Environmental Cost of Paper in the Workplace

A lot has been written about the greening of workplaces, but the unfortunate fact remains that many companies continue to be huge contributors to environmental destruction, pollution, and climate change. Many of those contributions are in the form of discarded paper. Say you decide to print something out at work. What’s the cost to your office? You might think that that single printing choice—that single piece of paper—doesn’t actually make that big of an impact on your bottom line, but you’d be wrong.

In fact, for every $1 million in revenue that a company generates, they also generate about 8 metric tons of waste, and out of that, 40 percent is just paper waste.  And if your average employee is anything like the average employee at every company, they’re probably using about 10,000 pieces of paper. Wow, is all we can say.

paper workplace environment

But here’s the thing: Recycled paper is pretty easy to come by. And by using recycled paper, you’re helping to reduce the deforestation of the planet and the increasing amount of waste in our landfills.

So how can you get the maximum out of recycling of paper? This graphic explains it.


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Recycled papers