Effective Document Management: A Central Tenet to “Going Green”

Posted on December 13, 2011 under Uncategorized by

During the past decade, “going green” has become top of mind for companies of all sizes and in all industries and executives worldwide are looking for ways to reduce their organization’s impact on the environment. Legislation, social pressures and corporate social responsibility programs are all reinforcing the necessity for firms to reduce their carbon footprints and better utilize resources.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average U.S. white-collar worker consumes 10,000 sheets of paper a year. While few companies can truly go completely “paperless,” taking proactive measures to significantly reduce the amount of paper being used and consumed is often one of the first areas organizations focus on when instituting a green policy.

Companies that are still heavily reliant on paper-based systems and processes for managing their business documentation not only can have a negative impact on the environment, but they often manage critical information assets inefficiently. Time is wasted constantly looking in multiple folder locations and file cabinets for misplaced documents. This is often compounded by the proliferation of multiple versions of the same file, which results in errors and repeated work.

The impact that poor document management can have on the environment is also significant. Even for companies that primarily use electronic documents, poor data management and duplicate files can result in unnecessarily large storage requirements, increasing the need for more hardware, electricity and cooling.

Without a document management framework, businesses often find it very difficult to significantly reduce paper consumption, reinforce reliable file organization and optimize their internal processes.

Conversely, organizations with an overarching system in place to handle all their information electronically not only reduce their impact on the environment, but also operate at a vastly superior level of efficiency compared to those that still rely on paper files and folders. Given the large expense and inconvenience of paper documents, maintaining them in an electronic document management system leads to a substantial increase in efficiency and a decrease in operational costs.

Deploying a document management solution as part of a business’s green policy can not only eliminate large amounts of wasted paper, but it can also show your customers and partners that you company is striving to be more environmentally conscious while potentially creating a more satisfying workplace for employees.

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