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How Electronic Signatures Contribute to Sustainability

Posted 6th June 2022

As consumer demands shift, more and more businesses are making sustainability a key part of their future strategy. There are many ways a business can become more sustainable.

Whether it’s using renewable energy, partnering with a green supplier or promoting environmental policies around the office, there are many big and small changes a business can make to help the planet.

For businesses looking to make positive changes, an electronic signature could be just the thing you need. E-signatures can support your business on its sustainability journey, helping to reduce your paper consumption, waste and carbon footprint.

In this blog, we’ll be looking at how e-signatures and E-Sign can help contribute to your business sustainability.

environmental benefits of electronic signatures

Why Is Sustainability Important for Businesses?

Sustainability is increasingly important for businesses; business leaders can no longer afford to ignore their environmental and social responsibilities. Here are 4 reasons why sustainability is important for businesses:

Boost Your Brand Reputation

Brands that are bad for the environment quickly gain a bad reputation. According to an ING survey, 61% of respondents said they would be less likely to buy a product if the company had poor environmental practices. Operating sustainably can boost your brand reputation and encourage customers to support your business.

Win Over New Customers

75% of millennials say they are definitely or probably changing their habits to reduce their impact on the planet. This is only set to increase as the environmentally-conscious Gen Z become consumers. Adopting sustainable business practices can help you win over this new generation of customers and ensure your business can continue to thrive as demographics and priorities shift.

Improve Operational Efficiency

Improving your sustainability can go hand in hand with improving your efficiency. For example, improving your business’s energy efficiency not only decreases your carbon footprint but also helps to reduce your energy bills. Indeed, a study found that reducing resource costs can improve operating profits by up to 60%.

Attract and Retain Talent

Your business sustainability not only helps attract customers but also employees. Around 40% of millennials (so 26-41 year olds) have taken a job because of a company’s sustainability policy. As millennials will soon make up the majority of the workforce, your business’s sustainability could help to attract and retain the best talent.

 

How Can Electronic Signatures Contribute to Sustainability?

At E-Sign, we firmly believe that e-signatures and digital documents can help your business become more sustainable. Let’s take a closer look at how e-signatures can help your business become more sustainable:

Waste Less Paper

If your business processes paperwork, your office could go through a lot of paper, creating waste and contributing to your business’s carbon footprint. It’s estimated that the average office employee consumes 10,000 sheets of paper every year. And more than three-quarters of that paper will end up as waste. Using electronic signatures, you can eliminate the need to print out your business documents. This can help you reduce your paper waste and the associated carbon footprint.

Enable Remote Working

We all know that transportation releases carbon emissions, especially travelling by car. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when most of the workforce was staying at home, CO2 emissions from transportation dropped by 15%. By allowing your employees to work from home, you could reduce the carbon emissions of your business. Adopting an e-signature enables your employees to create, share and e-sign documents from anywhere, so they can continue working efficiently without having to commute into the office.

Lessen the Impacts of Paper Production

Paper production, whether from scratch or from recycled material takes energy, water and chemicals, all of which can have a negative impact on the planet. It takes around 10 litres of precious water to make a single A4 sheet of paper. In turn, it then creates wastewater that can be harmful if not processed correctly. By switching to digital documents, your business no longer has to support the production of paper which can be bad for the environment.

Reduce Your Document Miles

In order to get important documents to a client, you may have to post the paperwork or meet your signer in person. Both can generate unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, an average year of incoming postage mail can contribute 136kg of emissions to your carbon footprint- that’s the equivalent of driving 200 miles in a car. Your post is often transported from A to B in vehicles that release emissions, whether that’s a car or aeroplane. Opting to use digital documents can eliminate that part of your carbon footprint and help you operate more sustainably.

Help Protect Our Trees

We all know that paper comes from trees. And to make that paper, trees are sometimes cut down. Whilst the UK recycles around 80% of paper, it’s estimated that a single sheet can only be recycled between 5-7 times. That means that eventually new paper will need to be produced and trees will need to be cut down to do it. Switching to digital documents can help keep trees where they belong.

 

Do Digital Documents Have an Environmental Impact?

E-signing and sending out a digital document has a minimal impact on the planet but the hardware and energy required to do so can be bad for the environment. There are several factors that need to be considered when working out the carbon footprint of a digital document. You need a device, electricity, and storage to work with electronic signatures and digital documents. This makes the debate about the true carbon footprint of a digital document far more complex.

Overall, even digital documents aren’t without their environmental impact. Discussions about digital carbon footprint are increasingly common and big tech companies are now looking for ways to make digital solutions more environmentally friendly.

Adopting an electronic signature and digital documents doesn’t mean your business can get complacent. In the end, in order to get the most out of making this switch, you should still keep a watchful eye on your business’s tech and energy usage. This includes things like:

  • Maximising the life span of your tech products
  • Recycling tech waste properly
  • Deleting unnecessary files
  • Opting for green hosting

 

Take Control of Your Carbon Footprint with E-Sign

Here at E-Sign, we provide the tools you need to switch to digital documents and reduce your paper consumption. Let’s take a closer look at some of E-Sign’s features and how they can help your business operate more sustainably:

Secure E-Signatures

Signatures are used to approve or agree to the contents of a document. Reduce your paper consumption and paper waste by using an electronic signature. Our e-signature allows you to keep your documents digital so you don’t have to print out paper copies to sign by hand. This can help to reduce, if not completely eliminate your paper consumption.

Trusted E-Seals

Many businesses still use seals on their documents. But how do you seal documents in the digital age? Say goodbye to stamping paper with e-seals from E-Sign. Our digital seals verify the origins and authenticity of your document by using cryptography. This provides peace of mind that your documents are genuine and haven’t been tampered with.

Carbon Counter

We know that many businesses like to track their carbon footprint. That’s why we’ve built a carbon calculator into the E-Sign platform. Every time you sign a document with E-Sign, our calculator will work out how much carbon your business has saved by using digital documents rather than paper. This provides an at-a-glance overview of how much carbon the E-Sign platform has saved.

Digital Payment Processing

One of the biggest parts of any business transaction, processing payments can involve documents such as invoices and receipts. With E-Sign, you can e-sign and send digital payment documents from the platform. You can also integrate a payment gateway into your documents, combining two transactions into one for increased efficiency and less paperwork.

Customisable Web Forms

Sometimes, your business or organisation may need clients to fill out forms. Our customisable web forms allow you to collect the important information you need without printing out paper copies. This also makes life easier for your clients, as they can fill out forms in their own time, on their laptop or smartphone.

 

Try E-Sign For Free

If you’d like to try out our electronic signature, why not sign up for your free 14-day demo? We’ll never ask for your payment details and you don’t need to download any software. All you need is an email address. Join 1000s of business leaders and Government organisations already using E-Sign to save paper and improve efficiency.

 

 

E-Sign is a leading provider of digital transaction management solutions, supplying professional services including Electronic Signatures, Web Forms, ID Checker, Verification Tools, Personalised Emails, API and Payment Processing to businesses of all sizes across the UK.

To find out more about our E-Sign solutions and how they could transform your business, get in touch with us today.

 

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