Go ‘Paper-lite’ rather than ‘paper-less’

Creating a paperless environment has been much talked about in recent years. Whether that’s switching to email receipts in retail or using digital files and documents in the workplace, it’s a theme that has generated a lot of attention. However, what many are now beginning to realise is that paper still has an important role to play across industries and the solution to sustainability and efficiency concerns might be to opt for ‘paper-lite’ rather than ‘paper-less.’

What does ‘paper-lite’ entail?

This is an approach that integrates the use of technology and digital means with a more economical attitude to paper. It allows for the continued use of paper where this can actually be beneficial while also employing innovative and proactive options to increase the benefits to the business of working in a more digital way.

What benefits does ‘paper-lite’ have?

All the benefits of reducing paper consumption. A ‘paper-lite’ approach still prioritises digital, which can have a lot of financial advantages. Not only can you reduce the amount you’re spending on paper but also associated expense, such as ink, printers and the energy costs of running equipment like printers.

  • Maintaining the physical paper trail. Despite one survey identifying that 61% of enterprises were focused on reducing paper consumption 63% of managers said that they could not do without it. (Ref study carried out by Brother) Paper still has a very valid function across industries today. Physical copies of documents, receipts and financial records provide security and a transparent way to supply evidence to auditors, HMRC etc. A physical storage system for key documents can also be a back-up against digital data theft or loss.

  • Sometimes we just prefer paper. Despite the fact that there are clear advantages to digital documents, including easier sharing and collaboration, there are some situations in which we all still prefer to use paper. Many of the most innovative businesses still provide employees with paper copies of key documents, such as business proposals. Sometimes it’s easier to check a physical document for mistakes and many of us simply prefer to switch to paper after a long day staring at a screen.

  • Power outages and digital failures are a real threat. Paper has a role to play in business continuity too, especially within organisations that are heavily reliant on digital equipment and means. If networks and devices go down, having access to paper copies of documents and data can allow operations to continue until digital systems can be restored.

  • A more productive approach. Using ‘paper-lite’ helps to provide the optimum solution for business in terms of working with the best tools available. Switching to digital software and systems can help with organisation and collaboration while access to paper documents for specific tasks can ensure security and make it easier to establish a paper trail. For many employees this is the right balance and working in this way can boost engagement and productivity.

‘Paper-less’ is no longer the goal for businesses today. Instead, it’s the ‘paper-lite’ environment that can generate the most obvious benefits utilising efficient technology practices helping to reduce excessive paper consumption. If the use of paper is critical then finding ways to securely dispose of these paper documents in an environmentally friendly way. At Shred-on-Site all shredded paper is baled at our recycling facilities before being transported to paper mills where it is recycled into low-grade paper products. In turn, an Environmental certificate is issued annually stating your organisation's contribution to working with Shred-on-Site.

Get in touch with Shred-on-Site today to request a quote for all your shredding needs, whether that’s a one-off service or setting up a regular service. Why not try our online quoting tool.

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