It’s 2015, and companies and organizations around the world still produce stacks and stacks — if not warehouses full — of paper as they conduct business.
Information management professionals are encouraged to rethink their paper-based business processes as part of World Paper Free Day on Nov. 6.
During this annual global event, sponsored by AIIM, organizations are asked to make a pledge to go paper-free on Nov. 6 as a symbolic first step in finding ways to eliminate as much paper as possible in business processes.
AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management, says paper-based processes stymie workplace productivity and produce unnecessary–and costly–waste. According to the non-profit sustainability organization WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), an average office worker will go through up to 45 sheets of paper a day, more than half of which ends up as waste.
AIIM promotes the digitization of business processes and smart use of paper. For example, many organizations have embraced the concept of the digital mailroom, where incoming paper documents are scanned and digitized as the very first step of the business process. Digital images of the documents are then routed electronically for processing.
“By digitizing content, enterprises can improve their ability to serve customers quickly and effectively, facilitate collaboration, improve access to information for team members and increase overall productivity,” AIIM officials said.
John Mancini, president and CEO of AIIM, said organizations will never entirely rid themselves of paper, “but the volume used unnecessarily every day is mind-blowing. World Paper Free Day is all about asking people in workplaces around the world to think a bit harder about whether they really need to press that print button. We all know that’s the best way to help your business flourish, as well a protect the environment.”
Businesses and individuals are encouraged to take the paper-free pledge by completing a short online registration form at World Paper Free Day. Participants will be able to download and share pledge badges on their social networks to spread the word about eliminating paper from business processes. In return for each registration, AIIM will make a donation to One Laptop per Child.