How to Go Paperless at the Office: 11 Simple Tips for Going Green

Make your business green by reducing your office’s carbon footprint. Create a paperless office with these 11 tips.

With added pressure for businesses to go green, many companies wonder how to reduce their carbon footprint. Finding ways to reduce carbon emissions in operations can be tricky for many companies, but reducing office waste can account for a significant amount of carbon emissions that can help offset overall emissions. 


Is a paperless office possible?

Yes, paperless offices are possible! According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the most significant percentage of the waste is from paper products, and workplaces contribute to a substantial portion of that waste. Reducing workplace waste isn’t difficult with all the online services available today. Even small changes—like switching to digital business cards and increasing recycling efforts—can have a positive environmental impact.


How do I make my office paperless?

Before you set forth to make your office paperless, take note of the simple day-to-day items that can be easily digitized. Not sure where to start? Here are 11 of the best tips for turning your office green. 


1. Use the cloud.

Create a streamlined file store and retrieval system to reduce paper copies using the cloud. Not only is this good for the environment, but it makes collaboration faster and easier. Google Drive and Dropbox offer cloud storage for businesses. 


2. Remove printers.

Having multiple printers throughout the office increases use. Make printing harder to reduce how often employees print. Instead, keep only one printer available and encourage employees to only print necessary items. 


Remove printers for green paperless office
Photo by Mahrous Houses on Unsplash


3. Scan documents.

All of those documents stored in your office need to be digitized, so start scanning. By digitizing your documents, the documents easily become searchable from anywhere when you add them to your cloud storage system. 


4. Forward fax documents to your email.

If you are still receiving documents via fax, it’s time to modernize. If your company is committed to faxing, take the paper out of the equation and switch to a cloud-based fax service like MetroFax, which allows you to send and receive faxes from anywhere using email, the web, or your phone.


5. Sign documents digitally.

One common reason for keeping paper around is the need for signatures. But with services like DocuSign, signatures can be confirmed without paper, from anywhere in the world. In addition, once online signatures are created, save them in your cloud storage system, so you never have to print a copy. 


6. Switch to digital business cards.

More than 7 million trees are cut down every year to print business cards, and 90% of those business cards get thrown out after only a week. Save trees, and money, by switching to digital business cards. With digital business cards, like the ones offered by HiHello, your team can reduce their environmental impact while also gaining the ability to share their business cards through QR codes, text, email signatures, and more. Not only will your employees like the ease of using virtual business cards, your company benefits from added branding opportunities. Customize your employee’s cards with company branding, add links to your company website and social media, and you can even include a feature video. HiHello even offers digital business card subscriptions for companies of all sizes.



7. Use digital invoices.

When your business makes purchases from other companies, opt-in to receive a digital invoice. If your office sends out invoices, make digital invoices the standard for your clients. 


8. Take green notes.

If employees are taking notes on paper, have them switch it up. Using applications like Stickies.io allows for teams to collaborate on notes. Try reusable notebooks for employees who like to feel their pen on paper. 


9. Get rid of single-use cups.

If your office still has paper cups at the coffee maker, it’s time to make a switch. Single-use cups create waste and cost you more money. Instead, have employees bring their own mugs to reduce paper cups.


Paperless office coffee mug
Photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash


10. Move to paperless marketing.

Marketing is increasingly moving into the digital realm. With social media, online advertisements, and more, the need for printed marketing collateral is diminished. Evaluate how important those marketing materials are and consider taking your marketing department entirely online. 


11. Increase recycling efforts.

Even if everyone in your office commits to going paperless, some paper might be unavoidable. Reduce the impact of the paper that does make its way into your office by ensuring that all paper and other recyclable materials make it into the recycling bins. 


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