With each passing year environmental issues garner more attention from the public. As consumers do their part in their homes they look to businesses to also make changes that have a positive impact on the natural environment. The good news for businesses is that these changes not only help with public perception, they can also reduce costs and improve the bottom line. Making improvements for the environment is clearly a win-win.
There are many ways to help the environment and save money with your records management programs. Filing products are one big area of opportunity. Here are five ways you can go “green” with your filing products:
1. Use expandable enclosures
Everyone knows the three Rs of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle. You can achieve the first two Rs, reduce and reuse, with a little planning. Using expandable enclosures gives you the flexibility to expand for growth without the need to purchase new enclosures and dispose of the ones you have.
2. Use durable products
Durability is a huge consideration when making any purchase, whether for the office or your home. When sourcing filing products, especially file folders, you want to ensure they are going to last a reasonable amount of time and throughout that lifetime maintain their shape, structure and usability.
3. Reuse folders and other enclosures
In most cases, folders are thrown out when the contents reach the end of their retention period. Usually this is because the labels cannot be removed or the writing on the folder or enclosure cannot be erased. How much money could be saved if enclosures could be easily updated for the next client or project?
4. Use paper materials that are recyclable and have a minimal environmental footprint
This might be a surprise considering we are dealing with paper, but not all filing products can be recycled, so be sure to check with your supplier. And do you know what kind of environmental impact the products you use have had on the environment before they reach you? Consider sourcing products that are 100 percent recyclable and carbon neutral. You can even look for brands that contribute to carbon-offsetting projects.
5. Ensure products containing Mylar and other non-paper material meet the biodegradability standards
Not all filing products are made of paper and therefore recyclable, so in these cases, you can adopt the first two Rs: reduce and reuse. However, some non-paper materials are biodegradable, such as those containing Mylar, so be sure to ask your supplier.
This all may seem like a lot of work, but once you get started and have the right products, it becomes much easier to be environmentally friendly in your records management program.
- Take our Green RM self assessment and determine just how environmentally friendly your company’s records management program is.