By Peter Hanseen, M.P.A
Corporate “Green” Directives Are Advantageous and Easy to Implement
Back in the day when the late, great Jim Henson was voicing his famous Muppet creation Kermit, organizations were saddled with processes that were heavy laden with environmental waste. Computers and higher speed printers and fax machines were in their beginnings as common workplace equipment. Despite so many advances in technology since that time, many organizations still lag behind in green-friendly directives, and the printed page with its subsequent required warehousing still plagues many organizations.
Perhaps in 1990 it was in fact ‘not easy being green,’ but today, not only is it easy to be green, organizations would be wise to leverage the benefits of being green, including consumer brand favoritism, simple by-the-numbers cost-benefit, improved business process efficiency, and even areas that at first seem not so obvious—like employee retention and recruitment and corporate valuation assessment.
Consumer Brand Favoritism
Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the need to be environmentally conscious, and the practice of ethical consumerism drives purchase decisions of a growing segment of society. If a company can appropriately represent itself in its practices and products as being green-friendly, this can be the determining factor in a company winning business, when and if all other factors are considered equal by environmentally conscious consumers.
The high cost of printer toner, the associated cost of courier services to send important documents, the cost of file cabinets and real-estate storage space, the time spent storing and locating physically placed and misplaced documents, the cost of time-driven file retention practices, and then in the end—the ironic cost of destroying these documents that have pulled toner, space, and human capital resources—are all reasons to eliminate these things from an organization’s makeup.
Business Process Efficiency
Going green—especially as it relates to paper management processes—has a business process efficiency gain that is naturally associated with the removal of hard-copy file location. Storage and retrieval via electronic means is many times faster. In fact, a knowledge worker need not even be geo-located anywhere near cabinets, files, or documents to store or retrieve these valuable artifacts. Simply put, document-dependent work need not include a spatial or physical access limitation when electronic document best practices are commonplace.
Employee Retention and Recruitment
Just as a growing segment of consumers practice ethical consumerism, a related growing trend is that employees and job seekers find it favorable to work for a company that manages resources well, engages in socially conscious activities and practices, and has a respect for the limited natural resources shared by all. Simply put, more and more employees want to work for and take pride in their company “doing the right thing.” As a company can demonstrate that it values resources and avoids wasteful practices and programs, it will be more attractive to job seekers and employees who share these same values.
Corporate Valuation Assessment
McKinsey & Company published survey results on valuing corporate social responsibility and determined that most CEOs perceive a substantially positive long term impact of socially responsible programs—including environmentally focused programs. Translated, this means that of the CEOs surveyed, the consensus is that there is a positive long-term economic impact to corporate valuation reflected in shareholder value perception. Increases in value perception are good for business, of course. Programs such as digital document management solutions are at the foundation of some of these efforts.
Paperless Office Makes Your Company Green
Many benefits can be realized by organizations as they change process and programs that have historically been resident to and dependent on paper and paper consumption. With technologies such as those offered by eFileCabinet, it is dramatically easier today for companies to eliminate waste and inefficiency and make clearly recognizable improvements to process that yield long-term, sustainable benefits.
If you’d like help making your office greener by going paperless, please fill out the contact form on this page or call us at 877-574-5505.