In theory, it has never been easier to go paperless. Almost every modern office is equipped with computers and email. Despite this, many companies still rely on paper in the workplace. The average UK office uses almost 10,000 sheets of paper a year per employee, which is a considerable chunk of resources. And if you stacked all the paper used in a year by US businesses – the pile would reach halfway to the moon.
At Valda Energy, we encourage paperless billing. We believe this benefits everyone: us as a business, you as our customers, and the environment. Here are the five main reasons why we aim to be paperless.
The world’s forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. They operate as the lungs of the Earth, so this is a problem for everyone. Paper is a major contributor to deforestation. 40% of the world’s industrial logging is focused on paper and one ton of paper costs 24 trees to make. Cutting down on paper is an area where businesses can make a concrete reduction in their carbon footprint.
Recycling paper can lead to harmful emissions too. Paper manufacturing is a chemical heavy process where waste can end up making its way into rivers and oceans. This means the best mitigation is to eliminate paper completely. In an age where everyone needs to pull their weight due to climate change, this is an area where businesses can make an impact.
A digital database is much easier to search and navigate than trawling through physical records. It’s like comparing a Google search with a trip to the library. Digital records give your employees instant and simultaneous access to data, freeing them up to focus on the tasks that matter. There’s less time spent manually searching for documents and less duplicated effort.
Digitisation also makes it easier to collaborate within teams. A digital document is far easier to give feedback on, plus people can work on the same document collaboratively from different computers. If employees can access documents from home or client sites, this also opens up the possibility of making your workforce mobile. These documents aren’t restricted to one person at a time or at risk of becoming lost or damaged while in transit.
There is also a financial benefit to boosting productivity. Businesses may have to invest in IT infrastructure to get their documents digitised but should see a relatively fast return on investment after going paperless. If employees are spending less time looking for things and doing repetitive manual tasks, they’re more likely to be adding value. Costs can be saved on the repeat purchase of paper, toner, printers, and printer repair.
Physical space is another area where costs can be saved. Office space is expensive, and rent can be a significant outlay for businesses. Many dedicate entire rooms or even floors of valuable space to storing paper documents. Freeing this space opens up the possibilities of using it for more valuable purposes. Another long-term financial benefit can be gained by harnessing the data in digital records for marketing purposes. It would be much harder to carry out marketing analytics with paper records.
Digital documents do come with the risk of cyberattack. However, modern systems come with high-tech security capabilities and there are plenty of 3rd party security options. There are still several security advantages over paper storage systems that rely on locked filing cabinets and shredding to preserve confidentiality. Password encryption gives digital documents an added layer of protection. Permissions can be added to ensure only the right people have access to certain documents.
Document histories can be traced, leaving a digital audit trail that makes it a lot easier to comply with auditing processes (as opposed to searching through piles of paper). Digital back-ups are also at less risk of loss or physical damage. A flood or fire could wipe out a company’s entire physical records, but not if they are stored as digital backups in the cloud.
Digitisation makes things easier for customers too. That’s why Valda Energy have opted for a digitally focused customer-centric approach. Many customers prefer a digital experience compared to paper communication. They are able to access their own data from self-service portals with just a few clicks.
Customer service teams are able to handle digital requests in minutes, as opposed to days via letters. Digital processes mean everything gets done faster and customers aren’t left waiting for the post or wasting their time in phone queues. They can also enjoy peace of mind knowing that their documents and data are secure and digitally backed up.
Valda Energy encourages paperless businesses as it exemplifies two of our key values: offering a digitally focused client-centric experience for our customers, and environmental sustainability.
We believe in using the latest technologies to ensure our customers experience a user-friendly and straightforward service. Valda Energy are also proud to be able to provide our customers with renewable power, tailored to suit your needs.