Americans say they want to use less paper, survey says | KEYE Austin - Green Right Now Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin - HOME
Feb 142012

From Green Right Now Reports

American businesses consume between one and two pounds of paper per employee every day. 

That’s because in many workplaces printed forms remain the norm.

But a survey commissioned by software company Nitro, suggests that many Americans would be willing to reduce their use of paper to help the environment.

The recent survey of 1,000 Americans found that about 61 percent of people interviewed said they consider reducing their paper consumption to be “very important” or “important” for the environment; and 44 percent said they would be cutting their paper consumption in half over the next five to 10 years.

Those interviewed said they’d be willing to cut paper use in these ways:

  • 60% are willing to reduce their use of physical mail to lower their paper consumption over the next 5-10 years
  • 48.0% were willing to reduce their use of newspapers
  • 47.8 % were willing to reduce their use of printing paper
  • 45.9% were willing to reduce their use of magazines
  • 44.5 % were willing to reduce their use of paper bags
  • 37.6% – willing to reduce their use of forms, contracts, documents
  • 31.6% – willing to reduce their use of printed books
  • 6.1% – willing to reduce their use of toilet paper

An independent company, TNS, conducted the survey, which was released earlier this month.

Nitro, based in San Francisco, makes Nitro Pro and Nitro Reader, software that helps businesses convert paper documents into digital PDF formats. The company has several large clients, such as Boeing and IBM, but also markets to small businesses.

“Decades have passed since we first heard of the ‘paperless office’, but most people still rely heavily on physical paper,” said Sam Chandler, Nitro CEO. “Small and medium business has been slow to adopt digital workflows because the only tools on offer have been expensive to buy, difficult to use, and built for companies with thousands of employees.”

Chandler says the global recession and increasing Internet connectivity is changing that, making it more realistic for small firms to make the switch from paper to digital files.