Going Paperless

It is clear to anyone that paper production is costly.
Pollution from ink cartridges, jammed printers and the incredible wasting generated by using paper and ink is totally avoidable nowadays.
Pens require plastic.
Inkjet cartridges usage make the air polluted.
The waste of clean water is immense.

Electronic Signatures are still in its infancy after 18 years of its regulation in the U.S.

Today, there is an increasing use of electronic sign platforms, and we here at Contractize are determined to make document proeessing paperless to the fullest.

We see the electronic signature as a commodity, and so, it ROI can be measurable in some key points regarding the advantages of go digital in transactions.

My focus on this subject is the green key point.

Eliminating Printing, Scanning, and Photocopies

Eliminating paper from signing workflows can make a significant impact on any organization. Even if you are a small early-stage business, to start covering issues like sustainability save money and reduce the waste production from day one, and could be a differential when it comes to being evaluated by third interested parties on your company

Paper production facts

One ton of paper is equal to 400 reams that are equal 200.000 sheets.

Each tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8.333 sheets.

To produce one ream – 500 sheets of white paper – is required at least 6% of a tree.

Printing facts

Printing pages always produce wasted sheets.

The average cost of a wasted page is $0.06.

An average collaborator prints 6 wasted pages per day.

6 wasted pages per day represent 1.410 wasted pages/year.

An average of 90% of people with printer at home print Internet content.

An average of 3 out of 4 office workers prints from the Internet.

While 33% of people ages 18-34 print pages from the Internet, 56% of people ages 45-54 print the same pages for their archives.

Ink facts

Ink is expensive.

An Olympic-size swimming pool filled with ink would cost $5.9 billion.

An average gas tank car would cost approximately $100.000 to be filled by printing ink.

Forests facts

U.S. alone has lost 95 percent of its old growth forests.

Old growth forests make up 16% of the virgin fiber used to make paper products, yearly basis.

4281 acres of rainforests are lost every hour worldwide.

It takes 3 tons of wood to produce 1 ton of white paper.

Tree facts

In U.S., each person generates approximately 2.3 tons of CO2/year.

A single mature tree can release oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings.

For each tree planted by a family, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by one billion lbs annually, representing almost 5% of the total amount of human activity pumps into the atmosphere each year.

A tree generates $31.250,00 worth in oxygen, provides $62.000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37.500 worth of water, and controls $31.250,00 worth of soil erosion, over a 50-year lifespan (source: USDA Forest Service).

C02 facts

Production of 1 ton of white paper produces 5.690 lb. of greenhouse gases – the equivalent of 6 months of car exhaust.

Dumping paper in the landfill adds methane to the atmosphere as it decomposes, with 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

Waste facts

One tone of paper requires the use of 98 tons of various resources.

The production of 1 ton of white paper produces 2.278 lb. of solid waste.

In the year of 2003, paper and paperboard represent 35% of the total materials discarded in the U.S.

Energy facts

The production of 1 ton of white paper uses 11.134 kWh – this is the same amount used by an average home in for 10 months.

The U.S. paper industry is the second largest consumer of energy and uses more water to produce a ton of product than any other industry.

Water facts

Water is a scarce resource.

The production of 1 ton of copy paper produces 19.075 gallons of wasted water.

One single sheet of copy paper can use about 13oz. of water, which is more than a can a soda.

Consumption facts

U.S. is by far the world’s largest producer and consumer of paper.

U.S. paper consumption per capita is over six times greater than the world average.

In 2004 U.S. used 8 million tons of office paper, an equivalent of 178 million trees.

U.S. uses enough office paper each year to build a 10-foot high wall that’s 6.815 miles long. This distance is longest than the way to New York to Tokio.

These facts are only a part of the benefits of electronic document processing.

Paper must be used with more responsibility. There is no need to sign a piece of paper with ink when you can do it electronically, using the very same connected device that you use to text or send pictures.

To work paperless is to work smart.

Source: Cleveland State University

Rodney Peixoto

Founder, Contractize Legal Labs, in a mission to help the world go paperless.

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