Important facts about paper production & its impact on the environment
The annual global production of paper & cardboard is more than 400 million metric tons, with China & the United States accounting for more than 50% of the total consumption of paper & paper-based products.
A total of 386 hectares of forest was lost globally due to paper production between 2001 & 2019. This means we have practically destroyed more than 10% of the total tree cover since 2000. At the current rate, we will have cut down every rainforest before the year 2100.
50% of all business waste is made up of paper. An estimated 2700 litres of water is required to produce 1 tonne of paper and if the same amount of paper (1 tonne) is recycled or reused, it can save around 1400 litres of oil, 26,500 litres of water & 17 trees.
Although paper production is going down in countries like the United States, it is swiftly moving up in countries like China, with China accounting for 117 million metric tonnes in 2020. It is estimated that the global demand for paper is expected to double before 2030.
Benefits of going paperless
1. Saves office space
Office space is expensive & limited. Ask anyone that always cribs about having to share a cubicle with someone else because there aren’t any more left or someone who has to listen to their colleagues all day because they sit within an earshot distance from each other. Going paperless helps you remove the unwanted filing cabinets, drawers & stationary units, which could mean an extra seat for a few more people at the office.
2. Eases document organization & search
Who here hasn’t cursed their luck for being tasked to find a missing document? Managing, organizing & finding paper documents is always going to be difficult. On the other hand, digital documents have something called tags & keywords, which simplify the organization & search process. You can simply enter a tag or keyword in the search bar & voila, your document appears. Moreover, specialized tools for digital document management like SOHODOX allow you to replicate & automate your entire document management process with features such as full-text search, document tags, multi-format compatibility & more.
3. Reduces costs
If everything you read above still didn’t motivate you to give up paper documents, let us tell you how paper is emptying your pockets. Every lost or misfiled document can cost you anywhere between $120 – $220. A traditional four-drawer filing cabinet which uses just 9 sq. ft. of space costs you about $1500 each year. Every 12 filing cabinets need an additional employee to help maintain & organize the documents inside them. Indirect paper-based costs like printers, cartridges, shredders, copiers, stationery, folders, clips, etc add up to almost $400,000 every year for an average company.
4. Boosts data security
Data security is one of the primary reasons to move away from paper. Imagine this, you give your file of paper documents to an employee. You want to allow him to read the documents but you don’t want him to be able to print them. This will only be possible if you take away his smartphone & lock him inside your office as long as he has the documents. On the contrary, a digital document management system will allow you to control document printing & sharing privileges, sometimes literally with a single click.
5. Improves information accessibility
Isn’t it tedious to have to go to the office just to get a signature on a physical document? Well, that’s the drawback of using paper documents. Paper documents can only be accessed, shared, stored & signed physically, in person. But digital documents can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. Most digital document management systems have a web interface as well as a mobile app. So the only thing stopping you from being able to access documents is a faulty internet connection & the lack of a smartphone.
6. Speeds up approvals
Paper documents can literally take ages to get approved. Want proof? Just go down to your local municipal or state government office and see the dirt on some of the piles of documents they have stored. This is usually because paper documents need to travel from one desk to another & another & another, till they reach the final signatory. Even if one of the approvers in the pipeline fails to do their job, the approval gets delayed & the document either just lies there or gets tossed aside. Digital document management systems create a systematic process for document approvals. Users can easily identify which users are in the approval pipeline and they can also share necessary documents & communicate with them about pending approvals via the system or email.
How SOHODOX can help you give up paper?
SOHODOX is a simple & easy-to-use document management system that lets you convert all your written documents into digital documents within seconds. SOHODOX’s features & interface are specifically designed for single users & small businesses. SOHODOX helps you organize your documents into identifiable groups, which ensures faster document search. SOHODOX also lets you link multiple documents, create private folders, integrate & share files via Dropbox, capture emails & more.
Experience the happiness of a paperless office with SOHODOX at just $9/month, or download our 14-day free trial today.