Go paperless, go green with an EDMS

1st December 2021

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Environmental concerns are increasingly front and centre of business priorities, with the drive to net zero emissions gaining more traction and publicity.

The recent COP26 has put environmental matters even more in the spotlight – and while many of us won’t be able to make the huge savings that multinational manufacturing companies with a vast carbon footprint will, we can still make an impact.

On top of the environmental benefits, there’s a bottom line impact too. Scope 1,2 and 3 requirements mean not only are businesses responsible for their own emissions, but also for ensuring their supply chain is doing their bit. That means that even if you’re not the multinational company mentioned above, your ability to count those companies among your client base rely on going green.

Fortunately, there are many ways to tackle reducing carbon emissions, recycling, reducing waste, and more. Technologies are emerging to help the corporate world address certain facets of going green, and going paperless with an Electronic document management software (EDMS) is one of them.

How Does EDMS Help a Business Go Green?

Reduce print.

There are still far too many companies that rely on printing out documents for internal use – often entirely unnecessarily. The move to hybrid and remote working has undoubtedly reduced this reliance on print (and sped up the need for an EDMS!), but there is still more we can do to cut out the paper.

Moving to an EDMS can stop those unneeded documents and waste from piling up.

Reduce waste.

Cutting out the unnecessary printing also means reducing how much ink and electricity your business uses. Ink cartridges take 1000 years to decompose, and we’re currently throwing them away at an alarming rate of 375 million cartridges a year. That volume of waste can’t continue, so let’s cut it out!

Reduce costs. 

A major blocker for companies going green is the (mistaken!) notion that being eco-friendly costs more money. In the case of an EDMS, it’s quite the reverse – not only will you save money on ink, paper and electricity, but you’ll also be able to reduce printer maintenance costs. 

Reduce storage needs.

It goes without saying that when you no longer need to file printed documents, your business requires less physical space.

A 4-drawer filing cabinet typically contains 8-10,000 pieces of paper, occupies 0.7 square metres (7.5 square feet) of precious office space, and takes around 100 valuable staff hours to fill. By the time it is full, many documents will not have been retrieved since they were first filed: as many as 1 in 10 will be missing or in the wrong place: and once full, it is a costly and inefficient chore to weed out old files – either for archiving, or for destruction. And a misfiled piece of paper is as bad as a lost piece of paper: in both cases, the information is not available.

Freeing up expensive floor space can result in large cost savings as space becomes available. More desks or new equipment can be added without having to consider larger premises – or you could even downsize your office, leading to further reductions in bills and your carbon footprint.

Benefits to the bottom line

As well as the ways an EDMS can help reduce your carbon footprint – from reduced paper usage through to lower energy usage – there are numerous business-based reasons for switching too.

Electronic document storage makes retrieval quicker, easier and cheaper than ever before, and you have the peace of mind that your important files are always safe. Full encryption means your confidential information is safe, and version control means you have a clear trail of the history of every document – especially important in the age of hybrid working.

How Filestream goes even further

Not only does File Stream offer all the benefits outlined, but it has smart features that elevate it above conventional file storage systems – for both energy saving and business ease.

For a start, File Stream only files one copy of each document. A conventional Windows network drive system creates multiple copies of documents – which results in greater energy usage from you computers.

Once you’ve started filing on a Window network drive system, things get even more complex as the storage gets bigger and biggers, with no easy control over when old documents are removed. File Stream’s Document Retention functionality meaning that policies are set to delete old documents according to preset rules, leading to massive computer storage savings and, with it, associated power usage. 

To further reduce the computer storage and associated energy usage, File Stream has the ability to archive older documents to a separate secure storage medium off the computer system – perfect if there are documents you don’t wish to delete, but also don’t want cluttering up your files.

Interested in going paperless? Speak to us today about our range of Filestream products.

Need more information? Speak to one of our experts.