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Glasgow City Council

Reducing our printing - go paperless

Think before you print

Watch our video - find out what weighs the same as 15 elephants!

During the pandemic we reduced our city centre office printing by 50% by finding different and innovative ways of doing things - that's the same weight of paper as 15 elephants!

Watch our video and be inspired.

Go Green and keep it on the screen - our programme to reduce our printing

Before the pandemic, the council family used around 90 million sheets of paper a year to help it run all its different services. That's a lot of paper!

Glasgow has been set a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. To help with this, we have moved our supply of paper to recycled sources, saving us £60,000 per year, halving our carbon footprint for paper and saving the equivalent annual energy consumption of over 160 homes. We have also launched a council-wide project to review all our printing and mail processes to reduce our energy consumption, carbon footprint and saving us significant time and money in the process.

To do this, we've launched a council-wide project to review all our printing and mail processes to try and reduce our energy consumption and save us money at the same time. Led by Financial Services, the project aims to explore how we can deliver our print and mail services differently to make significant reductions where we can.

Moira Carrigan, Project Sponsor said "During the pandemic we reduced our city centre office printing by 50% by finding alternative ways of doing things. We're keen that as we return to the office, we continue to decrease our printing - the challenge to all our staff is to reduce the amount of paper we use."

"Together, we can all make a difference so let's all "Think Before You Print"

The project will also look at how we make best use of our printing contracts to get the most efficient postal costs and investigate how we can move more hardcopy mail to digital channels. Moira continued "As a council we are committed to a Digital Glasgow, changing hardcopy mail to digital formats reduces our carbon footprint, as well as providing better customer journeys, improving information security, supporting a more flexible workforce, and saving us money. All of these things are vitally important as we move forward beyond the pandemic."

Get involved - top tips to reduce your paper use today!

View our  Top Tips for using less paper to help you get started on how to save both paper and energy use.

6 Top Tips to go Paperless
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Your stories - showcasing how you are making the change to go paperless

Below you can read some great examples about how staff have reduced their printing and gone paperless.

Fiona Brannan - Using an online document management system

Fiona, Service Development Officer, Financial Services said: "Every year the Financial Services ASPIR is produced - this is a fifty-page document."

"During the Pandemic we had to work differently to produce the ASPIR. Instead of having face-to face meetings, using printed templates to develop and review the content, we started having our meetings on Teams and stored the relevant paperwork in our online documents management system EDRMS. This meant that instead of having to print out paper copies we could develop, review, and edit the document content online - it also enabled a number of people to work on the document at the same time too."

"There are a number of benefits to reducing your printing, it is better for the environment and storing documents electronically is quicker, easier and more convenient - at the same time it also aligns to the council's records management policy."

Mikey Jones - Using OneNote to go paperless

Mikey Jones, Business Analyst, Financial Services said:" When Windows 10 devices were rolled out a number of new tools were made available to everyone."  

"I was using pen and paper to take notes for meeting actions and minutes. When I received my new device, I wanted to discover all the new applications that were available to me and OneNote was something I started using straight away. OneNote is a digital notebook that automatically saves and syncs your notes as you work - you can also write to do lists and track tasks. As well as the environmental benefits to reducing the amount of paper I use, I now spend less time organising paper documents, it also saves me space and is a more secure way of storing information."

John Hetherington - conducting training and sharing documents online

John Hetherington, Business Advisor, Chief Executive Department said: "I use to print multiple handouts and exercises for face-to-face training courses - in a six month period this could equate to around 3,000 pages. The introduction of Teams has provided me with the facility to deliver training courses online and to share electronic copies of handouts and user guides - meaning I no longer need to rely on printed copies of documents."

"Conducting training course online has many benefits - it reduces the time preparing and the printing required to deliver a course, as well as the environmental benefits associated with going paperless."

Our Print and Mail Review Project - overview of the benefits

Building on the good practices developed during the pandemic, the aim of the project is to carry out a full review of our printing and mail services across the council. This review will identify the most efficient ways to deliver these services through the investigation of a range of potential contractual, technology and process changes, ultimately improving them in line with the Digital Glasgow Strategy and Customer Strategy.

The project will provide a range of benefits including:

  • Better customer journeys, with an improved quality of service provided to our customers
  • Increased workforce resilience, with staff able to work more flexibly as required
  • More efficient processes, creating significant financial savings and an increase in productivity
  • Improved information security, protecting both our customers and the council.

These changes will also support the council's commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 by reducing the amount of paper that is consumed, protecting our city and its future generations.

Sustainable staff news - keep up to date and view top tips to get involved

Every act we take makes a difference - we are all part of the solution to help reduce climate change.

There are numerous ways in which we can make small behavioural changes to make our homes and our lives more sustainable - from small habits in our daily lives to slightly larger investments. Every action we take can help make a real difference to protect our planet as well as reducing our energy bills.

Visit our Sustainable staff news  to find out more about how you can get involved and make small lifestyle changes that will make a real difference in the fight against climate change. 

Read your amazing sustainable stories as we put a spotlight on your actions.

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