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  Today Online 7 Jun 07
Local firms' paper usage up
Sheralyn Tay

Channel NewsAsia 6 Jun 07
Survey shows that paperless society still has a long way to go

SINGAPORE : Despite widespread computerisation and growing environmental consciousness, the use of paper remains consistently high, according to a recent survey.

A check of 100 Singapore companies showed that far more companies are increasing their use of paper compared to those reducing usage - 43 percent against just 18 percent.

Although these are improved numbers from the last survey done in 2005, it looks like paper is still the way most people process information.

More than half of the companies surveyed also had no guidelines on the use of paper - employees could use as much as they wanted.

And when there are guidelines, it is usually motivated by ISO standards or multinational corporations implementing directions from their head offices.

However, the good news is that 75 percent of the companies now send paper for recycling, up from less than 20 percent in 2005.

The Asian paper market is estimated to account for approximately 32 percent of total global consumption. - CNA/ch

Today Online 7 Jun 07
Local firms' paper usage up
Sheralyn Tay sheralyn@mediacorp.com.sg

SO MUCH for a paperless society: A recent survey has shown that Singapore companies are using more paper rather than cutting back.

A check of 100 companies in March showed that 43 per cent reported a rise in paper usage, with just 18 per cent registering a decrease. The survey by Spire Research and Consulting also found that few companies actively enforced paper reduction.

"Despite all the talk that increasing computerisation and environmental concerns will result in less paper usage, more than half of the locally-based companies still had no existing guidelines on minimising paper usage," noted Spire Group's managing director Leon Perera.

While the survey revealed that 25 companies had guidelines on paper management double the number from two years ago only about eight of them had taken concrete steps to limit paper use. The rest relied on "encouragement and voluntary efforts".

There was one improvement, however: 61 per cent of the firms had no guidelines at all, down from 88 per cent in 2005. Administration and human resource departments used the most paper, while workers from the construction, transport, and logistics and manufacturing industries averaged two sheets a day, or one-and-a-half reams a year.

But while paper consumption has not seen a great dip, the number of companies recycling waste paper has increased significantly. Three-quarters now send waste paper for recycling, up from less than 20 per cent two years ago.

Spire observed that multinational companies benefited more from paper reduction, and most small and medium enterprises found it harder to implement paperless solutions.

But despite the trend, Singapore consumes the lowest amount of paper per capita, compared to South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

Related articles in Singapore: reduce, reuse, recycle
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