According to a recent study by independent analysts Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), 21% of organisations are increasing their paper consumption. This is despite growing environmental concerns and the implementation of environmental impact policies designed to reduce paper use.
The study, titled Paper Wars 2014 – an update from the battlefield, involved businesses from around the world and found that while 56% of respondents had policies in place to reduce paper use, less than a quarter actively promoted those policies.
The respondents gave various reasons for increased paper use in their offices, with more than half admitting to printing out personal copies for meetings or to add a signature while 50% printed copies for reading offline or out of the office.
47% of respondents said that the lack of management initiatives was the reason they continued to print, while 44% said that the perceived need for physical signatures was why there was so much paper in the business process.
Legal and finance departments were seen as the most resistant to paper-free working, with HR and general administration following. However, those companies that had committed to reducing paper use, about 60%, had seen a return on their investment in 12 months. Apart from the savings on printer ink and toner cartridges and paper, the benefits of going paper free are being able to give a faster response to customers and increased productivity.
The study was released at part of AIIM’s World Paper Free Day 2014, which encourages business and consumers to go paper free for one day. This initiative is supported by some of the world’s largest corporations, including IBM, the US Department of Defence and HP.