Being environmentally conscious is important when considering the survival of future generations. Recycling initiatives, bike lanes and walk scores are popular these days as people recognize their affect on the environment. We need to take it a step further and implement similar initiatives in our business practises to reduce the use of our most valued resources: paper and water. Here are some simple facts:
- Paper consumption in North America has gone up by 400% in the past 40 years
- Paper amounts to 40% of total waste
- Paper production requires 10L of water for a single sheet of paper
- Average office worker in North America uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, equivalent to an entire tree.
Real Estate is a unique industry that requires a lot of paper to be used for marketing, information sheets and agreements. Below is a quick breakdown of how much paper a typical agent uses in a year (totals vary based on agent):
Sales & Marketing – 12,590 sheets of paper
(feature sheets, market evaluations, business cards, flyers etc)
Forms – 890 sheets of paper
(BRAs, APS, Counter Offers, etc)
Total = 13,480 sheets of paper per agent/year
From the information above you can see that on average REALTORS use over 30% more paper then the average office worker. To put in perspective, 13,480 sheets of paper represents 1.3 trees consumed by each REALTOR or 140,400 trees consumed by all Canadian REALTORS per year.
It is our responsibility to adapt our lifestyles and reduce the use of these valuable resources. Think before printing. With so much attention being drawn by homebuyers/sellers to their digital screens, we can now take advantage of this vehicle and transition our business efforts (marketing, offers, document management, etc) accordingly.
For suggestions on making your business paperless with 4 simple steps, check out Part 1 of this Paperless Series: Less Paper, More Productivity.