Form Creation Software and Your Company’s Environmental Footprint
Why is it important to monitor your organization’s environmental footprint? Even if the natural resources used by individuals, organizations, and businesses were unlimited, the fact is that resource overuse causes them to incur unnecessary expenses, if nothing else.
But although humanity has made advances in the sustainability of resources, the issue remains of the impact of the use of resources on the planet we live on. Paper can be recycled, but many other things cannot be, and all that non-recyclable stuff has to go somewhere – typically into a landfill.
The use of form creation software may not seem like something that would strike a blow for environmental responsibility, but it can drastically cut down on the use of resources like ink and paper, and the costs associated with them.
Businesses, NGOs, and Environmental Footprint
The cost of purchasing paper is only the beginning of the total cost of paper consumption. The paper must also be stored, sometimes mailed, and either archived or disposed of, and it adds up quickly. One study estimated that the total cost of paper use can be as much as 31 times as much as the simple purchase price of paper. And that doesn’t include the costs of labor.
Big enterprises like Citigroup and Bank of America determined that simple measures like double-sided copying that conserved only a single sheet of paper per week would add up to $700,000 savings each year. The use of online forms and reports, along with steps like double-sided copying can cut paper consumption by one-quarter.
The very term “paperwork” has a negative connotation that brings to mind slowness and inefficiency. Form software that creates online rather than paper forms eliminates significant paperwork and has many other advantages over forms filled out by hand. You don’t have to worry about illegible handwriting or forms that are lost or damaged. And processing them is usually significantly faster.
Schools, Governments, and Environmental Impact
Form software benefits schools, governments, and other public institutions. Not only can these institutions that are funded by public money make their finances go further, they can provide a good example of environmental stewardship by reducing the amount of paper waste they have to deal with.
Form creation software allows public organizations to make many, if not most, processes paper-free. Schools, for example, can integrate and update student information on electronic forms, for greater accuracy and speed along with resource savings. An electronic student handbook can save multiple trees from being cut down, and online forms for local government processes, like applying for a business license or paying property taxes can make things faster while making less of an impact on the environment.
The Key Is Paperless Workflows
People usually accept the transition from paper-based to paperless workflows happily. This is especially true if the electronic forms they’re presented with look exactly like the paper forms they’re used to. Paper forms served wonderfully when there was no alternative, but now alternatives exist, and they’re far better. Filling out a form online, submitting it instantaneously with the click of a button, and then receiving an acknowledgment that the form was received does what paper has always done, only significantly better.
Benefits You Can Expect
If you have made the commitment to reduce your organization’s environmental impact in 2017, using form creation software is one of the most important steps you can take toward that goal. Some of the benefits you can expect include:
- Drastically lower paper consumption
- Lower ink consumption
- Less demand for filing space
- Easier recycling of residual paper
- Lower costs
- Higher revenues due to resource savings and efficiency gains
You can start by taking a single paper process paperless, at which point you’re almost certain to envision countless other processes that can be taken from paper-based to electronic, for savings right away, and over the long term.
PerfectForms is an online form builder that allows process users to design pixel perfect electronic forms without having to know how to program. You can, if you want, create electronic forms that look identical to paper forms users are used to. Then, you can route them via electronic workflows so that they go through the proper channels without anyone ever having to handle a sheet of paper. Best of all, you can test drive PerfectForms for free by signing up for a free trial. See for yourself how easy it can be to reduce your environmental footprint, both immediately and long term.
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