If you’ve ever wondered just how wasteful the average UK office is, the answer is…well, very! These days, each and every one of us knows that we could and should be doing quite a lot more to cut down waste. The only problem being that the vast majority of us are guilty of making little to no real effort to do so. Our lives and professional obligations get in the way, meaning that the quite spectacular culture of workplace waste we all live in continues.
Of course, enormous advances have been made over recent years in terms of recycling and a great many improvements have been introduced. Nevertheless, some things are getting worse by the year and when you take into account even a few of the hard facts and figures, you begin to understand exactly how significant the problem really is. Here’s a quick rundown of just 11 statistics related to office paper alone that are eye-opening to say the least:
1. Incredibly, research has shown that the average office worker in the United Kingdom uses no less than 10,000 sheets of paper in a single year. This equates to no less than four full boxes of copy paper, or 20 standard reams.
2. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the sheets head nowhere but the rubbish bin. In fact, on average somewhere in the region of 68% of all the paper used goes to waste.
3. The most common reasons for wasting paper in the office include accidentally printing duplicates, printing the wrong files, printing emails that do not need to be printed and printing on the wrong settings.
4. Despite the fact that the global business community has gone almost entirely digital, research shows that since the year 1980, consumption of paper on a global basis has actually increased by around 50%.
5. On average, every United Kingdom resident consumes the equivalent of around 4.5 trees in a single year.
6. Even today, approximately four in every 10 people admit that they prefer using paper than reading or using digital copies of communications.
7. Even as efforts step up across most workplaces to reduce paper consumption, a recent study found that more 75% of workers said that their habits regarding consumption of paper had not changed or had actually become worse over the past year.
8. Likewise, more than 75% of office workers admit to using office printers and resources for printing personal documents and materials – usually# without permission.
9. Despite the fact that the United States is home to less than 5% of the total global population, this one country consumes around a third of all paper produced.
10. Incredibly, a study carried out by Citigroup found that if its own employees were to start using both sides of the paper while copying in order to save a single sheet of paper every year, this would amount to an annual saving of no less than $700,000.
11. Last but not least, Bank of America set a fantastic example for the rest of the world to follow, having managed to reduce total workplace paper use by 25% in just two years.