4 Simple Ways to Make Your Business More Sustainable

Your environmentally responsible practices will make your company more efficient, improve employees’ productivity (and morale), and save money.

By John Gonzalez, senior director of  Product Management for Xerox Content Management and Workflow Automation

“Paper-based processes are cumbersome and expensive. Electronic forms save time and paper, and cut your shipping and storage costs.” -- John Gonzalez, Senior Director, Product Management, Xerox Content Management and Workflow Automation
“Paper-based processes are cumbersome and expensive. Electronic forms save time and paper, and cut your shipping and storage costs.” — John Gonzalez, Senior Director, Product Management, Xerox Content Management and Workflow Automation

The pursuit of happiness has transformed into the pursuit of sustainability. Employees are increasingly concerned about “green” initiatives and consciously look for jobs at companies that focus on sustainability efforts. Seventy-five percent of employees who believe their employers pay enough attention to environmental issues and sustainable development reported higher levels of commitment, positively impacting employee satisfaction.

Here are four  ways your company can use process-automating technology in the pursuit of sustainability:

  1. Analyze the document environment: In order to change processes, businesses must understand their current work environment. Consider analyzing workplace hardware, including print and document workflow, for insight into how assets are used throughout the office. Users can then understand their carbon footprint and develop a strategy to increase efficiencies by monitoring and managing the use of devices. To go one step further, think about appointing a sustainability officer or “green team” to lead the efforts, and make sure employees are satisfied and invested in the company’s sustainability efforts.
  2. Automate business processes: Paper-based business processes are cumbersome and expensive. When a company can move paper out of core business processes, savings can be dramatic. (In one example from AIIM, up to $500,000annually.) By automating workflow processes, businesses can eliminate the need for multiple copies by routing content, such as invoices that require approval, directly to the appropriate users. This also reduces the need for document storage and shredding/destruction.
  3.  Introduce eForms: With electronic forms (eForms), companies use less paper, cut down on the number of people who manually handle the documents, and save shipping costs and time.  eForms also help organizations address industry regulations. For example, Ventura County began developing eForms and their team became experts in workflow and electronic documents. They can now advise medical professionals on transitioning to electronic health records (EHR) and how to create the best workflows.
  4. Scan, scan, scan: Scanning allows organizations to reduce the need to save old paper documents by digitally archiving the information. The information is then populated into repositories for easier access and can be used to build intelligent documents that enable users to easily extract and search for data across multiple, mixed-platform business repositories including cloud, social media, mobile devices and desktops. Scanning also reduces physical real estate because less paper means less filing cabinets and off-site storage, which eliminates storage costs and transportation expenses, and significantly reduces your environmental footprint.

Xerox DocuShare enterprise content management enables you to achieve your sustainability goals by automating paper-based processes, and providing secure access to important content from anywhere in the world. For more information, visit http://docushare.xerox.com.

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  1. Beverly Yates April 25, 2014 - Reply

    What a clear set of do-able objectives to follow! Thanks John for making this straightforward. Looks like a blueprint for success that most businesses can realistically achieve.

  2. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it
    was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying
    your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still
    new to everything. Do you have any points for newbie
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    • Gregory Pings July 14, 2014 - Reply

      Kira: I get a lot of questions from newbie bloggers asking for advice. And I am considering a blog article that shares some of the things I’ve learned about finding, writing, and editing good articles. I really should get started on it.

      In the meantime, please consider subscribing to this blog so that you don’t miss my (or anyone else’s) article.

  3. Eric James July 21, 2014 - Reply

    Now a days for any company handling paperwork are going to be a tedious and time consuming job. Digitizing the documents make their works a lot more better. Digitized documents are a lot better and easier to manage. Companies still in transitional stage from paper documents to digitized documents will be having long scanning and document management sessions but in the long term those will be a time well spent.

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