So, you’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal? The department I work in isn’t costing the college much in paper.” But what most people don’t realize is that the cost of buying paper is just the tip of the paper iceberg. For each sheet of paper used, the college incurs not only purchasing costs, but also storage, copying, printing, postage, disposal, and recycling—and it adds up.
A recent study estimates that secondary paper costs could be as much as 31 times the purchasing costs (not including labor). So, that ream of paper that the college paid $5 for really could cost up to $155! Citigroup, a large financial services company, determined that if each employee used double-sided copying to conserve just one sheet of paper each week, the firm would save $700,000 each year. Bank of America cut its paper consumption by 25% in two years by increasing the use of on-line forms and reports, e-mail, double-sided copying, and lighter-weight paper.