Not only are paper documents a pain to file, but they’re also wasteful on the environment. In fact, according to the EPA, we use 69 million tons of paper and paperboard every year. Most of that paper is consumed by businesses that use their fair share of paper for managing projects. Additionally, Americans take more than 405 million business trips each year – accounting for 16 percent of all long distance travel.
The secret to green project management is stepping away from paper products and travel and moving entirely towards online or virtual tools. In an effort to help you turn your business from wasteful into resourceful, let’s take a look at three eco-friendly project management tools you can use to increase company productivity.
- Social Collaboration Tools
Instead of working from paper spreadsheets, project guides, and manuals, social collaboration tools can help your team stay on top of communication in a green way. In fact, using these tools is more productive than emailing. According to this Wrike blog post, “Project management and social collaboration software solves the email problem by giving users tools to stay on top of projects and make communications more efficient between team members.”
But what are social collaboration tools? They’re essentially virtual (or online) tools that help employees and businesses interact and share information in an effort to accomplish a common goal. They’re like virtual meeting rooms that allow as many people as necessary to join without distractions and regardless of physical barriers. It’s next-level project management and there’s no paper trail – making it as eco-friendly as you can get.
How often do you hand out employee guides, product manuals, client profiles, or other thick documents to your employees? Now consider the amount of paper you could save if you instead chose to email those documents as eBooks, as opposed to printing them.
While most people think about books and novels when they consider eBooks, the truth is that they’re equally valuable for internal use. And despite the debate from some sources that there’s little advantage to using eBooks versus traditional print books, the reality is your organization can save time, money, paper, and ink when opting to use digital copies.
One of the absolute worst things your company can do for the environment is travel. While business trips have long been a staple of active and successful organizations, there’s not always a practical reason to make the trip. If you’ll simply be meeting with clients, customers, or investors, why not handle everything via video conferencing?
While it certainly takes small amounts of electricity to maintain an internet connection and power video conferencing software, the expenditure is relatively small. As this blog post points out, “This contrasts remarkably with the huge amount of fossil fuel that is expended when participants in a traditional conference have to travel to a central location by car, train or airplane.”
Making a Commitment to Green Project Management
Going green and increasing productivity don’t have to be exclusive to one another. In fact, with these three tools, you can approach project management in a very green way. While you may not find all of these tools useful or practical for your organization, the more you can incorporate, the better off you’ll be.
Edited by Maurice Nagle