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Paper clutter is a problem in most office environments and Lyons Davidson is no different. With back-breaking court bundles and an avalanche of correspondence to contend with, the concept of a paperless office sometimes seems an almost unreachable goal. But over the past decade or so, the business has made gradual changes which have yielded big results.

Technological improvements throughout the company have given us great opportunities to reduce our paper consumption; these include centralised print and scanning facilities, a PDF bundler for court documents and CLEX, which allows many clients to follow the progress of their case online.

But how are we actually doing? In July 2017, we were 63% paperless, from a total of nearly 150,000 items sent across the business. Compare that to July 2012, when we were just 20% paperless and it’s clear that fantastic environmental improvements have been made, and that the importance of our paperless policy in driving down our paper consumption, meaning that the amount of paper that we buy each month (all of it from recycled sources) has fallen, saving of around 97 trees a month from 2012 figures.

Monitoring our paperless office progress

Each month, we generate MI for the paperless items we send, as well as for the reams of paper, letter-headed paper and envelopes we buy. This information allows us to build a picture of usage across the company, which we then use to monitor improvement and inform our paper reduction targets within the Environmental Management programme.

What happens to paper we do use?

We collect around 13,000 kilograms of paper every month, which is baled and recycled into paper products. From what’s been collected this year so far, we’ve saved:

  • 301 cubic metres of landfill;
  • 164,181 litres of water (that’s 2,000 baths);
  • 45,532 litres of petrol (enough to fill a 1.8l car 25 times; and
  • 2,703 tonnes of carbon equivalent.

Think before you print

All our staff have the following responsibilities, to ensure our commitment to the paperless office continues to improve:

  • Think before you print;
  • Use the centralised printing function wherever possible;
  • If appropriate, use the PDF bundler;
  • If acceptable, communicate with clients via email.

For more information on any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Carys Logan, Assistant Central Services Officer by email or by phone on 0117 904 2353.