How going paperless reduces your company’s carbon footprint
While it’s clear that the use of paper-based systems significantly reduces productivity and increases costs, reliance on paper also poses a significant risk to the environment. Going paperless reduces your impact on forests, decreases the amount of waste that is dumped into landfills, cuts energy use and helps lessen the impact of climate change.
According to the environmental advocacy group The World Counts, global production of paper and cardboard will amount to 420,000,000 tons in 2021. This corresponds to the world’s population of 7.9 billion people using two pieces of paper every hour. Despite an increasing interest in digitisation, it’s time to double down and eliminate or reduce your paper use. The World Counts also reports discouraging statistics that you might not have considered:
- Producing 1 kilo (2.3 lbs.) of paper requires 2-3 times its weight in trees. If everyone used 200 kilos (441 lbs.) of paper per year there would be no trees left
- It takes 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of water to produce a single A4 sheet of paper
- The pulp and paper industry is the single largest industrial consumer of water in Western countries
- 55 percent of the global paper supply comes from newly cut trees
Three environmental consequences of using paper
Waste disposal is also a major environmental threat associated with paper. Paper waste represents a substantial component of municipal solid waste in facilities nationwide; it turns out we’re printing more paper documents on average than we actually need. Then this paper is dumped into landfills, it starts to decompose, releasing toxic methane and potentially leeching printing inks into soil and water sources.
Sustainability efforts increase employee engagement
Working for a company that has a sustainability initiative underway is increasingly important to employees. At Key Digital we’re working toward becoming a carbon-neutral company and are assessing the steps we must take to achieve this goal. As a report from Accenture notes, “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted our global interconnectedness and collective reliance as never before.” That’s only one of the reasons why employees are more concerned than ever about whether their company’s business practices are kind to the whole planet.