October 25, 2014

New Coalition Encourages Businesses to Go Paperless

Workplace technology is constantly evolving. With new devices, cloud storage, and other collaboration options popping up daily, it seems that fewer and fewer businesses are using more tangible methods like printing documents and other papers.

For this reason “going paperless” has become a popular term for businesses looking to save money on office supplies.

Now, online faxing service HelloFax has teamed up with Google Drive, online bill management company Manilla, electronic signature service Hellosign, online accounting service Xero, scanning company Fujitsu ScanSnap, and online expense report tool Expensify to form the new “Paperless Coalition,” which aims to encourage businesses to use less paper in the workplace.

If you go to the coalition’s website, you can take a pledge to go paperless with your business in 2013. The photo above shows the homepage where businesses can sign up with their email address and take the paperless pledge. This also signs you up for the coalition’s monthly newsletter, which contains articles and tips about running a paperless business.

It’s likely these newsletters will mainly contain promotions from the partners and sponsors of the coalition, telling pledgers how Google Drive and other products and services can help companies cut back on paper usage.

But promotional or not, if one of your company’s goals for the new year is to save money on office supplies or cut back on paper usage, learning about different companies and tools on a monthly basis could still prove to be valuable.

And with so many different new technology options available, cutting back on paper usage should be a fairly simple goal for 2013, if your business hasn’t taken the leap already.

Though paper usage in office settings has certainly declined in the last several years, the Environmental Protection Agency still says that the average U.S. office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year, according to Paperless 2013’s about page.

11 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles and feature stories. She is a freelance writer specializing in marketing, social media, and creative topics. When she’s not writing for her various freelance projects or her personal blog Wattlebird, she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

11 Reactions

  1. ‘The new “Paperless Coalition,” which aims to encourage businesses to use less paper in the workplace': suggest there is a big difference between ‘paperless’ and ‘less paper’. Paperless = unrealistic. Less paper = achievable. Better to call themselves the Less-paper Coalition.

  2. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of Americans. Working forests are good for the environment and provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. Thanks to improved forest management, we have more trees in America today than we had 100 years ago.

  3. Anthony – Good point. There will always be SOME paper involved, but I applaud their efforts (though I’m reducing paper to save my sanity and desk space).

  4. We’ve found that going 90% paperless is optimal for most small business. 100% paperless is usually not cost effective. But 90% (or even less) can make a major impact.

    I really like what this coalition is doing a lot.

  5. We received a mail piece from Google wanting us to buy some AdWords. If Google wants no paper then how will they advertise their own products and services? Google’s own ZMOT study says that 44% of the stimuli that leads individuals to search online comes from printed materials (posters, billboards, magazine ads, etc). Is Google willing to loose that much of their business?

    Let’s see, to make an electronic device requires mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non-renewable resources. And, when paper is made you plant a tree. The trees, by the way, soak up C02.
    Which one has a bigger impact on the environment?

  6. The case for going less-paper is not purely an environmental issue. There are arguments concerning: cost (requires less space); accessibility/retrievability (document can be moved around); and continuity (documents can be stored in more than one location. Certainly our own less-paper policy has paid dividends in these areas.

  7. The tools for a paperless office are out here. But, the old habit of using paper is hard to break. That’s why its as simple as possible for anyone to move into a paperless world.

  8. The choice to go paperless is not as green or simple as some would like you to think.
    Print may not be as bad as you think and digital media may be worse than you know.

    Our increased reliance on consumer electronics and cloud-based computing infrastructure is more destructive to the environment than paper-based communication media.

    Paperless appeals tend to use emotionally charged rhetoric to confront consumers with a false dilemma: “By using paper and print media you are knowingly degrading the environment, destroying forests and/or killing trees.”

    Our digital media choices can have significant unintended environmental consequences.There is growing recognition that digital media technology uses significant amounts of energy from coal-fired power plants making a significant contribution to global warming.

  9. Trying to break the habit of using paper is tough. Some people like myself, have the need to manually write everything down to better remember things. A good way for companies to start, is for companies to provide some services that are paperless. For example- Shople.com offers e procurement for business who are ordering office supplies. Instead of filling out forms, memos, and invoices everything is done through a system. Companies can start with having just one division go paperless.

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