Why do your clients or customers choose you over your competitors? Sure, you have great products or services, fair prices, as well as friendly and experienced team members – but are you doing enough to differentiate yourself on social and environmental issues?
According to a study by Unilever, a third of all global consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. Another study by Cone Communications found that 87% of people say they are more likely to purchase products from companies that support the issues they believe in, while 76% say they will refuse to buy from companies on the wrong side of issues that conflict with their values.
Clearly, your target audience wants you to be on the right side of environmental, world-affecting issues. One way you can achieve progress towards your environmental goals easily and efficiently is within your telecom expense management (TEM) efforts.
Consider how you can become a more eco-friendly company via TEM through these three main ways.
Go Paperless by Transitioning to Digital
The number one way a proper TEM effort will make your organization more eco-friendly is the ability to reduce the amount of paper you use. Going paperless with your organization’s invoices can reduce your carbon footprint (more on this later) and help save countless trees and, ultimately, our planet.
Using paper invoices necessitates a production process responsible for greenhouse gasses, causing deforestation and leading to global warming. Office paper production requires a large number of trees, as well as a significant quantity of chemicals and fresh water. It also creates a great deal of pollution in the form of carbon emissions and waste.
The World Counts tells us that roughly 93% of paper comes from trees. According to data published by North Carolina State University, 1 metric ton of paper (200,000 sheets) creates around 942 kg of greenhouse gas emissions. Don’t forget about the ink and toners needed for printing, both of which contain volatile compounds and non-renewable substances known to be damaging to the environment.
Consider a hypothetical invoicing process that involves 50 pieces of paper each month. Multiply that by 12 months in a year, that's 600 pieces of paper a year generated. Now, let's assume it’s an organization with 50 offices across the globe. All of a sudden, 30,000 pieces of paper a year are used for this single process. It takes a dozen trees to produce that much paper. Each tree produces enough oxygen for up to three people, so this one paper process means reducing oxygen production by 36 people's worth.
These figures don't even account for the environmental impact of transporting, storing, and disposing of all this paper. In fact, the disposal of paper once it’s no longer needed is a major environmental threat. Around 50% of business waste is paper, and U.S. offices alone use more than 12 trillion sheets of paper every year. When this paper is dumped into landfills, it eventually decomposes, releasing toxic methane and potentially leeching printing ink into soil and water sources, causing greater environmental damage. That's a lot of pollution, all so your organization could read an invoice on a piece of paper instead of a screen!
Recycling can offset some of the environmental impact, but not by much and not enough. You’re going to look at the invoice one time, pay it, and toss it. It is much more sustainable to simply remove paper use altogether by switching to a TEM paperless invoice management system. Every business that commits to going paperless as much as possible has a positive impact on the environment.
Seamless Device Recycling
Transitioning to digital invoicing will go a long way towards being more environmentally-friendly at your organization, but it’s far from the only way TEM enables these efforts. If your organization is like many others, you have hundreds if not thousands of devices. What happens to these smartphones, tablets, laptops etc. when they either break, ready for upgrade or are no longer needed? We all know how quickly technology comes and then is replaced by something newer, faster, and better.
Every year in the US alone, consumers discard approximately 100 million cell phones, over 41 million computers, as well as countless other devices by throwing them in the garbage when they become broken or outdated. This is known as e-waste. E-waste frequently contains hazardous materials, predominantly lead and mercury.
Tossing electronic devices into the trash is terrible for our environment, which makes recycling them a key focus for organizations who want to be more eco-friendly. Yet it can be difficult to make this efficient on a large scale if you’re attempting to handle it on your own.
Sakon’s mobile services customers begin the process of ordering a new device by going into our catalog and requesting a new mobile phone or other device. When we fulfill this order, we also send them a packet in order to recycle their device securely and easily. We have found that this is the best way to ensure they’re not thrown out or wind up sitting in a drawer. We recycle or refurbish them for you! We make it a seamless process, because when it’s easier, people will actually do it.
Net Zero Data Centers
Your chosen partner for TEM services should also prioritize hosting its application servers in a net zero data center environment. This is increasingly becoming the industry standard for SaaS companies. A Net Zero Data Center means your data is securely stored in a location that leverages renewable energy, clean energy production, pollution reduction and waste efficiency. The idea is to get as close to zero carbon emissions as possible, serving to offset residual emissions (those you realistically can't avoid without interfering with your business).
The Environmental Impact of Partnering With Sakon for Your TEM
The path to environmentally friendly Telecom Management is made possible with Sakon! Many of our customers were processing paper invoices, cutting checks and not recycling devices before they partnered with us.
If you’re ready to cut your costs and your carbon footprint, partnering with Sakon for TEM is a great option. Click the button below to request a demo to learn more about partnering with us to achieve your environmental and IT business initiatives.