Steps Towards a Greener Office

In this blog, we focus on how document management systems save businesses money, and improve the efficiency and productivity of their daily operations.  However, we shouldn’t neglect to chat about the environmental impact of document management systems.  There is a “green” focus on just about everything these days, and document management is no exception.

Considered a green technology, document management encourages eco-friendly versions of regular office/business tasks.  Overall, replacing paper-based methods with electronic solutions makes a huge impact, as does eliminating the printing, distributing and handling of physical copies.  This is all beneficial for the business, but equally good for the environment.

Even if you’re a smaller business who isn’t quite ready to take the plunge into electronic workflow and document management solutions, you can still reap the benefits of more eco-friendly practices.  Green office supplies, recycling programs, powering down at the end of each day and using fewer printers and copiers are just a few places to start.  Here are several tips to creating a greener environment while you work towards a paperless one…

Cutting back on the number of printers and copiers in the office is dually beneficial.  First, it’s less equipment needing ink and paper.  Secondly, access to multiple machines encourages paper use.  With fewer copiers and printers, people will eventually seek out and embrace electronic alternatives.  If you can’t possibly imagine functioning with less printers and copiers, make sure you’re using both sides of the paper to cut use in half.

Don’t forget electricity.  Computers that are put in standby at the end of the day should really be powered off.  Other equipment and appliances can easily be unplugged or put in sleep mode when not in use.  This includes microwaves, fax machines, copiers, and printers.  Sync up all appliances that can be powered off at the end of the day to the same power strip.  This makes it easy to flip one switch before leaving the office.

Offices are literally powered by electricity; there’s no getting around it.  What you can control is office lighting.  If you haven’t already, make the switch from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent ones.  CFL’s last longer, burn less electricity and are far more efficient.  LED lighting is also significantly dropping in price. Efficient lighting can produce a 6 month to 2 year return on investment.

Devise a solid recycling program.  This doesn’t just start and stop with paper recycling.  Most ink cartridges, toners and other office equipment can be recycled as well.  Many manufacturers cover shipping and some offer money saving promotions on future purchases if you participate.

As you make your way towards a greener office, think about how implementing a document management system could improve your bottom line.  To learn more about electronic solutions to achieve the totally digital office, contact ILM today.

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