Earth Day serves as a reminder of our impact on the environment. As consumers, there are several simple and inexpensive ways to go green. But when it comes to businesses, "going green" can be costly and difficult to implement. One solution for businesses is to put a green touch on the way they store and manage their records. Implementing green records management practices not only helps the environment but can improve the bottom line and the way you do business.
"Two common scenarios I see across all industries are businesses that print and keep everything, just to be safe or sensitive information being tossed into the dumpster like any other piece of trash," said Gail Bisbee of Confidential Records Management, Inc. (CRMI). "If these practices sound familiar, this is the perfect time to make a positive change by considering a document management program and shredding and recycling all paper waste. You’ll free up precious office space, protect your business in the event of a court case or audit and ensure sensitive information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, all while adding to your business’ "green credentials."
To improve your overall business, Bisbee says to consider the following:
• Stop printing everything – This is a costly practice and not eco-friendly by any means. Cut back on ink, paper, storage space and equipment maintenance costs by converting all files, no matter the original format, into a digital file. These electronic files can then be housed on a secure, password protected website. With just a click of a mouse, you can view all your files that were once packed haphazardly in a back file room. Plus, with this document management solution, you’re doing your part in helping to keep our air clean, reducing the number of trees being cut down and preserving gallons of water. Plus, staff can spend time on revenue-generating tasks rather than looking for or recreating lost data.
• Shred and recycle – All too often, boxes full of confidential information take up valuable landfill space. Not only is this bad for the environment, it’s a big security risk for your business. Make a positive change by shredding all unneeded documents. Keep in mind, information stored on computer storage media, film, x-rays, audiotapes and videotapes should be shredded as well. While having a small office shredder is always a good idea, for larger shred jobs, most businesses will need to seek out a business that specializes in secure shredding. Find a business that will not only shred your information, but will also recycle the paper waste. Business owners will be surprised how big of an environmental impact their business will contribute by simply recycling paper waste. Plus, by going through a professional records management center, businesses will also automatically be protected in the event of an audit or court case as they’ll be documentation stating when the information was confidentially destroyed.
"Remember, even if you own a small business with just a few employees, you still need to make sure you’re protecting your information," said Bisbee. "By making a few small changes with the way you manage your information, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your information is safe from falling into the wrong hands and you’ll have something ‘green’ to highlight."