Eliminate Paper Waste

By on May 19, 2023 in News

Paper has long been a mainstay of virtually every business. But amid cost and environmental concerns, many companies are starting to examine alternative approaches that can reduce paper use and waste.

Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the last 40 years, with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacturing. Every year, U.S. offices use more than 12 trillion sheets of paper, according to The World Counts, an advocate for sustainable natural resources consumption. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that office paper products such as handouts, copy paper, and notebooks make up the largest percentage of landfill waste.

Even with the business world becoming more digitized, the EPA says the average office worker generates approximately 2 pounds of paper and paperboard products every day: “From mistakes printed on the laser printer, bad photocopies, old memos and reports, to old periodicals, 90% of all office waste is paper.”

But new technologies and approaches can help break the reliance on paper. “Until recently, there was no doubt that we needed to use paper on a daily basis. However, we now have alternatives at our disposal that can help us reduce paper consumption in the office, and by applying digital tools and new work habits,” says ACCIONA, a Madrid-based chronicler of workplace trends.

Here are some tips from sustainable experts for making better use of paper and reducing waste:

  • Consider advanced software solutions such as the Yardi Procure to Pay Suite, which cuts paper costs with online purchasing, electronic invoice processing and payment and centralized vendor management; Yardi Payment Processing, a complete solution for commercial property management accounts receivable and accounts payable; and Yardi Document Management for SharePoint, which replaces uncoordinated storage on local drives and networks with a single source of the truth for content.
  • Set task reminders on your computer or with mobile apps to reduce the need for Post-It® notes.
  • Pay employees with direct deposit and online pay stubs.
  • Compile company policies, employee handbooks and other important information in shared online folders.
  • Avoid over-printing meeting materials by emailing attendees pre-meeting outlines and post-meeting recaps. Take paperless notes.
  • Make sure your team knows which paper items can be recycled and place collection bins onsite.
  • When printing, consider alternative paper materials like 100% recycled or post-consumer wastepaper or tree-free fiber-crop and hemp-based paper. Print in black and white when possible, because color toner is more expensive and has a greater environmental impact than black toner.

These and other measures can help real estate asset operators work without “reports, diaries or documents,” as ACCIONA says, with workplace ultimately being converted “into digitized, sustainable and paper-free environments.”