In 1975, Business Week declared that office automation would make paper redundant and predicted with the introduction of the personal computer, we would soon see a paperless office. Fast forward nearly 50 years and it seems quite the opposite has happened. The advances in spreadsheet software have generated thousands of new ways to look at the data. And rather than look at that data on our screens, we print it out, scribble our notes, then update the electronic version for another round of printing. All this printing, and the subsequent storing of documents, contributes to the continuing global climate crisis. According to the American Forest and Paper Association, paper manufacturing accounts for the 3rd largest use of fossil fuels worldwide.
At Rock West, we strive to do our part to drive green initiatives that will help address global warming. Our work producing parts from advanced composites helps lighten a myriad of products across many industries. Lighter products require less energy to transport, drive, or even fly. And the durability of carbon fiber means it will last much longer than metal alternatives, without risk of rust or corrosion. Now we’ve turned our attention to the paper piling up in our business. While document retention will always be needed, we’ve implemented a new document management program that will digitally store everything we need. This will not only eliminate the need to print out many of the documents we receive electronically, but it will also eliminate the wasteful practice of boxing up records and storing them for years to come.
We’ve all been taught to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – in that order. Reduction in paper printing, just like reduction in the weight of an airplane made with advanced composites, should be our priority. It’s awfully hard to reuse that piece of paper, and recycling uses more energy and water. Kudos to our Finance team for leading the way on this green initiative!