It's been more than half a century since the late Sen. Gaylord Nelson, an environmentalist from Wisconsin, brought us Earth Day. Yet the annual series of worldwide events aimed at promoting protection and preservation of our natural resources has gained significant momentum since its inception in 1970. Now every year on April 22, more than a billion people globally mark the day with clean-ups, speeches, gatherings, and other mobilization efforts. 

Reducing, reusing, and recycling can go a long way toward saving our planet from the perils of climate change, but there's another way we can greatly reduce the adverse effects of industry and modernization on the planet. Go paperless! This year, let's take a look at ways that document digitization can take a bite out of global warming while still upping business efficiency and savings.


Reducing Paper Waste 

The paper and pulp industry accounts for a sizable portion of the industrial pollution of our planet, emitting volatile organic compounds, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide, all of which are major climate-change contributors. The United States is the world's top per-capita consumer of paper and paper products, with each person using more than 400 pounds of the stuff each year. Businesses can take a big bite out of that figure by making serious efforts to have a paperless office. How? By going digital.

Scanning in and digitizing old files (no matter how many decades back they go) and creating new files digitally slashes an organization's emissions footprint enormously. It takes thousands of pounds of future paper out of the equation and recycles and repurposes dust-gathering paper and paperboard right now. 


Fewer Fossil-Fuel Emissions

Maintaining physical copies of important documents means regular, frequent, and appreciable use of fossil fuels. Organizational files that need to get from one office to another must be transferred, often by plane, truck, or train. Storage facilities that house these files require oil-and-gas-powered machinery and other equipment to move and organize shelving and boxes. 

The company that engages Ripcord to digitize, classify, index, and extract data from its files no longer needs to expend any of these finite, polluting resources. Once it has transformed its information and eliminated the need for a tangible representation of its information, it will never again have to concern itself with moving, sorting, organizing, or storing paper files.


Conserving Energy

In addition to needlessly consuming gasoline, holding onto and transporting paper documentation requires the use of other polluting resources. Warehouses and other storage areas must be climate-controlled and illuminated, which uses natural gas and other fossil fuels, driving up companies' bills and adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Energy accounts for the lion's share of the cash outlay on warehouses, composing about 15% of a company's operating budget. The average warehouse uses approximately 100,000-kilowatt hours of electricity each year. To put that into perspective, the average U.S. household uses about 10,649-kilowatt hours annually. If a company eliminates that warehouse (or those warehouses) by digitizing its documentation with a top document management system, it eliminates a huge part of its carbon footprint. 

Want to celebrate Earth Day this year by reducing your company's carbon footprint while also increasing your efficiency and saving money? We can help with that. Get more information about Ripcord today.