How creating a paper-light office can make big business savings

• Create a paper efficiency policy

Developing a paper light business means changing behaviour. Simple changes such as printing on both sides of the paper can reduce usage by up to 50 per cent.

• Reduce the number of printers

Centralising the print facilities your business has can have a huge impact on the consumption of paper. Fewer printers that are also more efficient can also reduce costs.

• Monitor printing levels

Giving each person in your company a unique number will enable you to track the number of prints each person is making. High numbers will reveal where business processes may be too paper heavy.

• Use dual monitor workstations

One of the main reasons to print out a document is to compare its content with information on screen. Dual monitors resolve this issue, as multiple documents can be open at the same time.

• Digitise paper documents

Your paper audit will reveal where paper documents could be exchanged for their digital equivalents. It's now possible to convert printed documents with devices such as Doxie Flip and IRIScan Express 3, which are compact and efficient.

• Digitise notetaking

It is also possible to digitise handwritten documents by using devices such as LiveScribe that have a number of 'smart pens' to choose from. And CardCam enables you to scan business cards with a smartphone.

• Supply your workforce with tablet PCs

As tablet PCs can now be bought for less than £100, they can be a cost effective way to enable employees to access and exchange documents without having to resort to printing.

A paperless office may be conspicuous by its absence in most businesses, but alleviating your enterprises reliance on paper is possible by making simple yet effective changes to your business processes. Once you begin to look at how much paper your company is consuming and how much waste this generates, moving to a paper light policy is commercially and environmentally vital.