How to Go Paperless: almost everything you need to know

Do you want to know how to go paperless in your organisation? Going paperless can bring enormous advantages to your business. Reducing the use of paper can save money and resources, improve transparency, and help the environment at a time when deforestation is very much in the news. 

Why do businesses still use paper?

According to – a provider of market insight and intelligence to print industry business and technology leaders – many businesses remain reliant on print to some extent. Quocirca’s Global Print 2025 study shows that 65 per cent of IT decision-makers believe that printing will be necessary to their daily business in six years. There are several reasons why companies still use paper, and industries like finance, insurance, mortgages and healthcare can still be heavily reliant on paper. Paper is often used in business workflows for onboarding new customers and employees, invoicing or printing and filing documents in those industries. However, it is possible to review existing practices and plan to reduce paper use in your organisation going forward. Organisations need to embrace change and adopt new ways of working to reduce their paper use.

The business advantages of going paperless

While it’s clear that not every business has the ability or desire to ditch paper immediately, there are clear business advantages to reducing paper waste from your daily work life.

Aside from direct impacts on your business, going paperless can also provide indirect benefits, such as improved customer experiences. The Forrester Consulting State of Systems of Agreement Report 2021, commissioned by DocuSign, demonstrates that 57% of businesses said better customer experiences were one of the benefits of implementing digital agreement processes, and 54% said they experience faster deal cycles. It can also contribute to your in-house environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) targets and play a role in your corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme too. 

How businesses can go paperless

Just how easy is it to go paperless? Technology is a crucial enabler and can make it relatively easy to start going paperless straight away. Here are three easy steps to going paperless. It’s a good idea to pick one or two areas to digitally transform and create a paperless workflow and then roll these out across your organisation. 

  • Embrace the Cloud - storing documents in the cloud using Google Drive, DropBox, or Microsoft’s One Drive allows users to share documents effortlessly.
  • Use Paperless Signatures - using electronic signature software like DocuSign eSignature eliminates the need to print, sign, and scan or post contracts and documents.
  • Create digital receipts - send receipts via an app or email to cut back on paper usage; this is particularly relevant for retailers.
  • Make all of your contract and agreement workflows digital. Streamline onboarding and other agreements with contract lifecycle management technology.

Going paperless and sustainability

Deforestation is out of control, and a recent report showed that the Brazilian rainforest has hit the highest levels of deforestation since 2012. Going paperless can have a clear impact in helping to save forests and contribute to environmental sustainability. DocuSign has helped hundreds of millions of people around the world to replace over 38 billion sheets of paper with digital processes that do not require paper. 

Learn more about how businesses can build a sustainable strategy and DocuSign's commitment to creating a low-carbon, sustainable future

Summary: Going paperless

Going paperless gives businesses the option to benefit from streamlined processes, cost savings and better security of essential documents. It can also play a role in addressing broader ethical and moral responsibilities that are important to consumers, such as deforestation. While it can be a challenge to go paperless, it should surely be a consideration for any forward-looking business in the digital age. Go paperless today and start a free trial with DocuSign eSignature.

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