The amount of paper used by businesses today is staggering. While the movement towards a paperless office has picked up over the past decade, there are still many ways you can reduce paper consumption. The reality is: often paperless is truly just less paper, but it doesn’t have to be that way

While the environmental impact of paper is fairly well known, just how much is that paper sitting around your office actually costing you? has some great information on this but some of the more surprising stats are:

  • The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year.
  • It can cost up to 31 times the original cost to use paper when you include printing, copying, postage, storage, filing and recycling costs!
  • Your four drawer filing cabinet costs about $25,000 to fill and nearly $2,000 per year to maintain.
  • Approximately $14,000 of productivity is lost per worker per year due to their inability to find necessary data.

While these stats may seem unbelievable they are unfortunately true. When it comes to increasing your efficiency, minimizing your use of paper can be a huge step to becoming a more sustainable business while removing some insane costs.

In that light here are a few simple steps you can follow to reduce your paper consumption:

3 Steps for moving your office to Paperless

  1. Use duplex printing – Using both sides of the paper could reduce your paper expenditure by up to 50%
  2. Begin using electronic document tools – Electronic document systems are much more useful for collaboration and many are free, like Google Docs or Dropbox.
  3. Enable paperless for hiring, quoting, invoicing, accounts payable processing, and many other processes – Start managing your service contracts without paper or when you hire new employees make the on-boarding process paperless.

If you are determined to remove as much paper as possible, Vision of Earth has a list of 31 ways you can reduce paper in the office and in your everyday life as well. If you have some of your own tips, feel free to share in the comments below.