loss or damage. Additionally, easy accessibility and sharing online streamline workflows and save time and costs associated with physical storage and transportation.
Environmental benefits of document scanning
Consume less energy
The process of harvesting trees, converting them into paper goods at mills, recycling paper, printing on paper, and managing paper waste relies on non-renewable resources and fossil fuels. Similarly, photocopying, faxing, mailing, distributing, and storing documents consume significant energy. Adopting electronic methods like scanning, sending, and viewing documents can minimize energy expenses and reduce your business's carbon footprint.
Less exposure to toxins
Document scanning systems provide a safer alternative to traditional printing methods by minimizing exposure to toxic ink and toners. These systems enhance office sustainability by simplifying paper recycling processes and reducing hazardous waste accumulation in landfills. Implementing such technology promotes a healthier work environment and contributes to environmental preservation.
Approximately 768 million trees are required to meet the global demand for paper each year. By scanning documents instead of printing them, companies can save over $1,300 annually while preserving a minimum of five trees. This eco-friendly approach promotes cost savings and sustainability in the business environment.
On average, offices generate approximately 350 pounds of waste, but reducing paper consumption can effectively decrease their overall waste output. This environmentally friendly practice benefits the planet and has positive financial implications for the business's bottom line.
Benefits of document scanning to improve sustainability
Save your employees valuable time
It's no secret that technology significantly boosts productivity, and document scanners are a prime example. Upgrading to the latest scanning equipment expedites tasks that would otherwise take twice as long. Additionally, modern scanning technology is user-friendly, requiring minimal training for employees. The time saved yields substantial returns and enables faster, more efficient job performance. It's an opportunity any business would welcome.
Make your documents more accessible
Retrieving documents becomes cumbersome when sorting through physical prints. Moreover, the risk of damage or loss increases if a document is solely stored in a cluttered desk drawer or filing cabinet. Electronic copies ensure quick and secure access to all processed documents, promoting accounting accuracy, financial consistency, and reliable record-keeping for business transactions.
Help you reduce your paper use
Implementing a document scanner in your office can significantly decrease paper waste and associated costs. Studies show that the average U.S. office worker utilizes about 10,000 sheets of paper yearly. Substantial savings can be achieved by reducing paper usage, even by a small margin. Embracing document scanners is an initial step towards minimizing reliance on paper, resulting in cost savings, environmental sustainability, and a positive public image for your business. Additionally, promoting workplace digitization with an environmentally friendly office can attract like-minded companies and potentially lead to new business opportunities. Choose the best document scanners to create an eco-friendly office environment.
Better document retention and records management
When managing your business, keeping track of the retention schedule for every document can be challenging. Many companies store old records off-site when they run out of space, but this is not a sustainable long-term strategy. You can also implement a document retention policy to ensure successful records management.
Help enhance security
While physical records can be vulnerable to unauthorized access, digital documents offer enhanced security. With password protection, encryption, and secure cloud storage, access to sensitive information can be controlled based on network, user credentials, and document type. Activity tracking ensures accountability. Unlike paper-based systems, cloud-based solutions provide regular backups, 24/7 monitoring, and convenient access for authorized users.
Faster audits, discoveries, and compliance
Scanning offers significant advantages for organizations and departments that undergo audits, discovery demands, and FOIA requirements. Dealing with these requests can be high-profile and time-sensitive. To streamline information retrieval, employing text-searchable digital files is crucial. Integrating a scanning strategy into your agency's risk assessment plan enables efficient storage, searchability, and rapid compliance with requests, thereby mitigating fines and negative publicity.
Paper records are highly vulnerable to various risks associated with natural disasters. Unlike computer systems, there are no backups available for physical documents. This puts small businesses at a significant disadvantage as they often fail to recover from such disasters. Incorporating document scanning into your business continuity plan is crucial.
Storing inactive files in box storage facilities may seem secure, but even buildings equipped with fire suppression systems pose a risk of document damage. By digitizing your files and utilizing a cloud-based document management system or off-site server backup, you can effectively rebound from a disaster with minimal disruption for your clients.
Even in the absence of a major disaster, having a digital backup for vital financial documents, permits, licenses, tax information, and other essential business operations is highly recommended. With digital files, your data remains secure despite minor incidents like flooding or fire.
It's a wrap!
Integrating scanning technologies and sustainability practices in today's workplace is paramount for organizations striving to make a positive environmental impact. Exela HR Solutions' Document Scanning service plays a vital role in this endeavor by enabling businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and increase sustainability. We at Exela HR Solutions digitize and manage documents efficiently, helping companies minimize their paper waste, conserve resources, and contribute to a greener future. Embracing scanning solutions is a step towards improved productivity and a commitment to environmental stewardship and a more sustainable workplace. If you are also looking to digitize your document-handling processes and embrace workplace digitization, contact our experts at Exela HR Solutions today!!
DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area