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Sheila Keller, Marketing Strategist

Enterprise Content Management: A stepping stone to sustainability

There are few places you can go today without being reminded about “going green.” From a corporate perspective, we hear about companies taking on “green” initiatives that involve the physical location, such as solar panels or other plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These are certainly leading organizations toward “sustainability,” but what about the internal business processes reflected through methods most employees use to get their day-to-day work done? How does that fit into sustainability?
Looking at most organizations’ internal departments, it is amazing the amount of paper that is not only consumed, but then stored – and in many cases, difficult to retrieve. Moving away from manual processes to electronic document management processes can be a cultural change for many organizations. The opportunity to ‘go green” in the office environment can many times off-set these difficult “cultural-change.” 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.
So where do most companies begin? By evaluating how your organization uses paper. In fact, begin with how each specific department uses paper as an easy starting point. Streamlining manual paper-based processes and moving toward an automated process for will not only provide an opportunity to introduce 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.