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In this issue, we will discuss how American small and medium sized businesses can eliminate a major threat to the security of their operations while at the same time reducing their environmental footprint.
The American economy is by no means dominated by large corporations. In fact – small and medium businesses make up 99 percent of U.S. organizations1. It follows that the extent to which small and medium business owners’ embrace recycling, cutting down energy use and other green initiatives has an enormous impact on the environment. At the same time, crime in the workplace is on the upswing (as we noted in our last newsletter issue), and in 61 percent of reported crimes, the perpetrator works for the company2. A main source of this crime is the theft of paper documents that have not been securely discarded. So how do small and medium sized businesses remain environmentally-friendly without compromising confidentiality and security? The answer is simple – by setting up a regular shredding program. Not only can small and medium businesses eliminate a key source of data theft within their organization,but they can also dramatically lessen their waste output by shredding, and at a very reasonable cost.
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Every working day, the average North American office worker generates about 2 pounds of paper and paperboard products, or 90 percent of their total waste3. Clearly, paper recycling programs go a very long way towards making a business more environmentally sustainable.
But as described in our last issue, recycling paper carries certain risks. Those documents sitting in a recycling bin or waiting in large clear plastic bags by the elevator are a magnet for data thieves. Shredding the paper not only ensures document security, but it decreases an organization’s environmental footprint as all shredded paper is recycled. Shredding also improves the paper recycling process because there are virtually no contaminants (e.g. plastic or metal) mixed in with shredded paper. For businesses that use a professional document destruction company, they have the additional peace of mind knowing that their business’ or customers’ information is being destroyed on site and shipped directly to a paper mill for recycling.
Success in small and medium sized businesses means having a laser focus on the bottom line. Thus a great way to launch an environmental program overall, is to conduct an audit. What are your current energy costs and potential savings from energy conservation? How much paper do you use every day, how are you disposing of it – and is your current disposal system exposing your business to document theft? The audit will not only get everyone involved from the outset, but will also help you decide on priorities and provide a benchmark to measure progress.
There are a number of simple steps based on the “Three Rs” – reduce, reuse, recycle – that can kickstart your company’s conservation program. For example, paper use can be cut in half by having your printers default to two-sided printing. Lights and computers can be turned off when not in use.
These steps can generate the ‘early wins’ that keep employees motivated and on track, and set the stage for more ambitious initiatives. They include introducing policies to purchase eco-friendly office and cleaning supplies, sourcing materials used in daily operations from green suppliers, installing energy-efficient appliances, buying second-hand furniture and other fixtures, and taking advantage of government programs that offer financial and resource support to small businesses to step up their green efforts.
“Being environmentally responsible is good for business, but not in the narrow sense of outdoing your competition,” says Robert Guice, EVP of Shred-it UK. “Given what is at stake for the environment, the community and the UK economy at large, it is a collaborative effort among all businesses of all sizes”.
One great way for a small or medium sized business to spread the word about its environmental commitment
while amplifying the impact of its efforts, is to involve external partners and stakeholders, especially suppliers. As the program expands, the company may decide to include environmental criteria and requirements in its selection of suppliers.
Shred-it has just signed a three year agreement to provide on site document destruction and non-paper destruction services to Adventist Health Systems (AHS), the largest notfor-profit Protestant healthcare organization in the nation.
After a thorough search and selection process, Adventist Health System, a Florida-based health care organization, selected Shred-it as a supplier to service its hospital locations
and clinics throughout North America. Adventist Health System was impressed with Shred-it’s focus on service, cost efficiency, and commitment to information security.
With 45 hospital campuses, 70,000 employees, and nearly 8,300 licensed beds in ten states, Adventist Health System is taking strong measures to protect patient medical records.“We wanted a comprehensive, on site solution that would provide peace of mind while allowing us to service our more than 4 million patients every year,” said Jim Farrell, Director Strategic Sourcing, at Adventist Health System. “As a global leader in secure information destruction, Shred-it provides Adventist Health System with an effective on site solution for document and non-paper destruction services.”
Shred-it is excited to engage in a strategic partnership with Adventist Health System that will allow them to benefit from an easy, secure information destruction solution so they can continue to deliver increasingly efficient and effective care to their patients.
Shred-it is a world-leading information security company providing document destruction services that ensure the security and integrity of our customers’ private information. The company operates 140 branches in 16 countries worldwide, servicing over 150,000 global, national and local businesses, including the world’s top intelligence and security agencies, more than 500 police forces, 1,500 hospitals, 8,500 bank branches and 1,200 universities and colleges.
For more information or tips on combining document security with envionmental responsibility, visit the Shred-it Resource Centre at shredit.com/resource-center
You can also stay informed with Shred-it on Facebook and LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter @Shredit.
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