Being in the wholesale game, you get to see plenty of paper. The simple nature of wholesaling is that you have many clients and suppliers ie paper in, paper out.
The main culprits I've seen are the large multi nationals. I can't understand why these companies design a 40cm x 40cm invoice in quadruplicate. Surely, they have the money and the know how to put in systems that are actually paperless. Are they making a statement? Do they have that many departments for the paper to get lost in? Do they know where paper comes from? Do they really care? Why so much paper? From my understanding, when you sell something to someone or entity on account, all you need is a proof that the goods have been delivered by way of, in most cases, a totally unrecognisable scribble, so, why not take that unrecognisable scribble and store it digitally.
We also import food products at kirkfood; unfortunately, this generates a mountain of paper by AQIS. I'm not sure if they have access to the same tech heads as the tax office, but it seems that the head honchos in Canberra need to take a serious look at their downstream paper consumption. At this stage, I'm yet to see any online/login type feature to manage an import entry at the importer level. Nope, once the brokers done, it's all faxing, copying, triplicates, forms and reports.
Just while I'm on it, what about banks, accountants and the legal eagles... Don't they just love faxing you stuff. Ok, fair enough, they need a signature on a hard copy, but what about all the hard copies to get to the final hard copy?
What is it with printing e-mails and e-mail attachments? Are people worried that they will lose it? Would it be more likely that they would lose a hard copy anyway? Are people interested in saving money by using less paper? Are they oblivious to carbon emissions? Is it simply just habit?
I know what your thinking...what about kirkfood paper usage Matty? Well, good question. We are now trying to e-mail out our statements rather than faxing and posting. Later this year, we will try and e-mail invoices to clients as well. Mid 2007 we introduced our online catalogue, which were usually printed on precious high-grade rainforest stock. Our product/price list was made available to download in pdf or excel. Also, Account info for all our clients became available to look up old invoices, check A/C balances, order online etc. We are also in the process of implementing paper recycling, in and out of both our Melbourne and Sydney warehouses. At the moment, we are aware about our carbon footprint, in the not too distant future, we will try hard to be carbon neutral for our emissions and power consumption as well.