While they may not eliminate it altogether, businesses are making a concerted effort to reduce the amount of paper they use, new research finds.
Nearly 80 percent of companies are taking steps to become a "less paper" office, according to a study from by CompTIA, the IT Industry Association.
Overall, about 1 in 5 businesses say they're pursuing a "less paper" strategy to a high degree, while another 56 percent are doing so to a lesser degree. The study's authors believe this indicates that the desire to become less paper intensive is more than a niche trend.
The decision to decrease the amount of paper used is being driven by several factors, including cost savings, according to Tim Herbert, vice president of research and market intelligence for CompTIA. [Would You Use It? Paperless Office Document Management Software ]
"The less obvious, but potentially greater savings may come from efficiency gains," Herbert said in a statement. "Digitized, properly managed information delivers countless benefits over paper files that are handled manually."
While the amount of paper is shrinking, it's still being used at a high rate in many offices. The study revealed that 98 percent of office workers use the printer at least once per quarter, which makes a completely paperless environment an unrealistic goal for most organizations.
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However, businesses are making sure to be as "green" as possible with the paper they are using. The research discovered that 80 percent of businesses place paper recycling bins near print stations, with a near equal number engaging in ink and toner cartridge recycling and proper disposal of devices at the end of their useful life.
In addition, more than half of businesses surveyed encourage their employees to engage in environmentally friendly printing practices, such as refraining from wasteful printing or using duplex printing when appropriate.
The study was based on surveys of 600 U.S. and Canadian IT business executives responsible for technical or strategic decisions affecting print or document management at their company. Additionally, 350 executives of U.S. IT firms were surveyed.
Originally published on Business News Daily