As the signs of climate change and environmental degradation continue to rise, an increasing number of organizations have begun to implement eco-friendly business practices. Many of these environmentally conscious practices not only reduce the ecological footprint but are also smart business decisions that can lead to more efficient workflows and lower costs.

Reducing paper consumption is one of the easiest ways that companies can create a more sustainable environment while protecting the Earth and helping their business flourish. Consider, for example, how paper-based processes are bad for both the environment and your daily operations:

  • 80% of employees surveyed agree that paper content and processes are a huge impediment to remote access and teleworking. (Source: AIIM Paper-Free Progress: Measuring Outcomes)
  • 76% say document processes impact revenue recognition and/or create audit issues. (Source: Addressing the Document Disconnect)
  • 30% of employee time can be freed up for high-priority tasks by eliminating outdated paper processes and incorporating an automated system. (Source: Addressing the Document Disconnect)
  • 45% of surveyed companies saw a return on investment within 6 months after investing in paper free solutions. (Source: AIIM: Creating the Simple Enterprise)

With 78% of businesses still reliant on physical documents, it’s clear that paper remains an important part of many organizations’ workflows. That said, it’s important to find ways to properly manage these tangible records alongside their digital counterparts, and to begin implementing new strategies that help minimize the amount of superfluous paperwork. Fortunately, affordable cloud solutions, the increase in born-digital documents and the low cost of digital storage are making it easier for companies of every size to reduce their use and creation of paper documents. For example, following are some areas where companies can improve processes while supporting their green initiatives.

Our aim is to save natural resources by reducing consumption, reusing products and recycling waste whenever possible. Find out more at

Accounts Payable: Paper invoices can now be scanned upon receipt, and the data required to pay those invoices can be automatically extracted and routed to your financial system. Born-digital invoices follow a similar workflow, so there is no need to hit “Print” anymore, as AP workflow solutions will route them for approval. Taking this approach, you can cut the cost to process an invoice in half. Also, manual data entry is practically eliminated, errors and exceptions are significantly reduced and late fees are no longer a problem. A faster, more efficient payment process also allows you to take advantage of early pay discounts.

Sales & Customer Care: Client contracts, proposals, amendments and statements-of-work can be born-digital and remain digital throughout their life cycle. By eliminating paper and implementing the right solution, Sales Team members can free up as much as 33% of their time, and Customer Care Teams can immediately access documents they need to work with clients, lowering the cost of support and increasing first call resolution and customer satisfaction.

Human Resources: Utilizing digital versions of new hire documents, performance reviews, benefits and acknowledgments can enable HR departments to move away from paper-based processes, freeing up time and boosting productivity by 30% or more. Employees spend less time completing paperwork, compliance with rules and regulations improves and HR has more time to focus on areas such as employee engagement and retention.

Storage Rooms and Filing Cabinets: Transient documents and documents that have passed their retention dates should be securely shredded and recycled. Keeping unnecessary paper documents increases risks and the costs for in-office or off-site storage. What’s more, by recycling the shredded materials, you can make a dramatic impact on your company’s sustainability efforts. According to the EPA, for each ton of paper recycled we conserve:

  • 17 Mature Trees
  • 463 Gallons of Oil
  • 24 Gallons of Gasoline
  • 4,100 kW-Hours of Electricity
  • 7,000 Gallons of Water
  • 3.5 Cubic Yards of Landfill Space

At Access, we are committed to helping organizations balance the management of both their physical and digital records in the most efficient and compliant manner possible. Our offsite storage solutions, retention schedule management and secure shredding free your associates up from these time-consuming tasks, while our FileBRIDGE® solutions help companies remove paper from their business processes, reduce their operational and overhead costs, improve their security and compliance procedures, and enhance customer satisfaction. In addition, each month we convert millions of documents from paper to digital and recycle thousands of tons of paper.

In honor of Earth Day, help us help the Earth by participating in our national shred day; there’s sure to be a location near you! And, while you are there, take a moment to find out how FileBRIDGE can start transforming your business and its eco-friendly status.