The Little Book Of Commonsense
Paper - The Real Sustainable Choice

Cutting paper use is a false economy

Remember the vision of the paperless office? By now we all know that vision and reality don’t always join up. Paperless just isn’t practical in many situations.

In these days of austerity there is constant pressure to make savings, cut costs and use resources wisely including paper. Nowhere is this more evident than in office stationery and printing.

Managers in many organisations have been tasked with cutting costs. As a result, you are discouraged from printing anything at all, and if you do, it’s six slides to a page, double-sided, black and white. But often you end up going back and reprinting in full size because you can’t work practically with the more condensed print-outs.

You’ll probably recognise some of the unintended consequences of trying to reduce costs by unreasonably curtailing paper usage.

The answer is not to stop using paper; it is to use commonsense and print what you need, when you need it, in the way that helps you work best.

Paper Cuts? The unintended consequences…


An email to a prospect gets hidden in their in-box and there’s always the temptation of the delete button. That’s why paper direct mail has twice the response rate of email*.


A presentation printed out six slides to a page is impossible to read - how does that make for better business decisions?


A colour-coded chart printed in black & white is confusing and potentially misleading.


A slideshow without printed handouts means the presenter can’t prepare adequately and the audience can’t take proper notes - so both the delivery and retention of the presentation are impaired.

*Average response rate to paper direct mail is twice as effective versus email, according to US Direct Mail Association, June 2010

Paper Usage: Real cuts, but false economy!