Decades after computers were supposed to end paper-based business, we’re still at it, using documents to send and receive information and act as proxies in business processes. It’s hard to say if paper consumption slowed thanks to digitization, because good historical use statistics are hard to find. However, it doesn’t really matter, because business is drowning in paper — and, more importantly, the expenses associated with it.
U.S. offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper per year, according to The World Counts, an insightful site. Other types of paper use such as in packaging, publications and newspapers — add to that number.
At the same time, there’s an environmental aspect that’s becoming increasingly important. Interesting statistics is – it takes 75,000 trees worth of paper just to print the Sunday edition of The New York Times, the same site notes, and it points out that half of the waste of businesses is composed of paper. There are smarter approaches.