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Technology as a medicine for sustainability in the company

When considering the possibility of using technology that would help to implement sustainable development in a company, it is first of all necessary to draw attention to the existing problems struggled not only by companies, but above all by the environment around us.

Paper, is it necessary?

A noticeable and main problem is e.g. high paper consumption – so how does it affect the environment from an environment point of view?

Paper production itself not only causes deforestation, but also consumes huge amounts of energy and water, which then results in air pollution and any waste problems. As indicated in the platform, paper accounts for about 26% of all landfill waste, and up to about 2 million tones of paper are produced per week. Moreover, as indicated, paper consumption is projected to double between 2010 and 2060 due to increasing demand. All this translated into a deterioration in the world’s forests and, moreover, in just 18 years (2001-2019), a total of 286 million hectares of forests are estimated to have been lost.

Fortunately, the world of new technologies is becoming more and more newer methods, including the abandonment of paper versions of documents. However, this progress cannot be expected to suddenly change and society will suddenly stop using paper printing. Although paper consumption is projected to decrease as a result of the technical revolution, it will undoubtedly be a long time to be completely independent of such needs (e.g. newspaper printing or paper packaging).

The need for change perfectly reflects statistics that show that paper production requires twice as much energy consumption as a plastic bag. According to the data, an average of 330l of water is consumed per 1 kg of paper, and as much as 10l of water is needed to make an A4 sheet[1]. Furthermore, the environmental impact of paper waste, which determines the impact of cellulose and paper, as the third largest industrial polluter and air, water and soil, and moreover, bleaches which are used in production, release toxic materials into water, air and soil. The paper decomposition process is also associated with its rotting, through which methane is emitted, which is up to 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.

Let us consider, for example, the issue of document management. In the past, the predominant element necessary for a company to achieve was the need to archive documents in the traditional (paper) way. Today, due to a number of possibilities and assurances of the security of our documents, many companies decide to change this issue not only for environmental reasons, but also for saving reasons.

Document management and new technology

In order to reduce the negative effects on the environment, it is important to strive to minimize paper printing and to speed up the process of storing documents electronically. Many people, however, did not trust the security of storing the most important documents in the cloud due to the possibility of data loss.

To address this problem, over the last months, many opportunities have been developed that will not only help in document management in the company, but will also contribute to the implementation of sustainability with adequate protection of document data. Undoubtedly, the pandemic we face today has significantly changed the digitalization of every industry. A key replacement here is the example of replacing the work model with a remote work model that had to be implemented overnight in companies, which was not easy to achieve from the point of view of some industries.

It was therefore important to change the approach also with regard to the way contracts are concluded, to maintain security when sharing files and to sign documents electronically. An example that has changed the approach of many companies so far is e.g. DoxyChain, a company that uses secure, decentralized records to securely store multiple data. With this solution, entities have the opportunity to optimize business processes with the next generation. Following this direction, it should not be mentioned here that the current trend among the legal industry is LegalTech, which streamlines the communication process and, above all, responds accordingly to document management. Such far-reaching activities make many entities aware that every industry is slowly choosing to optimize services using new technology.

Undoubtedly, minimizing printing is a must in the business world today. Of course, it is not possible to reduce the number of prints to zero at this time. This is due e.g. the need to present the document in paper form to state authorities. However, by analyzing the changes to come, this issue is changing from year to year, so there is a chance that in the future there will be a complete transition to an automated document transmission system.

Finally, however, it is not necessary to immediately implement a system that will be responsible for storing all our documents. In addition to seeking to secure documents electronically, even the supply of energy-saving products such as multifunction printers with fairly short heating times, automatic sleep mode, or the limits and savings of tones regulated by these devices can be substitute for this form.

Let us point out that technology is a tool that can help us not only skillfully exploit new opportunities in the market, but above all allows us to meet today’s challenges of remote work while agreeing with nature.

Funding options

Finally, by 14 May 2020, it is worth adding that it was possible to apply for PARP grant ‘Environmentally friendly technologies’[2]. The aim of the program was to increase the competitiveness of entrepreneurs using environmentally friendly technological solutions through actions leading to the development of an innovative process, products and services in the company that will contribute e.g. to improve waste management, energy efficiency or reduced emissions. Here, the grant could be used for investment support, experimental development and even advisory services. Undoubtedly, the creation of such program can contribute precisely to the implementation of technological solutions in many enterprises, which are at the same time environmentally friendly. If you would be interested in using such a program, we also help in obtaining such funding.

Our company Advicero takes responsible approach to the issue of environmental care and has taken ecological action in this direction reducing e.g. paper consumption in the company. We strive to be an environmentally friendly company and we cordially encourage you to do so!