Enterprise Content Management: A Simple Step Toward Sustainability

Sustainability is top of mind for most companies today. Even as a consumer, you can’t go many places without hearing, seeing or reading something about “going green.” 

Thus, sustainability, or “going green,” is a sweeping trend in the corporate sector as well.  From a corporate perspective, we often hear companies take on initiatives to install solar panels or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  These are certainly great steps toward making organizations “sustainable,” but what about the internal business processes of most companies? What about the methods most employees use to get their day-to-day work done? How does that fit in?

Having worked for companies in different industries, I know that the practice of relying on manual paper-based processes is just a way of getting things done.  But taking a step back and looking at most organizations’ internal departments , it is staggering the amount of paper that is not only consumed, but then stored. Moving away from manual processes is definately a cultural change for many employees – even a difficult change for some – but this presents a golden opportunity for companies to “go green” in the office place. 

A report published by the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance titled “A Checklist for Office Sustainability,”  outlined five main areas within the office to consider in any sustainability initiative:

  • Paper usage,
  • Equipment usage,
  • Recycling and reuse,
  • Utilities, and
  • Office sustainability practices. 

Under paper usage alone, nine areas were considered when evaluating waste reduction activities.  So where do most companies begin? 

Evaluating how your organization uses paper, and more specifically how each specific department uses paper, is an easy starting place.  Some important questions to ask yourself or others in your department: Do documents exist in paper form that can be converted into an electronic format? Are there forms or documents made or used electronically or both?

Streamlining or removing a lot of the manual paper-based processes and moving toward an automated process for dealing with those activities will not only provide an opportunity to infuse green practices in the office, but also increase operational efficiencies and reduce a lot of non-value activities. 

A smart, strategic enterprise content management solution can help companies realize these goals. Want to know more? Check out Hyland Software’s ECM Solution Guide.

Becca Toth

Becca Toth serves as Industry Marketing Manager for the manufacturing, retail and wholesale distribution verticals for Hyland Software Inc., the Westlake, Ohio- based developer of OnBase. Becca’s primary responsibilities... read more about: Becca Toth