How to Re-Engineer Your Documents and Save the Environment

Caring for the environment continues to be important to corporations. Some believe replacing paper with an electronic alternative is the greenest way to go. Others point out paper is one of the most recycled materials on earth and is also renewable—unlike the coal and natural gas used to generate the electricity necessary for digital messaging.

Regardless of where they stand on the digital vs. paper debate, most organizations have opportunities to reduce the impact their printed documents have upon the environment. EarthColor helps their customers be environmentally friendly by using low-impact processes and materials to create transactional documents, marketing materials and other printed matter. Clients can further this effort by re-engineering their documents. Here are some ideas that will not only lessen your environmental footprint but also save money.

Re-sizing documents–Designers originally created documents based on standard letter or legal size dimensions. That was the way the paper came. Today, organizations print many pages on continuous paper rolls using equipment capable of cutting the pages to any size, yet the documents have never been re-designed. If documents can be effective in a smaller size, re-engineering them to print two or three across allows companies to create them more efficiently (using less electricity) and consume less paper for documents and envelopes.

Narrowing margins–Reclaiming space wasted on extra-wide margins can allow owners of documents like policies or statements to lower page counts. Besides saving the materials and energy associated with printing the extra pages, companies may shift some of their mail from parcels to flats and others from flats to letters. Companies can reduce costs for materials, postage and labor.

Smaller fonts–Printers are using modern technology to produce printed material with crisp text. It may be possible to decrease point sizes or change typefaces to fit more text on a page without sacrificing readability. The same advantages associated with narrowing margins are benefits of switching to smaller fonts. Combining both strategies can magnify the impact.

Variable text–Corporations often write long pieces of text such as legal disclaimers or terms and conditions to cover all possibilities. It isn’t unusual, for instance, to include paragraphs that apply only to customers living in certain states. With approval from the legal department, try changing from static text to variable versions which includes only text relevant to each customer or account category. Shorter text means fewer pages to print and mail.

Summaries instead of details–Customers may not need to see all the data for every transaction if they know the information is easily retrievable online. Telecommunications companies started the trend years ago of providing bills listing every phone call only if customers requested them. Otherwise, the company sends customer bills that summarize call activity. They have trimmed millions of printed pages from their bill production processes and deliver a better customer experience.

There are many other environmental strategies that may apply to documents and marketing materials your organization uses. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more about how EarthColor can help improve your environmental footprint.


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