The aim of the action is to encourage companies to reduce their paper waste by decreasing the amount of paper that they consume and reducing waste at the source. According to Eurostat, in 2011, 500 kg of municipal waste was generated per person in EU Member States. What is concerning is that, according to The Paperless Project, discarded paper accounts for approximately 35% by weight of municipal solid waste. There is clearly a sustainability issue here to which paper waste is heavily contributing. It is for this reason that we are taking an action to raise awareness around the issue and to highlight alternative methods that companies can use to reduce their paper consumption. This action thus fits perfectly with this year’s theme: Dematerialisation: Doing more with less. We will tackling the issue at the top of the waste management hierarchy: Reduce; strict avoidance and reduction at source.
The action will officially run for approximately 15 weeks (9th September-27th November) however, we will continue to raise awareness about paper waste reduction for the foreseeable future. Our action kicked off during Zero Waste Week in the second week of September 2015.
The action revolves around 3 main activities which will take place in the month of November:
1. The National Sustainability Summit Ireland run by Premier Publishing on 3rd November
2. Sustainability webinar hosted by Nitro on 17th November
3. Tree Planting Initiative run by Nitro in conjunction with the Tree Council of Ireland on 24th November
National Sustainability Summit: This was the first ever sustainability summit to be held in Ireland and will attract approximately 1500 attendees interested in sustainable business practices. Nitro exhibited at the summit showcasing the features that Nitro’s core products offer which enable business to become more sustainable with their paper consumption.
Our Director of Marketing EMEA, Rebecca Lauder also delivered a 15 minute presentation at the Sustainability Summit titled: Sustainability in the New World of Content & Documents. Rebecca spoke about how current document practices could be hindering the sustainability goals of businesses today. She also spoke about how sustainability impacts operational efficiency and the numerous benefits to be gained by going paperless and what this really means in today’s organisations.
We also conducted a paper survey to gain an insight into current businesses’ paper habits and practices. The results will be published in our blog.
Our tweets were responsible for getting the hashtag #SSIRE15 (The official hashtag of the sustainability summit @Sustain_Ireland) trending in Ireland raising further awareness around the issue of sustainability.
Sustainability Webinar: This will be hosted by Nitro to raise awareness around the issue of sustainable paper consumption. The webinar will include:
• 10-15 minute presentation highlighting the effect that businesses’ paper consumption is having on the environment and also on businesses themselves in terms of costs, decreased productivity and security risks
• 10-15 minute presentation on best practices for reducing paper consumption in businesses
• 10 minute demonstration on how companies can use Nitro’s products to reduce paper consumption at the source ie how they can dematerialize their offices and workflows.
• 5 minute Q&A
We are hoping to have a guest speaker for the webinar who is an expert in the field of waste reduction.
We will promote the webinar sign-up via an email campaign and via social media. We have also teamed up with Business Green with an online advertising campaign to promote the webinar sign-up.
Tree Planting Initiative: During the European Week of Waste Reduction we will be taking part in a tree planting initiative which will involve a number of employees from our EMEA office. We are donating money to the Tree Council of Ireland and, with them, we will plant 8 trees in a town called Ballyfermot in Dublin, Ireland. The purpose of this activity is to highlight the fact that, here at Nitro, we not only want to reduce paper waste at the source but also replenish wasted resources. We want to highlight the importance of trees to the environment and how unsustainable our current paper consumption is.
We will be carrying out a number of other activities throughout the periods leading up to the EWWR:
• We conducted a number of interviews with CSR managers in document heavy companies. We also spoke to sustainability managers and green campus committee members in Ireland’s top universities. We did this to give us a better understanding of document use in businesses in Ireland and the extent of the paper waste problem
• We conducted a paper usage survey which was sent out to a large number of businesses. We did this to collect large amounts of data around various businesses’ paper consumption behaviours so that we could evaluate whether or not this is a problem which is currently being addressed by said organisations. We also wanted to evaluate the current awareness levels around paper consumption.
• We used the above primary research and secondary research to create various pieces of collateral to be utilised throughout the activity. You can view these here:
1. Sustainability Infographic: Ihttps://www.gonitro.com/resources/ebooks-infographics/sustainability-workplace-electronic-document-management
2. Sustainability Blog post: http://blog.gonitro.com/2015/09/document-management-and-sustainability-in-the-workplace/
3. Sustainability Slide deck: http://www.slideshare.net/NitroInc/sustainability-in-the-new-world-of-content-and-documents?related=1
• We are also taking part in and promoting participation in World Paper Free Day which will take place on 6th November. We will be encouraging others to get involved by promoting the event via social media and we will also post a blog about the benefits of going paperless and reducing paper waste and how to get involved in the event.
• We will post various blogs highlighting how businesses’ current paper consumption patterns are not sustainable. We have already posted a blog which highlights the common misconceptions around the term ‘paperless office’ which we believe is hindering companies’ sustainability goals. We will post other blogs including one about our tree planting initiative and the European Week of Waste Reduction. We will also post blogs about how businesses can use Nitro’s products to reduce their paper consumption. For example, we will post a blog about our eSign function and how it eliminates the need to print documents in order to sign them and the benefits to be gained from this.
• Finally we will be promoting and raising awareness for the action on social media and via an email campaign which has already begun. We will utilise all of the collateral mentioned above to do this as well as encouraging people to sign up to our webinar so that they can learn useful tips to enable them to go paperless and reduce their paper waste at the source