Why Paperless Office Software is In Demand: A Case for the Cap and Trade of Paper

Those familiar with the phrase “cap and trade” know it is commonly used in discussion of greenhouse gas emissions. Technically, this cap and trade approach to commoditizing emissions, which are harmful to the environment, economically disincentives the use of pollutants and other harmful materials in the transacting of business, lending to paperless office software adoption — which the economy and businesses need.

Although typically done at the international level to mitigate climate change, certain commodities like paper should be capped and traded domestically and abroad to disincentive the use of paper, therein creating demand for use of paperless office software and other technologies providing alternatives to reliance on paper, and here’s why:

Paper-dependence leads to the ill effects of deforestation

Although we psychologically depend on paper to get our work done, our reliance on this communication medium contributes to deforestation. Those who write policy into law know this, and could stymy deforestation in its tracks by issuing a cap and trade policy with paper.

In addition to slowing deforestation, the cap and trade policy, if applied to paper, would allow organizations to continue working effectively through other means—like paperless office software, and without overthrowing paper usage entirely: an important tenet given that no office can be entirely devoid of paper, and offices must still make paper documents available upon client and customer request as the law mandates that information be made available to them in the medium they prefer.


There’s No Reason to Invest in Inefficiency

Have you ever heard an investor or venture capital funder quip, “How about we stimulate the economy by making businesses more inefficient.”? Chances are, you probably haven’t, and for good reason: No business or economy in which it resides for that matter stands to gain anything from the inefficiency of paper-dependent business practices—therein drawing into serious question whether paper should in fact be capped and traded as a “bad” commodity.

If paperless office software were implemented by small to mid-sized businesses in mass, the cap and trade process could be drawn into full effect, and with little downtime required.


History Has a Strange Way of Repeating Itself

Cigarettes were taxed, liquor was taxed, and certain kinds of drugs were made illegal because the government took measures to stave off the negative effects these commodities can produce in individuals and in society.

Although too much governmental and regulatory oversight can be a bad thing, sometimes it’s necessary to dissuade use of certain products and behaviors in order to produce better outcomes for people and, in this scenario, organizations, although using paperless office software contributes markedly to professional growth. Things that are bad for us have a long history of dissuaded use, so what makes paper any different?


Paperless Office Software Use Is Long Overdue

Many have decried that the paperless office has been on its way for quite some time now, and the only barriers to its implementation are psychological dependence on paper, and how deeply paper is embedded into preexisting organizational structures.

Implementing at least a domestic cap and trade policy on paper use, which could be arranged on a business-to-business basis would start to curtail this dependence on paper, and to the economy’s benefit, as well as the benefit of businesses partaking in the cap and trade cycle.

What do you think?