The Paperless Office in the Cloud: The Future of Business? - Part 10: The Green Movement as a Driver of the Paperless Office

The Green Movement as a Driver of the Paperless Office

(#10 in a series.)

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Last time, we discussed the mobile workforce trend as a force driving digital business document solutions and cloud computing.  Now, let's turn to another key factor affecting the rapid adoption of paperless office solutions and cloud computing:  the greening of business.

Going green is becoming a constant focus of business today.  You may have noticed the increasing frequency of green messaging in television commercials, especially in the energy automobile manufacturing industries.  Our global media keeps us aware of the consequences of oil spills and other pollution sources, coal mine disasters, the increasing costs of oil and the international conflict over its reserves.  

The world population is projected to increase by one third over the next forty years.   That will mean 400 million people contending for the same resources that 300 million of us in the United States today require.  But it’s more complicated than that.  In his new book, The World in 2050, Lawrence Smith estimates that the combination of demographics and globalization will have the effect of multiplying the demand for resources by a factor of 11 as the standard of living is raised in emerging countries.  

We are becoming more concerned about carcinogens in our food, plastic containers, and water supplies and our ability to sustain our quality of life for our children and grandchildren.  Today in the news we see stories about safe drinking water shortages in some parts of India generating concerns about the potential for conflict over supplies. 

But while the new socially responsible green messaging has the positive effect of raising everyone's awareness about the benefits of conservation and environmental sustainability, our business focus on green is directly connected to the recognition that going green saves money and increases the speed of business.  The buildings we occupy actually consume more energy than any other sector - 49%.  (Transportation 28.2%; industry 22.7%. - see  www.architecture2030.org about initiatives to reduce that demand and save money in the process.)  

Paper documents, along with the related printing, copying and faxing hardware and consumables required to create them, and postal and courier distribution costs are becoming a primary focus of attention in business, education and government.  Paperless business systems dramatically reduce those costs and reduce the impact on the environment of harvesting trees to produce paper and eliminate much of the toxic waste byproducts of the paper manufacturing process.  Some of our customers cite going green as the primary reason for implementing paperless business solutions and they’re even computing the number of trees they save each year by each departmental paperless initiative.

We are planning a future series in which we'll be diving into the details of the green business movement and the economies of environmental consciousness, so be sure to stay tuned.  And, we'd like to hear from you about green initiatives in your organization so we can share them with our readers.

See you next time,

John Queen