Maybe the answer is not really so obvious, as taking care of our planet usually is associated with decreasing exhaust fumes emission, fighting global warming, limiting contamination and exploitation of natural resources. These examples are associated with the macro scale. However, taking into consideration an individual citizen, what comes to mind is: recycling, reducing plastic usage, saving energy and more conscious shopping choices.
As IT systems are present mainly in the business sphere, they operate in offices, production halls and warehouses. There they connect micro and macro scale, as they change individuals’ working styles who in turn are grouped in whole working post networks. Bigger companies consist of hundreds of employees in different departments, so each change is multiplied and becomes relevant, influential. Smaller companies in turn take action within their own working environments and at the same time became role models for competition and contractors – they show that changes are possible. It does not matter then, how big the company is, but rather how many other businesses it encourages to introduce changes for our planet. What exactly are the changes?
Limit the use of paper
It is sometimes said that more trees were saved by the man who invented a memory stick than by all the ecologists of the world. Maybe an exaggerated joke, but holds one truth about us: it is easier for us to help unless it limits us in any way. Portable devices like memory stick did not force anyone to decrease the amount of printed documents, but only facilitated the way of passing them forward, without printing. It quickly became clear that it was an extraordinary invention, because all document copies together with corrections might be transferred between computers in no time. What is more, memory sticks prove to be very economical because of paper use reduction. Although a single piece of paper costs next to nothing, the amount of money spent on it rises significantly after a month, a year or while employing dozens or hundreds of people.
IT systems are a kind of a successor of the mentioned memory stick. However, they do not require physical movement of the information carrier between devices – all data circulate within the internal company network. One just has to save them properly so that the entitled employees may access them instantly. The procedure is fast, comfortable and eco-friendly, because only those documents are printed which cannot function without paper version.
Paper reduction and security increase
Apart from its indisputable ecological values, the lack of paper means also increased safety of information. Paper sheets may be easily lost or even stolen, sometimes are accidentally moved out of the company and this is just one step from data leak. In such a case the whole company is affected legally in terms of GDPR violation or simply experiences the consequences of broken business confidentiality. The losses do not mean a couple of dollars spent on paper, but thousands in fines and in lost deals. Apart from that, for printed documents, everything can be dangerous, even such trivial things as spilled coffee, food stains, tearing or erroneous putting into shredder. If the company has an electronic copy of the paper, it is easy to recover it. There are still some businesses though, which operate only with printed versions and these are the most vulnerable in case of any document damage.
Saving fuel means saving environment
For ecology extremely important these days is decreasing fuel usage and emission of exhaust fumes and carbon dioxide. In 2016 the European Parliament reported a considerable role of passenger cars in CO2 emission in transport: as much as 60.7%! Taking that into account, every business trip becomes another step to the further environmental damage. That is why, the best way of introducing eco-friendly changes in companies is limiting the circulation of employees between facilities, contractors and unnecessary visits to the office during lockdowns.
How to achieve that? By simply digitalising the flow of documents, procedures and other data within the company. IT systems make possible filling in, confirming and cataloging different documents remotely, without any excessive contact between the responsible parties. Each entitled employee, already marked as a part of the document flow procedure, is notified about the necessity of taking a particular action on it. When they fulfill the task, the case is automatically assigned to the next person, until all necessary data, confirmations, materials and orders are collected. Such an electronic workflow procedure constantly supervises the proper course of actions and maintains order in documentation. Companies often approach the solution with doubt and concern about retaining well internal organisation and security. It soon becomes obvious, that multiple cases may be solved without leaving one’s desk or even stepping out of the apartment.
Office work automation during the covid-19 pandemic
During lockdowns and pandemic restrictions the home office option seems the best choice for office workers. IT systems may possibly increase corporate security. Apart form indisputable benefits for the environment coming from the lowered exhaust fumes emission, staying at home is advisable simply out of sanitary reasons. For many employers the pandemic changes were a huge organizational, technical and mental challenge. Not everyone had earlier seen the possibilities that systems give and the solutions they offer in terms of remote work. One may simply search different Modules on KORSOL website to discover that almost every office work aspect might be implemented in one, user-friendly system.
How to reduce losses and waste?
One of the biggest dilemmas of the modern world is the huge scale of waste. It mainly represents itself in food production, but not restricted to it. Great amount of commodity is thrown out to landfills, because of minor defect, important detail being faultily manufactured, the product being non-compliant to the norms or simply damaged. As a consequence, we observe a considerable damage to the environment, because of the resources usage, necessary power production and use - all those in vain. What is more, the goods produced do not always decompose as easily as food, so huge waste remains, even though the sole products were not used. As if it was not enough, new commodities must be produced to quickly replace the faulty ones.
Despite the fact that the phenomenon concerns all manufacturing sectors, the biggest emphasis is put in the matter on food production and its aspect has been searched best in terms of statistics. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) alarms that on our planet about 1.3 billion tons of inedible food is thrown away every year. It’s 1/3 of the whole production! Polish organisation of food loss and waste restriction (PROM) reports in turn that in Poland almost 5 million tons of food products get damaged every year. The production, processing, transport, storage and trade parts of the supply chain are responsible for almost 40% of these losses.
Remote control over damaged goods
What should one do to avoid losses and take care of the environment at the same time? Above all, increase control over the company. IT solutions available on the market considerably facilitate company management and fast reaction to any discrepancies. It is enough to invest in controlling devices from which the IT systems are able to collect data and present them in clear charts. Having a constant online access to updated information about the company as well as alerts about discrepancies set (also in the form of text message alarm), the CEO and their management cadre is able to minimize losses and even prevent them thoroughly. This is probably the best way to become eco-friendly in the company: one may prevent waste and simultaneously save money.
Control over production processes in companies is provided by TraceON, a KORSOL product.
Waste under legal control
What is more, the problem of generating waste has become a very problematic topic, also in the legal aspect. The European Union orders minimising losses and food waste up to 50% until 2030. It is then advisable to prepare for more restrictions and possible fines, because in a few years such a policy may be present in every agriculture and food business. It is worth taking care of loss reduction in advance as it proves profitable for every producer. More and more distributors demand very rigid control through traceability implementation in the whole supply chain. It is then, another argument to introduce such solutions in companies.
IT is eco-friendly
Running business in an eco-friendly way is no longer only the result of an internal drive, sense of responsibility or a matter of trend. Now it stems from new and still updated legal regulations. European Union serves as an ecological guardian and introduces more and more new norms and requirements for the member states. In order to comply, one has to keep track of the legal changes and invest in new solutions, which also involves the IT systems. KORSOL company offers a number of modules which can be freely picked and matched depending on the departments’ needs. Electronic flow of invoices, purchase applications, and leave of absence applications, remote teamwork coordination, issuing permissions and task assignments… these are only a couple of examples from the wide variety of improvements. With KORSOL being eco-friendly becomes much easier, because the user does not have to sacrifice anything, there is nothing that impedes their work. Quite the opposite – through digitalization in the scope of office work they gain increased security of data, faster flow of information and constant control over different processes. Ecology is in this case a kind of added value, implemented alongside. It facilitates daily work activities, so most probably will stay in the office for years and become a new, good habit.
See more about KORSOL and our modules tailored to clients' needs.