Eliminating waste is one of the five key principles that each business must follow to restore the balance of nature, our ecosystems and our global natural resources as confirmed by the World Wildlife Fund.

Should your business continue to allow employees to print unhindered with no aligned sustainability policy then your business cannot really claim to be a sustainable business. The waste of paper is a huge issue in offices worldwide, partly due to habit, driven by a need to print everything out for meetings and reports etc. Indeed, old habits die hard.

It is not simply the case of removing office waste paper baskets and reducing printer numbers, there has to be a trust in business that digital consumption of information is both responsible and necessary.

Importantly, office printing by employees hits the bottom line of a business, something rarely understood. Let us put this into context:

Industry research by Gartner® estimates that business revenue is hit hard by paper based business practices. With up to 3% of revenue spent on paper work, one has to question how this can still be a practical way of working with the plethora of technology available at our fingertips.

For the most part, paper based work remains a fixture often because organisations fail to back up sustainability goals with sustainability policies that are wrapped into a core compliance strategy.

During 2019 we met a UK public sector organisation where the HR Director was proud to announce they had just printed and hand posted 5,000 staff handbooks to employees! This is a prime example of continuing business waste.

The answer is to move to a digital compliance solution which allows for three things to occur in parallel:

  1. A proactive awareness strategy to all employees of the importance of sustainability within business – a video such as Our Planet Our Business by the WWF (available on YouTube).
  2. A digital Sustainability hub as part of the core business strategy which is used to promote sustainability within the business on a continual basis.
  3. A digital compliance solution that drives, monitors and reports daily employee compliance and removes the requirement to print and manually distribute sustainability handbooks, policies, standards and procedures. The output of this allows for proactive monitoring of sustainability compliance to ensure that employees are following the new regime and where there are issues, training can be assigned to ensure better results.

Of course, businesses often simply appoint a sustainability manager and rely on ad hoc training or annual compliance – let’s be clear, this is NOT an effective strategy and will not eliminate waste.

Sustainability compliance is not something that happens once a year, it must be driven on a daily basis to encourage change. In doing so businesses will see not only dramatic, positive changes in employee behaviour, but reap the benefits of a sustainable culture. In turn this will benefit the bottom line.

Paper is not a limitless resource, and a simple change to digital compliance will start to drive down its use within the business. Making sustainability compliance a constant feature of business life will drive positive change faster. This forms part of a sustainability culture change, which will benefit all of us. Be proactive and take the next step.

Get in touch if you would like to know more about our unique Orchestra Sustainability Hub for Office 365 and our digital compliance solution – Orchestra Read & Comply®. Call us on 0207 788 9445 to arrange a demo.

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