Going Digital

The small things matter when impacting time, cost, and environment, when it comes to workplace lifestyle reconfigurations. There are enough people for small things to escalate, not only from leading by example, but from an actual tangible results accumulating by small groups working together.

“Leaving a copier on all night uses enough energy to produce 1500 copies, leaving a p.c. on all night uses enough energy to microwave six dinners, one ton of recycled paper saves 32,000 liters of water and switching off non-essential equipment can save enough energy to run a small car for 35 miles.” Likewise,  printing double sided, reducing unnecessary travel and use mobile communication technology such as smart-phones, emailing internal office memo’s , replace crt monitors with lcd screens, using conferencing instead of traveling, adopting flexible work timing, all create a snowball effect. “If one person in every company in dubai working from home one day a week could save 516 million kgs of co2” (http://www.slideshare.net/vietlongplaza/green-business-practices-10187200).

Going digital for many documents in a green office strategy reduces dependency on offsite storage facilities, transportation costs, paper,(scanning instead of paper for a digital solution), record security, and office space can be reduced to save money. There are billions of mobile devices out there to read pdf format, and even scanning applications for smart phones to almost instantly convert to pdf. The U.S. has been generating less paper since 2001, and will continue to do so when implementing small but effective concepts such as these.

Making documents digitally accessible saves an average of $101 per week per worker. “Eliminating copying, fax, distribution, shipping and storage costs of paper documents can easily save $10,000 a year in time and materials per employee. The average employee can save $60 to $250 by using (OCR) software to automatically convert paper to digital documents rather than recreating them. More than 70% of today’s businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.”

With one hundred people adopting green office strategies, the results are astounding: annual reduction of 58,880 pages(approximately 118 reams of paper), annual reduction of toner/ink costs of $3,230, annual energy reduction costs of $5,600, annual average cost benefit of $21,555. This also offers “faster access to information, more efficient, and allows more time for more strategically important tasks.”

Office equipment consumes close to 7% of commercial electricity, or 1.8 billion in costs to businesses. On the other hand, every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil. Copiers use more energy per unit than any other piece of office equipment. Likewise, most printing devices consume more power during standby and sleep than they do the whole time while they are actually printing,  because of the amount of hours they remain idle wasting electricity, easily avoided by unplugging or turning them off at night.

When green thinking isn’t the underlying objective, the almighty dollar can be persuasive. Minimizing travel, energy expenditure on office equipment, and making paperwork digital, saves time, money, and aligns with client’s goals. With a growing demand for sustainable practices, suppliers that don’t follow will eventually lose an increasing corner of the market they would otherwise profit from. Green marketing enhances the company’s reputation, positions them as environmentally conscious, betters the customers and community, builds customer loyalty and brand recognition, and differentiates a company from its competitors (http://www.slideshare.net/Vollrathpr/blueprint-for-green-business?src=related_normal&rel=1783690).

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