The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to save $1.5 billion in the next decade from a recent decision to go paperless. Under the measure, Rule 30e-3, all mutual fund shareholder reports previously sent to investors by post will now be accessible online. The decision of the SEC to go completely paperless, saving around 2 million trees each year while paring back billions is a nod to the increasing digitalisation of the financial sector. Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar of the SEC said of the decision, “Technology has changed the cost of doing business for every industry, root and branch.”
Paperless Visions and Realities
For stakeholders in every aspect of business, the decision to go paperless is a turning point, and one which can yield significant savings. But for some businesses the premise of a paperless office remains a vision, not yet a reality.
It is not just the SEC who are set to go paperless and make substantial savings. The British National Health Service or the NHS have set out in their ‘Paperless 2020’ vision achieving possible savings of £4.4 billion, along with a sizable organisational change for the health service who treat more than 1.4 million patients every 24 hours. Their decision to become paperless was framed as a decision that, “Is more than an information revolution: it puts people first, giving us more control and more transparency”.
For smaller and medium sized businesses who lack the girth of the SEC and NHS, reluctance to embrace a completely paperless office is notable. In a Deloitte report specific to the financial sector, ‘Is it Time to go Paperless’, consultants noted that “Even though most financial service providers are aware of the opportunity presented by paperless processing, comparatively few have made a concerted effort to embark on the transformation journey”. They found that while surveying companies in the financial sector, forces at play to adopt paperless technologies ‘include legislation and internal governance’. However, the reality is, that SME’s who refuse to go digital just infer further costs to their customers.
The True Price of Paper
Crisp white paper reams are as much of an office staple as coffee and droopy plants. However, the lure of printing and scrapping paper for employees is eviscerating both the planet and company profits. Office waste in the UK costs British business at least £15 billion pounds a year and data shows that approximately 70% of office waste is recyclable, but on average only 7.5% reaches a recycling facility.
The unnecessary printing of documents is one of the costliest activities in offices and businesses. According to Forbes, in the U.S $930 million is spent by the government annually on unnecessary printing costs- with $28 million spent every on the printing of copies of congressional records (which are available online). For U.S. businesses, the annual cost of filing, storing and recovering paper was estimated by Gartner to be between $25bn and $35bn!From a purely environmental perspective paper waste costs the climate dearly. Figures show that recycling just one tonne of paper can save 7,000 gallons of water. It also saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, and 4,000 kilowatts of energy.
THERE IS A GREEN LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
Businesses who go paperless and embrace digitalisation can be assured of the cost benefits of doing so.
L’Oréal, the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world that are renowned for their top tier green ranking, advocate that managing your sustainability goals is possible with the same entrepreneurial spirit and ambition as your business goals. DiliTrust Exec is an online board portal solution that dramatically reduces your consumption and cost of using paper while allowing you to achieve your business goals sustainably.
It allows members in 15 different languages to access key documents, meeting archives debates, polls and more, off and online paper-free. Board Members benefit from our bulletproof data security that involves; data hosting in France, Canada and the ME that is not subject to the U.S. Freedom Act or Cloud Act; IS0 27001 certification and AES 256 encryption. Most importantly, our calculations show that using a board portal can save your business €15,000 a year (this figure calculates the cost of packaging, courier costs and staff costs, without factoring in the increased productivity of staff!).
Contact our team to find out more information about DiliTrust Exec today