It is no news to anyone that global warming is one our most important issues since the industrial age. Among many reasons, paper manufacturing is one the main reasons which leads to mass deforestation and greenhouse gas emission due to pollution. Even though paper is classified as a renewable resource, its recovery and production require time, expenditure and energy which results to the environmental concerns.
From a business and commercial point of view, paper has been used for centuries for different applications. Firstly, they have been used for representing value in the form of money, cheque, vouchers and tickets. They have also been used for communicating and storing information in the form of printed or written books, magazines, art, post, receipts and print media.
We have come a long way thanks to technological developments and since we live in a digital information age, it is about time businesses and industries go smart. A lot of applications which require paper can now be executed digitally as long as the information is accurate and convenient. For example, if you visit an ATM, you are asked if you would like a transaction receipt even when all information regarding your usage is available online. Most banks even provide transaction alerts in the form of texts using SMS Gateway. The point is that consumers and suppliers need to work on evolving the mindset which revolves around physical or hard copies as customers still prefer paper. Metric tons of resources and paper can be saved if the digital shift is implemented with a more enforcing approach.
Furthermore, saving paper is saving money and this will grab the reader’s attention more. For small and medium companies or businesses, paperless productivity helps to eliminate or reduce their hard documents by going electronic or digital. The following are some ways going digital can save organizations money and smoothen their operations at the same time;
1. Reduce and organize Stream of hard documents
Organization of paperwork is hard and time consuming. Even then, there is an action that needs to be performed after organizing which can be change, store or dispose. Important documents like bills, statements and invoices can be sent and received over email or other digital channels. Besides, the added level of security thanks to advancement in information technology ensures that your information is secure and on time.
2. Instant access to files
Going digital enables businesses to build and browse their database for files and information rather than physically looking for them in a mountain of paperwork. For instance, banks can access your account straight from their desks rather than looking for physical documents.
3. Rapid internal communication
Internal communication is mandatory for smooth operations within the work place. In recent times, employees were accustomed to calls, face-to-face or printed communication in the form of notices. Today, every employee is connected to the manager by technology and can be reached in real-time. However, saving money is as important as effective communication so a right balance is often maintained.
4. Cost Effective Notifications and Alerts
Most businesses and industries constantly send out notifications and alerts to their customers. People are accustomed to paper receipts, forms and money which makes it difficult to change the trend. However, many channels have been successful today as customers are slowly being shifted to digital notifications thanks to superpowers like Amazon, Ali baba and other mega ecommerce stores. Restaurants have also started bulk SMS campaigns along with booking and reservation reminders. Appointment based businesses like dentists and beauty salons say that customers are more punctual since getting email and SMS reminders.
5. Save Money by Reducing Waste
Every year millions of metric tons of paper is disposed or recycled at a steep cost. Businesses can save a lot of their budget by going electronic. Shredding, filing, posting and writing can be time consume and lead to a lot of waste. Plus, if paper usage is reduced, so is the costs spent on it and on disposing it. Besides, the cost put into paper can be better put to another use at the work place.
It is important to acknowledge that paper is an important material which is used daily for many purposes worldwide. The annual global production of paper is approximately over 420 million metric tons. About 35 percent of it is used for printing and writing. Here are some important facts you should know about paper pollution;
- One piece of A4 paper requires about 5 liters of water
- To produce a Sunday edition of New York Times, over 75,000 trees are cut to do so
- 25 percent of land fill waste is paper
- 50 percent of waste in business consists of paper
- Paper is the 3rd largest cause of air, land and water pollution worldwide.
- People are adapting slowly to the electronic revolution but the demand for paper is still expected to be doubled after 2025
- Chemicals in papers have been proven to cause cancer
- Majority of food, especially in 3rd world countries is packaged in papers there by increasing hygiene and health related issues
The Importance of Digital Receipts
A digital receipt is the game changer that industries and commercial businesses need to impose effectively. It is an incredible tool which saves money, energy and time on the daily basis. A digital receipt can help your track your expenses in real time with options to store for future use along with the freedom to organize your activities. With cellphone integration, you can even scan receipts and barcodes for more information. In the US alone, there are over 11 billion receipts printed each year. If these receipts were digital, it would result to 10 million trees saved along with a billion gallons of water over a 250 million gallons of oil. Sure, digital receipts do cost money but it is nowhere compared to the cost of paper receipts. Plus, they can contribute to saving the planet and keeping us healthy at the same time.