July 3, 2023

Reducing Paper Consumption: Healthier Budget, Healthier Planet

As we become more aware of the fragility of our global environment, people and businesses are looking for new ways to do their part in conserving our natural resources. There has been a huge shift in consciousness regarding the effect that our daily decisions have on the planet. Citizens everywhere are recycling more, driving less, and reducing consumption in an effort to mitigate our carbon footprint. While these efforts are noble and effective, there’s no doubt that we could all do more. One of the most popular ways to reduce our carbon footprint is to use less paper. Paper is an extremely common resource, used in virtually every facet of our lives, often in excess of what is necessary. Increased awareness has brought with it a greater national effort to conserve our trees and waste less paper. In spite of this social change, businesses continue to consume huge amounts of paper, destroying trees and racking up needless expenses in the process. The global use of paper has continued to increase as our economy grows, leaving future generations with fewer trees and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. One of the most frustrating statistics regarding this topic is that 45% of paper used in offices ends up in the trash on the same day it is printed. This is not only a waste of our planet’s limited resources, but a significant waste of money as well. You might as well be printing those daily newsletters on dollars and throwing them away! With a bit of discipline and planning, we can easily make the switch to email or other digital mediums for those daily briefings and documents. While this small step goes a long way, we should not stop there. It is a bit more intimidating, but no less possible, to go paperless across entire departments. Accounting departments are natural paper hogs. From wire transfers to pay stubs to other supporting documents, accountants love paper trails, and with good reason! We need to support our accounting entries with hard documents to back them up. However, keeping strong records in 2018 does not have to mean bursting at the seams with wasted paper. There are a number of ways to digitize your accounting operations, offering a myriad of benefits beyond a greener planet. Going paperless with your accounting may seem daunting, but it offers vast cost, security, and environmental advantages. While many perceive physical documentation as more secure than its digital counterpart, an over-reliance on physical documents can become a major liability in the event of property damage, such as a fire, or worse, theft. Cloud-backed storage, on the other hand, has the benefit of encryption and digital back-ups to protect against unwanted access, damage, or loss. Taking your accounting into the digital space is a significant decision, but one that pays rich dividends in both tangible profits and social impact. If you have any questions regarding this change, feel free to contact us!¹“Consumption of Paper and Cardboard Worldwide 2006-2015” Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/270319/consumption-of-paper-and-cardboard-since-2006/²“Paper Use Statistics.” Statistic Brain www.statisticbrain.com/paper-use-statistics/

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