26/07/2019

We’re waging a war on paper!

We’ve hit our first milestone of saving 500,000 pieces of paper, equivalent of 63 trees!

As we move towards becoming a more digital organisation, teams across YBS are working together to reduce paper in every way possible. Not only does removing paper reduce complexity, prevent wasted time and reduce costs, it also helps the environment!

Since the start of the year we’ve taken on the task of reducing the amount of paper we use throughout the business as part of our process to improve our digital capability. The Innovation Delivery team have taken on this challenge, by working with each area of the business to identify where they can reduce their paper usage.

A lot of changes so far have come from within our branch and agency networks as this is where many paper processes exist. Louise Slater and Kirsty Merritt from the Business Support team have shared their experiences of the process so far:

The branch network use a significant amount of the paper, so we knew the opportunity was there. We also know the industry is moving towards a much more digital approach and removing paper is one part of this.

We created a group of branch and agency Development Manager colleagues called the ‘Paper Scouts’. They help us in a number of ways, such as, identifying opportunities, discussing options, sharing communications and importantly, challenging the status quo. What’s important to call out is that all of the ideas have come from the branches or agencies; and through this relationship we’ve been able to create development opportunities for colleagues to work on these changes and follow the progress. It’s very much a collaborative effort.

We did a small bit of initial analysis which suggested that even without technology changes, there was potential to cut large volumes of paper and change habits… so we went for it. Focusing on this plays into so much, it supports the environment which helps us with our corporate social responsibility and it aligns to our target culture work in terms of empowering colleagues, encouraging challenge and promoting working together. What we’ve also found is that in removing paper, we’ve been able to simplify processes, create time efficiencies and generate savings elsewhere.

After realising the extent to how much paper we use, the team has set an ambitious target of 90% paperless. We still have a long way to go to meet this target but after the amazing start we’ve had and the support of all of our colleagues, we’re in no doubt we will meet this target!