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Office resource efficiency

How to use paper efficiently in your office

It is believed that half of all office waste is paper-based, thus the benefits of eliminating this are obvious. It is simple and affordable to reduce the amount of money you spend on paper purchases and disposal.

Reduce paper waste in the office by using electronic document management

You can begin to lessen your office’s reliance on paper with networked electronic documents and records management as modern business IT infrastructure becomes more accessible to all types of businesses. To reap the best benefits from paper reduction, your corporate IT systems must be well planned.

Reduce the amount of paper used in your office

The cheapest and most environmentally friendly alternative is to limit the amount of paper waste generated by your company. For instance, you could:

  • Make sure that all photocopying and printing is done double-sided on recycled paper. Consider if you really need to make copies at all.

  • Cancel unwanted publications and trash mail.

  • Avoid overproduction of marketing and publicity materials by checking distribution lists and updating databases on a regular basis.

To reduce printing, use electronic communications whenever possible. Make sure your employees are comfortable with new equipment and provide training as needed. Encourage them not to print emails unless absolutely essential.

Reduce confidential waste expenses by ensuring that non-confidential paper collection is secure and providing clear instructions to employees about which materials are strictly confidential.

Paper should be reused and recycled in the workplace

If you can’t avoid making waste paper, at least try to reuse it. For example, you may utilize one-sided printed paper as scrap paper or message pads. You might also repurpose envelopes (for internal usage, for example) and donate excess card and paper to local schools or nurseries.

Paper should be recycled rather than discarded with normal office waste.

To ensure that paper gets recycled, you should do the following:

  • Install paper recycling containers in each office. A good rule of thumb is one bin for every six employees and one next to each photocopier and printer. Paper ream lids can be used as additional desktop collection trays.

  • Ensure that cleaning employees are supportive of the recycling program and that emptying recycling bins is part of their contracted work.

  • Promote the initiative to employees by posting posters around the office and on dumpsters that explain the many types of paper that may be recycled.

  • Provide ongoing feedback on the scheme to personnel, including numbers on the amount of paper collected. When goals are completed, suggest making a charitable donation or planting a tree.

  • Choose more environmentally friendly paper for your office.

Because the environmental impacts of creating paper are significant, you should use as little new paper as possible.