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The Economic Benefits of Going Paperless

by Olivia Baker

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French and Italian.

Converting to a paperless office is vital for the future of our planet, but it can also impact business costs and resource savings.

Paperless Savings


The most obvious saving in a paperless office is, of course, paper. But other office equipment and stationery, like scanners, printers, shredders, binders, hole punchers, and paperclips are also completely unnecessary in a paperless environment. Not only can you save on costs and resources by doing away with these, but also valuable office space needed to store them.

While the cost of paper might seem small in the large scale of running a business, in the long run, making the move towards a paperless office will likely amount to significant savings.

Paper Waste


An article by Roadrunner notes that before the COVID-19 pandemic ‘the average American office worker generated a substantial amount of waste—from 10,000 sheets of office paper to 500 “disposable” coffee cups’ each year.

Even though many businesses are embracing digital transformation, the Roadrunner article found that ‘the average office worker generates about two pounds’ worth of paper and paperboard products every day and uses roughly 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year!’

Let’s say each sheet of paper costs just 5 cents, that makes a total of $500 dollars per employee per year. If we’re thinking of a company with 100 employees, the total spent on paper per year is a whopping $50,000.

To make matters worse, almost half of all printed documents are thrown away within 24 hours, and 30% never even leave the printer tray.

It might be shocking to learn that paper makes up an estimated 70% of all waste in offices, but it’s likely that we’ve all contributed to this more than we realize. Whether it was a mistake with a print out, a report or presentation that we no longer need, or a mountain of junk mail that lands straight in the trash, these waste products add up quickly, and so do the costs.

Financial Benefits of Going Paperless


The cost savings built up by going paperless leave room for more important things, as well as the possibility of implementing online services that can help with your digital transformation.

Reducing the need for physical paper documents for everyday work is a significant and meaningful contribution to sustainability, and, with the right tools, it’s a lot simpler than it seems.

Check out our series of articles on the various benefits of going paperless, on the Smallpdf blog.

Want to get a head start on reducing costs in your business? Why not start right here with paperless contract management with our eSign tool?

Olivia Baker
Olivia Baker
Content Writer