The average person produces seven times their bodyweight in rubbish each year with just over 40% of it being recycled. Sometimes trying to be eco-friendly is a real pain. Take energy efficient light bulbs that take seemingly ages to light a room up properly, or doing the school run with three small children on foot, and in the rain to avoid using the car…you get my point.
We try to be as green as possible here at PleaseTech; we’re corporate members of the Woodland Trust and recycle plastic, cardboard and printer cartridges to minimize our carbon footprint.
Of course, we’re not the only ones. Most businesses have some sort of environmental policy but whilst many strive to be paperless, the demand for printer paper is at an all-time high. Nearly all have a need to write and review all sorts of documents: procedures manuals, proposals, books, regulatory submissions, audits, contracts, assessments, the list goes on.
In a previous life, I was the poor soul responsible for compiling annual reports, getting input from board directors, emailing round draft after draft to people who’d then dump hard copies on my desk, full of amends, some of which clashed with comments from colleagues, much of it in illegible handwriting.
Can you imagine how much paper was printed out before that report was approved – for printing? Not to mention the number of late nights spent in the office, with all the lights and computers on, to meet the deadline of finishing it?
As consumers we strive to be greener, recycling, being a good example, but what is it that actually drives the change? In reality most people turn their heating down out of need not want - to save money, rather than energy. Technological advances mean we have low energy, high definition TVs, but do people buy the TV to save energy or for the improved viewing experience?
It’s a similar situation in the workplace; new technologies are introduced in order to make our lives easier, save the company money or enable us to do our jobs more efficiently and, as a by-product, are also likely to drive environmental change.
Take my annual reports. If the process of compiling the report had been easier, I’d have got the job done in half the time, the company in question would have saved a fortune in printing and electricity costs, and been ‘greener’ without even trying.
We have a client at PleaseTech who recently told us that to get just one review completed involved nearly 300 emails and even more attachments.
How crazy is that? But it’s not an unfamiliar tale, and one, which I’m sure most people can identify with.
Controlled document collaboration software is relatively new, and was sought out initially by companies heavily regulated with a key business requirement to comply with strict industry guidelines, such as in Life Sciences. However, the impact of what it can help businesses to achieve is gaining momentum across other industry sectors. It’s now considered a ‘cool’ technology by leading analysts such as Gartner and Ovum, and the range of organizations using it includes the big pharmaceuticals, financial institutions and energy firms to consultancies, universities and small businesses
And why? Well the answer is simple really, customers report that it cuts the time taken to edit and review documents by up to 65%, or to put it another way, gives them an extra month’s employee productivity every year.
The environmental impact is obvious. Let’s say you have 10 team members working on a 50 page document. Each person prints the document out twice. That’s 1,000 pieces of paper. They do that every month and you have 12,000 pieces of paper. Estimates suggest one tree produces 8,333 pieces of A4 paper, so do the maths, that’s 1.4 trees saved.
Some of our customers have 20+ people working on documents that are regularly over 200 pages in length, and there may be several documents that the business is working on each month. The environmental saving is potentially huge, but arguably, a bi-product of the business wanting to operate more efficiently.
So in PleaseReview we have a piece of software that is easy to use, supports employee efficiency, saves businesses huge amounts of time, improves document quality and helps organizations offset their carbon footprint. No wonder Gartner think we’re cool.