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Australians use, on average, approximately 230kg of paper per person per year. That’s more than three times the average adult body weight. And if that’s not shocking enough, some forecast that paper usage; or wastage, is on the incline of 4.9% by 2020.

How can this be the case, when we live in such a digital world? Isn’t everyone opting for a paperless office strategy?

Unfortunately, for most SMBs, the idea of going completely paperless is unrealistic. However, there are some clever ways in which you can reduce the amount of paper you use, while simultaneously creating a sustainable, eco-conscious workplace.

So if you haven’t already considered implementing a paperless office strategy into your workplace, we’ve put together some clever, sassy ways to get you on the paperless trail, sooner.

Get clear on what you print

Do your employees use their full 230kg quota of paper each year, or is it much higher than that? If you’re not clear on your own office metrics, you should start with a professional office audit to work out who is printing what.

Once you can quantify the different printing requirements for each department, you’re in a much better position to start implementing digital strategies to become a greener, paperless office.

Baby steps

Once you’ve decided to shift towards a more paperless organisation, implement incentives to staff and clients who embody the no-paper ethos as a small reward.

Communicate with staff about the new practice before you start implementing procedures and even have brainstorming sessions as a group about ways in which you can all be more sustainably minded.

By giving staff some ownership over the concept, you’ll likely see more enthusiasm in and around the workplace towards cutting down on paper usage.

Invest in the infrastructure

To get the most out of your paperless office strategy, you really need to ensure you have everything you need in and around the workplace.

Be digital

There are plenty of tech solutions that can help streamline and digitise your internal systems. This will alleviate the need for processes that involve lots of unnecessary printing.

For example, document handling solutions can assist with managing and streamlining workflow, so you can move all company policy and procedure manuals and documents to a digital format and encourage staff to use cloud-based systems and shared central digital files.

Upgrade hardware

If you haven’t reassessed your office equipment and printers in a while, this is the perfect time to do it as part of your paperless office strategy. There is some very sophisticated equipment available that revolutionises office practices in terms of energy consumption and wastage.

KYOCERA for instance has an award-winning multifunction printer that can print up to 600,000 pages off one drum; thus reducing the number of consumables needed such as toner.

By choosing hardware like this, you are tightening spending while also being environmentally sustainable.

Reduce floor space

Once you move towards a move to paperless workplace, you can do away with all that storage and filing space that is taking up so much room.

By going digital you’ll be able to reduce the floor space you occupy and therefore reduce your carbon footprint through a reduction in heating/cooling, lighting, energy and more.

Going paperless is just one step towards becoming a greener organisation. Sustainability will be an important measure of success for workplaces of the future. Download our Green Office Guide to learn how to improve your environmental impact, while also reducing business costs and boosting efficiency.