How to reduce paper waste in your government office
There’s no getting around it: Businesses use a lot of paper and ink. The printer is generally an office staple, and the fax machine may be on its way out in terms of everyday use, but according to RingCentral, nearly 17 billion faxes are still sent every year, with 46.3 million machines still in use. This equates to a lot of printing resources and money that could be spent elsewhere within an organization. This is one reason that lately, companies in every industry are starting to look at cracking down on paper utilization.
Another reason is that environmental sustainability is becoming a bigger part of the daily rhetoric in the business world. In late 2015, talks were held by the U.N. in Paris about the nature of climate change and humanity’s role in it. As government organizations and law offices following this trend become more focused on energy efficiency and sustainability, one of the big things they will need to revisit is how much paper they are utilizing in their day-to-day operations.
Along the way, there have been interesting suggestions as far as how to reduce paper consumption. In early 2014, according to CNN, a high school student somewhat famously suggested to Congress that by simply printing in sans-serif fonts and thus shortening documents, billions of dollars could be saved every year. But what are the lasting solutions? How can you make a real difference in the amount of paper used by your organization in a way that will help you save money and reduce waste?
Let’s take a look at a couple of easy ways that law offices can reduce paper consumption and contribute to green endeavors across the board:
Streamline communications technologies
A lot of paper gets tied up in getting information from one place to the next. Interoffice memorandums, faxes and junk mail are all things that can easily be replaced by investing in the right kinds of solutions. Investing in unified communications technologies, which include messaging, email and phone capabilities among other important tools, is a surefire way to get rid of physical office memos and do away with the need for unnecessary documentation. In addition, fax-over-Internet-protocol systems take away the need for physical sheets of paper, which can mean significant savings in the long run. According to TMCnet contributor Mae Kowalke, an Illinois county predicted it would save over $400 per month by investing in FoIP technology.
Invest in a digital signage solution
Law offices and government organizations need to invest in tools that will make their operations more efficient and contribute to a reduction in paper waste in the long run. Digital signatures, especially, represent one tool that allows office staff to skip the tedious task of receiving, organizing and transmitting paper documents.
“Organizations have the ability to reduce paper consumption at their fingertips.”
One question you may ask is: Are electronic signatures legally binding? The short answer is yes. In 2003, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act supported the legality of electronic signatures, and ever since then, organizations have had the ability to reduce paper consumption at their fingertips. After all, if courts are filing their documents using electronic signatures instead of physical sheets of paper, it follows that they will generate less waste. By investing in digital signature technology, courts and law offices can electronically sign documents and therefore decrease the need to print and send physical forms.
By taking these strides to implement better paper utilization strategies within your law office or government organization, you will be one step closer to saving more money and contributing to a healthier environment. Contact ESignIt today for more information.