Home' MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 24 Contents 20 Mortgage & Finance brief
I NEED TO
A paperless office
More businesses are becoming aware of reducing business waste,
endeavouring to decrease their environmental footprint and save dollars along
the way. Jessica Goulburn reports on the best way to cut office waste.
On average, each Australian generates
543kg of waste each year – and it’s
growing. Multiply this by our population
and the numbers run into the billions.
While most people do their part to
minimise any impact on the environment,
it’s a workplace that is often the biggest
contributor to waste, and paper products
make up the largest share of it.
According to Janet Sparrow from Planet
Ark, the best way to cut office waste can be
as simple as bringing your recycling habits
from home into the office with you.
“More than 95% of Australians have
access to a kerbside recycling service of
some kind,” she says. “But those services are
not always duplicated in the workplace.”
WHY GO PAPERLESS?
Australian businesses generate about 12.5
million tonnes of commercial and industrial
waste, and spend more than $2.2 billion on
waste services each year.
While the recycling rate for office paper
is sitting at a healthy 64%, businesses are
still spending approximately $890 million
sending office paper to landfill each year.
Go paperless and you’ll dramatically reduce
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“If you’re printing less or not printing at
all, you’re obviously saving on paper, you’re
saving on ink and you’re saving on the
equipment costs of actually having those
printers,” Sparrow says.
And when it comes to office paper, it really
is a no-brainer. “When you get a lot of paper
together, it can be really valuable,” Sparrow
enthuses. “It can be made into new office
paper or other paper products, including
The environmental impact equation is
simple: less paper means less energy and
less waste. And for every tonne of paper or
cardboard that you recycle, you’re saving
30,000 litres of water.
When it comes to weighing up the financial
benefit, Sparrow says to do your research.
“Any waste you are producing, you’re also
paying for those disposal costs,” she says.
“You may also have to pay for recycling
costs, but it’s definitely worth investigating.”
Sometimes when you reduce what you
send to landfill and increase what you
recycle, despite the pick-up costs, there may
actually be savings.
This is especially true in states that
impose taxes on waste that gets sent to
landfill. For example, New South Wales,
Victoria and South Australia have levies all
aimed to encourage businesses to
SHAYNE BETREEN, GAIN FINANCIAL
Shayne Betreen launched Gain Financial
Aggregation to help brokers implement
efficiency strategies into their own businesses.
“At first, I didn’t intentionally go paperless.
It was not about reducing costs; I was always
looking at ways to improve productivity and
efficiency within my business.
“In my previous working life I was working
long hours, had poor work/life balance and was
restricted in having to go to an office each day.
I wanted the ability to have flexible work hours
and access personal and business information
instantly from anywhere to respond to any
situation – whether I was in my office, at a
function, interstate or overseas.
“By going paperless, I also wanted the
ability to expand and grow my business with
“Reducing office waste is environmentally
friendly. It reduces your carbon footprint,
increases profit and gives you back more time
in your business.
“The reason we are all in business is to make
money and to be as profitable as possible.
There is no point if you generate great sales,
but profits are dramatically lower than they
could be due to overheads, for example.
“At times we spend a lot of money READ MORE
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