How to save money and save the world at the same time

Looking for a way to cut overhead this year? A good place to start is reducing the amount of paper consumed in your office. Using secure file-sharing and electronic signature services such as Citrix ShareFile and RightSignature can produce positive effects for both your bank account and the world’s carbon footprint.

As tomorrow is World Environment Day — a global platform for raising awareness in over 100 participating countries — there is no better time to take action. Consider these facts about paper consumption:

1. U.S. businesses spend about $8 billion a year on paper-related expenditures.

2. The United States alone consumes around 69 million tons of paper per year — a volume six times greater than the global average.

3. The average American worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year.

Reducing paper costs

To put these figures in context, you can purchase 500 sheets of paper from an office supply store for $7.99, amounting to roughly $0.02 per sheet or $200 per employee per year at 10,000 sheets. That really adds up.

What’s more, this number may only be a small fraction of the expense a typical business will incur after considering postage, storage and printing costs. For example, couriers will charge up to $55 for an overnight shipment of a flat letter.

In contrast, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America cited a 97% reduction in turnaround time, 81% reduction in document errors and 61% boost in office productivity by using electronic signatures versus paper. Couple this with a secure file-sharing solution, and the savings add up quickly.

Helping the planet

There are significant green benefits by reducing paper consumption as well. Conserving one ton of paper would save between 15 and 17 large trees. Deforestation contributes an estimated 23% to the total rise in greenhouse gases.  On top of this, paper mills emit large amounts of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide during the manufacturing of paper products, contributing to both acid rain and global warming.

So today, take a minute to reflect on the amount of paper waste your business may be producing and ultimately how much it costs. Consider implementing file-sharing and electronic signature services into your workflow as a way to save the world, and simultaneously spend your time and money on other projects that make your business more profitable!

What other activities do you think could help improve the environment? Tweet us @ShareFile or add your comments below!