Paperless business – Minimising your carbon footprint in Australia


Using digital signatures and supporting a paperless business model demonstrates that you as a company are environmentally aware, and willing to employ solutions to protect the ecosystem.

There is a marked increase in awareness around environmental issues today, including much greater expectations and pressure on companies to be responsible when it comes to their carbon footprint.

This awareness spike is hardly surprising, given that over 36 billion tonnes of CO₂ is emitted globally per year – and this number continues to rise. Given that businesses are so instrumental in making up this devastating statistic, there is a huge onus on the business world specifically, to go green.

Experts state conclusively that the way business is carried out today – through processes involving extensive production, transportation and disposal of materials – cannot continue, if the environment is to thrive, and climate change is to be controlled.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, this modus operandi – used by most US-based companies, accounts for a whopping 42% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

Paper pollution

Fortunately, when it comes to implementing a zero-waste approach in a digital era, businesses have some powerful, short-term solutions at their disposal, which offer an immediate payoff for the environment.

A huge contributing factor when it comes to companies’ carbon footprints, is paper. And, although paper may seem to be an entirely innocuous resource taken at face value, the facts indicate it’s far from it.

As we speak, over 293.8 million tons of paper has been produced in the world this year alone, and research indicates that no less than 50% of business waste is composed of paper.

Paper pollution causes serious adverse effects to the quality of air, water and land around us. Not only is discarded paper a major component of landfill sites, but paper recycling is a major source of pollution, given all the sludge that is produced during de-inking.

Paperless processes

In an article on the top four ways in which a business can reduce its carbon footprint, lists moving towards zero waste as number one. “[Types of] zero waste could include going paperless whenever possible.”

One of the main – and most easily deployable – zero-waste solutions includes the digitising of manual paper-based processes using software that enables digital signatures, document management, workflow and archiving.

Using digital signatures and supporting a paperless business model demonstrates that you as a company are aware of the impact using paper has on the environment, and willing to employ solutions to minimise damage.

While 100% paperless business is unrealistic at this stage, most business tasks and processes can be executed online, in the cloud, digitally.

Because the signing of contracts and agreements are such an integral part of business, and has historically involved cumbersome, lengthy and expensive processes, simply starting by digitising these processes will have an enormous impact – not only on a business’s carbon footprint, but also on its productivity, efficacy and customer satisfaction.

We at SigniFlow have seen first-hand how our customers have benefitted from going digital, within just weeks of the deployment of our software. These fast benefits include cost- and time-savings, output, customer satisfaction and even customer acquisition. In fact, for one of our clients, the fact that they used a digital signature and workflow solution turned out to be a differentiator when it came to them getting a major deal.

For more on how our solution works,click HERE.

To find out more about how SigniFlow can help you as a business go green, and become an advocate for a sustainable future, visit our website ( or email

Here are some (not so fun) facts about paper & paper waste

  1. 324 liters of water is used to make 1 kilogram of paper.
  2. 10 liters of water is needed to make one piece of A4 paper.
  3. 93% of paper comes from trees.
  4. Every tree produces enough oxygen for 3 people to breathe.
  5. 50% of the waste of businesses is composed of paper.
  6. Packaging makes up 1/3 or more of our trash.
  7. Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste.
  8. Lessening of paper usage was predicted due to the electronic revolution. It didn’t happen. Demand for paper is expected to double before 2030.