When you’re running a legal business, you become accustomed to huge amounts of paper. In fact, if there is one industry that relies on huge amounts of paper, it’s the legal business. We all pored over documents while reading law, and the practice continues as we move through our working lives. The law relies on documents, and therefore on paper, to survive.
However, there’s a downside to this well-established reality; paper is incredibly wasteful. For example:
> 50 percent of waste from businesses is paper waste
> Paper accounts for a staggering 25 percent of landfill waste
> According to The Guardian, recycling one tonne of paper can save 7,000 gallons of water, 17 trees, three cubic metres of landfill space, and 4,000 kilowatts of energy
Yet despite all of the above, paper is still wasted at record levels– and law offices are even more prone to experiencing the issue, due to the high amount of documentation required to practice law.
So if you’re of an eco-friendly mindset, what can you do to reduce paper waste in your legal business?
1. Provide Tablets To All Employees
Tablets can be used as a full replacement for paper. While the initial investment is fairly steep, you could save a fortune over the course of a year, not to mention the impact that such a move would have on the environment.
Tablets can be used for all the purposes you and your staff might initially use paper for. This is especially true if you provide styluses that allow writing and drawing; after a few weeks, you’ll forget what it was even like to have notebooks and loose sheafs of paper around.
2. Change Your Documenting System
Why rely on documents in a world where email is becoming more and more accepted? Making a switch to Legal document management software and file management systems that can dispatch via email is hugely beneficial in terms of reducing the amount of paper wastage in your office. These digitised systems will also help with general management of documents, as any document you require will be right there at your fingertips when required.
3. Install Recycling Bins Throughout Your Office
One of the primary reasons that people don’t recycle is because they think it is inconvenient to do so. The best way to combat this is simple; small recycling bins that are placed at multiple points throughout the office, so employees are always guaranteed to be close to the nearest receptacle. You can even take this a step further by banning individual bins being stored beneath office desks, forcing your employees to think twice before they throw anything away. This will encourage staff to use the provided recycling, and mean your office is a little closer to its goal of getting as close to paperless as possible.
One business making these changes might not seem like much, but over time, the effort adds up and can make a substantial environment difference. By implementing these changes, you can be sure your business is on the right side of the environmental debate just as often as it’s on the right side of the law.