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Tips for Environmentally Green Records Management

Gartner says “90% of information is still retained on paper”.

Many organizations are discovering first-hand that good environmental practices are good for business. The cost savings benefit associated with resource conservation and increased shareholder, customer and supplier confidence are directly translated to the bottom line of the organization.

As a source of information for the organization, beyond the intellectual importance of records, paper and electronic records comprise on of an organization’s largest physical asset. How those assets are used and managed can be a critical factor in maximizing the productivity of natural utilization and minimizing the environmental footprint of an organization’s overall footprint.

The tips provided here can help organizations meet that goal by applying sound environmental stewardship to the proactive management of both physical and electronic records throughout their life cycle stages.

1) Destroy the information you do not need

An effective recycling program puts useless or old material back into circulation as raw material. To help your organization meet this cost saving goal and help protect the environment at the same time, implement a retention schedule and destruction policy that allows this material to be destroyed securely. Knight Archives provides secure destruction on a regular schedule or purges.

2) If you must keep it, store it efficiently

Most organizations will still have a significant volume of information that must be retained either for direct business or to meet longer term requirements. The environmental footprint for storing those records can be further optimized by selecting on offsite records storage company to manage them for you. This frees up both space and staff which can be used for better corporate objectives. By taking advantage of “bulk” storage, the organization will have a cost-effective records management system, with current records on site and older records that are retrieved only occasionally. Knight Archives will store, retrieve, and do end of life destruction for your organization.

3) Choose environmentally-friendly filing products

Bear in mind when purchasing filing supplies:

Are the products physically durable over the life cycle of the record?
Can folder be reused effectively after the records have been removed?
Are paper materials fully recyclable?

4) Promote a “Less-Paper” office

Most organizations have seen their paper output increase rather than decrease. The advent of Covid and the “work-from-home” options have forced organizations to rethink the production of paper records. To reduce paper records, it is necessary to reduce duplicate and unnecessary printing. Electronic records have advanced over the last few years to minimize the printing of records. Recycle and securely destroy any outdated or duplicate records. Knight Archives will scan the records that are required to be retrieved and securely destroy them after they have been scanned.

5) Recycle electronic waste

Computers, printers, scanners all have information in them. At their end of life be sure to have them securely destroyed to mitigate any chance of a data breach and information being used illegally. Knight Archives can refer your organization to a certified company that will responsibly destroy these electronics.

Call Knight Archives for all of your records management requirements or questions.