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Some recently released statistics on the use of paper in UK offices make for alarming reading, to the point where you may ask yourself ‘are we really in the digital age’?  


For example, the average office worker will use 10,000 sheets of paper each year, and what’s more, nearly 70% of those will be wasted. Each person in the UK consumes around 4.5 trees worth every year. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume the legal industry is at the upper end of the scale when it comes to paper consumption, images of legal journals and reams of case notes and court bundles piled high are hard to dispel.

Going Green

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Buxton Coates Solicitors have made, and continue to make, huge steps in becoming a paperless business, some (relatively) minor changes in behaviour can have a big impact if everyone in the organisation follows suit, here they share some lessons.

Some is just basic ‘housekeeping’.  All boxes and cardboard are recycled regularly; this is made easier by simply noting on what day the weekly or fortnightly collection cycle takes places and ensuring everything is ready to be removed. Any accidental or surplus printing can be used as scrap paper and we always ensure that everything we do need to print, is double sided. Naturally anything confidential is shredded. Aside from the obvious environmental impact, it keeps the office surrounding tidier and therefore nicer for everyone.

Technological advances can obviously help too, and we have invested in our case management system to store emails, notes and other correspondence electronically rather than as hard copies. This has the added advantage of being more secure as there are strict security protocols and access rights on the system; clearly it’s not as easy to maintain such controls if the notes are on pieces of paper left in the office. Naturally all our process changes in this area have been approved by Lexcel.

As well as keeping the lawyers and the staff happy in our cleaner and greener office environment, our accountant and bank manager are happier too as it’s much cheaper to operate this way. For example, we use less space and significantly less paper.

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