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3 Steps to a Sustainable Paperless Environment

Digitising your business operations sounds easy but it comes with a lot of user adoption issues. Questions need to be asked such as the need for going digital.  Is it purely to conform or is there a genuine passion for making the business more sustainable.  At Green Office we drive digital transformation because we believe in sustainability.


Managing your printing environment can help to reduce costs and as a result immediately become more sustainable.  Creating a culture of environmental awareness requires effort and constant management.  This can be driven through support and rewards programs. Reward with initiatives such as “greenest department” or “biggest cost savers” can encourage team effort and build excitement around becoming more sustainable.

Once the print environment has been addressed, the focus can shift to digital transformation by converting as much as you can into digital processes and data. Making use of online forms rather than paper forms, allowing for digital signatures in your processes are a few examples of digitisation in the workplace.  This will give you the opportunity to become more efficient in workflows. At Green Office we focus on building strategies which allows for careful planning and commitment to an achievable route map to becoming more sustainable. 

How do you turn your business into a paperless environment? Is it as simple as stopping all printing and just doing everything digitally? What about storing and retrieving documents? The list of questions can get really long!


To address this challenge, Green Office’s Digitalisation Offering focuses on the following three steps:

1. Assess your Processes

Before you can start thinking about changing anything, it’s important to understand where all your documentation comes from and what information it contains. To do this, we start by looking at your processes i.e.

  • what you do,
  • when you receive paper documents,
  • when you generate paper documents and
  • how you store paper documents.

If you can understand why you use paper documents, you can then find a way to replace them through process adoption.

For example, changing your invoice approval from a physical signature to a digital signature and creating electronic forms to collect procurement information (which can be approved electronically) are different forms of process adoption.

2. Optimise your Technology

If you’re going to be removing paper documents from your business, you’ll inevitably start using digital documents. This might mean having to use more technological applications, but it doesn’t always have to be the case. Also, if you’re really looking to make your paperless environment sustainable, you should be focused on improving the utilisation of all resources (including technology).

To start off with, you can look at the technology you currently have, and see if you are using it to its full potential. After that, make sure that all technologies are talking to each other. For example, if you can use technology to transform a purchase order into an invoice, it means that you’re saving time on creating an invoice and making sure that it is more accurate.

One solution we suggest is using Electronic Content Management (ECM) software, which handles the entire process and gets all the relevant technologies to share information instead of duplicating it.

3. Equip your Team

It’s one thing to have all of the processes in place in theory but getting your team onboard to roll out these changes can be your biggest challenge, as most people are opposed to change. So how do we motivate people to embrace change? Yes, we could just use a stick but, there are better ways!

The first step is to educate everyone about what is happening. Start by informing everyone about the changes and explaining why they need to take place, which will also help everyone understand what they need to do and how they need to do it. The second step is to make sure that the technology you’re using has an intuitive User Interface (UI). If people understand the technology and systems and find it easy to use, they will adapt to it.

Some companies drive these kinds of changes through incentive programs, but while this might sound like a good idea, it can lead to a hostile situation. We think that people shouldn’t only adapt because of a reward, but because there is a shared interest.

Implementing your Sustainable Paperless Strategy

To recap on the points above, you first need to understand your processes, and then optimise them. After that, make sure to align these processes with your sustainability values, and then use technology to facilitate them. When doing this, ensure that all of your systems integrate easily and that there is one central communication interface where possible. Finally, and most importantly, you need to get your team to join and share your interest in implementing a paperless environment. Do this by getting them to understand and contribute to the systems you choose to use. Don’t buy them in, get them to buy in.


A thorough understanding of your documents, business process, people, technology and environment will be key in deciding the next step to take in finding a suitable workflow solutions partner. Contact us today to get a conversation going.

At Green Office we help people, by managing processes and improve integrating technology. Let US help YOU implement paperless processes for your business to achieve optimal efficiencies and becoming more sustainable. To find out more, click the below button to request a call from one of our Consultants.

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