Few businesses operate in a vacuum where their environmental impact is determined solely by their own direct practices.
This blog series is designed to help you assess the environmental impact of your organization. The first post looked at life-cycle practices; the second explored filing equipment and supplies; this final installment covers your information management systems.
Forging Green Partnerships
The overall environmental impact for any organization will be determined in large part by the practices and conditions of any organizations from which it receives services.
In the records management world, such services may include off-site or near-site storage of physical records, document disposal (e.g. shredding), and computing equipment leasing.
What Do You Need To Ask?
In selecting possible service vendors or revisiting the practices of a current vendor, ask the following questions as applicable:
1. Do offsite or “near-site” records storage providers use storage equipment that maximizes the storage potential of warehouse floor space and associated land resources?
2. Do offsite or “near-site” storage providers follow a delivery / return schedule that optimizes the productivity of each trip between your work site and the warehouse? In other words, does the trip schedule ensure the maximum number of files transferred for each mile traveled?
3. Can secure paper disposal providers confirm that paper is subject to recycling once shredded?
4. Do secure paper disposal providers’ recycling operations result in maximum paper product relative to the volume of material recycled?
5. Do secure paper disposal providers’ operations avoid chemical agents and practices that pose an undue risk to the environment?
6. Do computing equipment lessors and / or disposal service providers use environmentally friendly methods of decommissioning used hardware?
Careful consideration of these questions and strategic application of environmentally friendly records management can bring long-term benefits that outweigh their upfront costs.