Minimise Paper Wastage By Adopting A Paper-Light Office In Your Business

minimize paper waste reduce printing physical files lean startup life

Positively contributing to the environment by minimising paper wastage has long been at the top of the agenda for business owners and employees alike, and using document management services will allow you to adopt an environmentally friendly paper-light office. 

With the global consumption of paper increasing by almost 50% since 1980 and the average office worker using 10,000 sheets of paper each year (of which 6,800 are wasted), it remains as important as ever to continue campaigning for change and taking the appropriate action to ensure we properly look after our environment. 

There are many different document management services that will help you to adopt a paper-light office approach, from document storage to scanning to shredding. However, before you hand over control to a specialist management company, it is important to get your expenses in order. 

Perform An Audit 

You should first carry out an audit of your current paper usage and wastage. It doesn’t have to be a complicated task, just review your current expenses with your office manager or the person in charge of overseeing financial business expenditures, and work out how much you are spending on ink, paper, servicing, and any other printing or paper related overheads. 

Once you understand the cost of maintaining a paper dependant office, you can produce a plan that outlines your budget. You can summarise how much you are currently spending, and how much you plan to save with document management services in the future. 

How To Transform Your Paper Dependant Office Into A Paper-Light Office: 

Digitise Paper Documents 

Digitising your paper documents is one of the most effective ways of minimising paper usage, but it can be a time consuming and tiresome task for employees. That is why document management companies offer a comprehensive document scanning service utilising modern technology to scan your documents and create high-quality digital copies. 

Instead of keeping backup paper copies of documents, you can help to minimise paper usage with document digitisation. Rather than creating multiple hard copies of a document and using mass amounts of paper, you can simply choose to scan the original document and keep digital copies. You can easily access your digitised copies as each document will be turned into a numbered PDF file on a data disc. 

What Other Measures Can Be Taken To Reduce Paper Wastage? 

Use Digital Signature Programmes 

Digital signatures can also help in your mission to adopt a paper-light office. Essentially digital signatures are like electronic fingerprints, they verify and validate the authenticity of a message and deliver the highest levels of security and protection. They will also help you to minimise your paper wastage as documents won’t have to be printed just to be hand signed and re-scanned later on. 

Have Multi-Monitor Workstations For Employees 

One of the main reasons for unnecessary printing is due to single monitor workstations. Many people prefer to cross-reference documents and printing paper copies is the easiest way of achieving this. However with dual monitor workstations, employees can cross reference materials without having to print reams of paper. The expense of purchasing new monitors is nothing compared to the hundreds of pounds that you end up spending on printing materials each year. 

To Conclude... 

Sometimes using (and wasting paper) is a necessary part of your day-to-day job and it cannot be avoided. We can’t expect employees, business owners and individuals around the world to become ‘paperless’ in their approach, however we can all make the effort to reduce our paper wastage, for our own sakes and the sake of our environment.


I hope you enjoyed this article about how to minimize wasting paper at work by conserving physical files and printing.

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