Save money with paper cuts

Businesses are being urged to cut down on the amount of rubbish they produce and make considerable cost savings at the same time by Government-funded agency Envirowise.


Businesses are being urged to cut down on the amount of rubbish they produce and make considerable cost savings at the same time by Government-funded agency Envirowise.

Businesses are being urged to cut down on the amount of rubbish they produce and make considerable cost savings at the same time by Government-funded agency Envirowise.

A national campaign has been started by Envirowise to reduce office waste, with particular emphasis on paper use. In a novel move, the group launched a 35-foot paper aeroplane over the City of London to illustrate the amount of paper the average office worker gets through in one month; a remarkable 1584 sheets of A4 a month, a figure rising by around 20% every year. For the record, the plane was then recycled.

‘Wasting paper is not only a drain on our environment but is also a burden on most companies’ bottom line as they are wasting money with every piece of paper they use needlessly,’ comments Envirowise programme director Dr Martin Gibson. ‘We have worked with a business of just 40 staff who saved £40,000 a year purely through paper minimising initiatives.’

Envirowise experience shows that in a best practice small office, employees will use as little as 15 sheets of paper a day compared to 100 sheets a day in a more profligate workplace. Envirowise offers the following tips to help achieve best practice:

1. Think before you print; do you really need to print that document or make so many copies of it?

2. Set your printer to print on both sides of the paper by default. It will automatically reduce the amount of paper you use and thus reduce your paper budget.

3. Use recycled rather than virgin paper.

4. Use 80gsm paper sheets rather than thicker paper and avoid printing on flash paper unless you really have to.

5. Encourage staff to re-use and recycle.

6. Re-use scrap paper.

7. Issue documents electronically rather than in paper form.

8. Nominate a waste champion to implement and promote waste minimisation within the company.

9. Set up an employee suggestion scheme to generate ideas.

10. Use key performance indicators to set performance targets which can be measured.

To help, Envirowise has launched a free online savings calculator, www.maximiseprofit.org.uk to show the potential savings on paper, as well as on ink, waste disposal, water, heating and transport.

(24/6/05)

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