World Paper Free Day buts desks still piled high with the stuff

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Electronic invoices still get printed out anyway shows AIIM research

Around half of organisations (49 percent) are decreasing their paper consumption, according to research, despite just 22 percent of businesses having an environmental policy to reduce paper use.

The AIIM study, Paper-Free Progress: measuring outcomes, was published during today’s World Paper Free Day 2015, an AIIM initiative that aims to challenge organisations to take the path to using less paper, “eliminating the waste and confusion that piles of office paper can create”.

Looking through a hole in white paper © Brian Jackson - FotoliaAIIM is the global information professionals organisation, and the research was conducted among 430 of its members. “Slowly but surely, organisations are coming round to the idea that digitising much of the content and information flowing through their business can be beneficial,” said AIIM president John Mancini.

We are never going to eliminate paper completely, but when it becomes clear that going paper-free delivers return-on-investment as well as helping the environment, businesses will be more willing to invest in the technologies that let them go paper-free.”

But despite “paper free” progress, 35 percent of research respondents said that most of the electronic invoices their organisations received “get printed anyway”, and 31 percent admitted that their desk is “piled high” with paper still.

The research says the average office worker uses up to 45 sheets of paper per day, of which more than half is considered “waste”.

Organisations from all over the world have taken a “paper-free pledge”, including Fujitsu, Iron Mountain and IBM. For each registration, AIIM will make a donation to One Laptop per Child, the non-profit organisation offering laptops for children in developing countries.

@AntonySavvas