The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Recycling and Environmental Sustainability
There are so many companies today that have been shifting to modern technologies that do not only make their overall performance more efficient but also cut down their reliance from papers and other obsolete systems. With so many industries that have been using papers in the past decades, it is interesting to see how this shift is affecting on of the most notorious sector for using the paper-based approach in their day-to-day operations: the legal industry.
Certainly, a lot of big offices from another industry has also contributed from the massive amount of paper waste we have witnessed in the past until this day, but the legal sector- from law firms to judiciary – is one of the most obvious sectors that we least expect to use a paperless policy. With a lot of documents that they handle on a daily basis, there is no doubt that lawyers are having a hard time organizing all their client’s paper, plus the fact that they have to store all of these over an extended period of time makes this approach costly and cumbersome.
And although lawyers might find using modern technologies unorthodox or obscure, many law firms nowadays are now using equipment that can further speed up the litigation process by eliminating the need of bulky papers throughout the process. Such technologies such as eTrials and eBriefs are gaining much traction in the legal profession because it helps them cut cost and at the same time improve the experience of their clients. Check this infographic and see how going paperlite helps lawyers perform better and efficiently.
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Moving Towards Paperlite and Environmental Sustainability
Almost every law firm is challenged by its desire to reduce paper usage and improve its environmental footprint.
Typically, there are three primary obstacles delaying a firm’s progress in this area:
- a historical reliance on paper;
- a lack of clarity around what is required to become paperlite;
- an insufficient knowledge of alternative technology.
Increasingly, law firms are setting goals for minimising the use of paper in their practices. We often hear of the desire for achieving a paperlite or paperless office.
In addition, this desire is usually accompanied by a program to recycle paper waste.
So how do you ensure that these objectives gain momentum, rather than remain in the too-hard basket? The following tips are likely to increase your chances of success:
- Ensure that your program is realistic in terms of scope and timeframe. The big bang theory (‘we will be paperless by 1 January 2017’) is likely to be unrealistic and therefore ignored. A much better option is to develop small incremental objectives to increase focus.
- Educate your employees. Provide information on what you are trying to achieve including regular information and tips on paper reduction as well as providing recognition for good behaviour that supports your objectives.
- Embrace technology. There are various solutions available to minimise the production and consumption of paper. eBriefs and eTrials are increasingly being adopted by the legal profession as a means of reducing consumption.
The benefits of having a realistic, focused paper reduction and recycling program include lower costs, a reduced environmental footprint and an improved corporate profile.
Published originally on Australian Lawyers Weekly
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