The World Paper Free Day 2014 Challenge: Banish Paper for 24 Hours

World Paper Free Day 2014 is set to take place on November 6, 2014, with a call to businesses and consumers all over the world to banish paper for the entire day. With around 300 million tons of paper produced each year, resulting in almost four billion trees cut down annually, World Paper Free Day is the brainchild of AIIM, an independent professional association that looks at how information and content is managed in the workplace.

The initiative aims to show how much paper is wasted and how well we can manage without it. More than 100 individuals from some of the world’s biggest businesses have already pledged to go paper-free, including participants from IBM, Accenture and HP.

“Enough is enough – it is 2014 and we are still drowning in unnecessary paper, at home and at work,” said AIIM president, John Mancini. “It’s bad for the environment and clogs up the workplace. We know that you can’t eliminate the use of paper entirely, but we want World Paper Free Day to make us think a bit harder about the sheer volume of paper we waste. If the whole world gets behind this, we could save around 821,918 tons of paper and 10,958,904 trees – that’s got to be worth thinking about.”

An over-reliance on paper for business can actually negatively affect productivity, collaboration and efficiency, according to forthcoming AIIM research; although alarmingly, overall use of paper is still increasing for 20 percent of businesses. Almost half of organizations surveyed said that the biggest single productivity improvement to their business would be to remove paper.

“Reducing use of paper in business has to start at the top – get your boss or your boss’s boss to support World Paper Free Day,” urged Mancini. “There is no reason other than habit that we are so reliant on paper, and there are so many ways to prevent it, from Enterprise Content Management systems that address paper documentation in the workplace, to iPads that can replace paper files in the home and at work. We’ve come up with five tips to get you started.”

AIIM Top Tips for Reducing Paper Use

Lobby your boss to get on board with the environmental and productivity benefits to be had from going paper-free. AIIM research revealed 50 percent of respondents said they still use so much paper because of a lack of management initiatives or mandates to reduce it.

Use tablets for meeting agendas and supporting documents – research found that for 60 percent of respondents, the main reason for paper copies of documents was for use in meetings.

Use Outlook calendars and apps such as Evernote to reduce “to do” notes and lists.

Know exactly what you do and do not need paper for – 45 percent of respondents believed they still needed physical signatures on certain documents.

Highlight the role that paper-free processes can play in business improvement initiatives. There are lots of benefits to reducing paper use, but people need to know about them.

Businesses and individuals can register for World Paper Free Day by following three simple steps. For each registration AIIM will make a donation to The Arbor Day Foundation, the charity that encourages the planting of trees.

You, too, can get behind World Paper Free Day and make your pledge to go paper free on November 6 by following three simple steps.

Do it now, download your badge and share your commitment with the world:

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AIIM has been an advocate and supporter of information professionals for 70 years. The association’s mission is to ensure that information professionals understand the current and future challenges of managing information assets in an era of social, mobile, cloud and big data. Founded in 1943, AIIM builds on a strong heritage of research and member service. Today, AIIM is a global, non-profit organization that provides independent research, education and certification programs to information professionals. AIIM represents the entire information management community, with programs and content for practitioners, technology suppliers, integrators and consultants.