Billions are being thrown in the bin - Business Works
BW brief

Billions are being thrown in the bin

Tracey Rawling-Church, paper-saving expert, Kyocera Remember the days, when the pace of technology was so fast, that we had numerous experts falling over themselves to let us know how we’d soon be living in a society that was truly paperless? We were promised desks without stacks of paperwork, drawers that were free of clutter and office coffee tables with nothing more than, well, coffee on them?

Fast forward a few years to 2012 and let’s see if those claims were worth the paper they were printed on.

4000 sheets per year per employee ends up in the bin Well, according to research, no they weren’t. Kyocera has published a study into how we use paper and the results speak volumes. It seems that the average UK worker is printing out six thousand sheets of paper every year; and staggeringly, two thirds of them - that’s four thousand - end up in the paper bin.

Now to put that into some kind of context, the small business sector alone employs over 14 million workers and that makes for a lot of paper - in a supposedly paperless society.

Despite the fact 7 in 10 workers consider themselves environmentally conscientious, half say their printing levels have stayed the same or even increased in the last 12 months, costing small businesses both in terms of wastage and recycling.

"A big problem is that some of the actions being taken by workers and employees aren’t as effective as people think they are," says paper saving expert Tracey Rawling-Church is from Kyocera. "Paper recycling is quite wide spread and people are quite good at putting their printed sheets in the recycling bin, but they feel that completely mitigates the fact they printed it in the first place when it really doesn’t –rather than printing and recycling they just shouldn’t be printing."

But as we live through the harsh double-dip recession, with higher stress rates than ever before and SMEs under particular pressure of 'kick starting' Britain's economy, Tracey believes we should be doing everything we can to save money, "There’s this misconception that it actually costs an organisation more to be green, but many of the first things you do to become sustainable actually save you money. So making sure your heating isn’t set too high and your air conditioning isn’t set too low, and making sure you’re using the sleep mode on your monitors and printers will reduce your energy use, which, of course, has a direct benefit on your bottom line because you’re spending less."

The Kyocera report comes during Small Business Advice Week, an online platform for business owners which is now in its eighth year, and Tracey Rawling-Church, a paper and energy saving expert from Kyocera is taking part in a webcast debate today (20 August 2012), starting at 1pm (UK time). Here she’ll be looking at what employers can do to reduce the paper mountain and save money, as well as providing a number of other practical green tips and advice. So were the promises of a paperless society worth the sheets they were printed on? Find out at 1pm by going to

Tweet article
BW on TwitterBW RSS feed