Do you know that 10 liters of water are wasted in making one sheet of paper? 33-40% of wood is used for paper production which exploits natural forests and leads to environmental depletion. Another fact, paper products contribute to 26% of total waste dumped in landfills.
In addition to all this, the construction industry has the highest contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and exhaust as well as exploit all types of natural resources. But where there is a problem there is also a solution. We need to find a sustainable solution to the extreme use of paper in the construction industry!
But what is sustainability? Often when term sustainability is referred to term sustainable development. Let me illustrate how these terms differ. Sustainability is a long-term goal that generations should follow to maintain quality of life. Sustainable development is a procedure executed at present to maintain quality of life without compromising the future generation's needs.
An answer to the problem stated above is digitizing your paper-based documentation. But let us first understand the ecological impact of paper in depth.
Ecological Impact of Paper
According to world count, an Indian on average uses 5 kilos of paper every year.
Approximately, 324 liters of water are used to make 1 kilogram of paper. Each ton of paper produced uses 17 trees; 1,440 liters of oil; 2.3 cubic meters of landfill space; 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 26,500 liters of water.
Now think about the population of India and the water wastage and some of the most crucial resources required to sustain life. It was first presumed that the rise in digital technology will lessen the need for paper but instead before 2030 the paper and pulp demand is expected to be doubled.
Now, 42 % of the wood harvest is used for making paper. Doubling demand will put pressure on our forest which is in a very critical state right now. This also means as much waste will be generated as only 45% of paper consumed is recycled. This means that 55% is dumped in landfills where it rots and produces methane gas which is 25% more toxic than carbon dioxide.
Economical Impact of Paper
The economical footprint of paper is also huge on the organization. From buying plain sheets to owning a printer, filing cabinets for workspaces, and maintaining records as well as storage places for existing documents.
Also, it takes an average of four days to process a document. This is a huge time for the construction industry where every passing hour is crucial to avoid budget overruns. Along with this, irresponsible parties may take more time in documentation to cover up their mistakes.
Along with this multiple copies need to spend on multiple stakeholders. This costs more and is a huge waste as a person will only see ut once and then will be discarded. Think of trees we can save by just eliminating the printing of multiple copies!
After seeing the ecological impact of paper, we must take a look at our daily activities involving paper and must try to eliminate the waste. In addition to costing us very valuable natural resources, it cost us money and time. So let us explore the solution and answer to all this.
Digital documents should have been a standard by now but have not progressed. This needs to be changed. We need to stand up against conventional methods that are costing us the health of our planet, the only home we have!!
How transform into a paperless office?
Are ready to be an environment-friendly construction company? Are you ready to adopt sustainable technology way ahead of your competitors? Let's see how digiQC works to create a paperless office network. digiQC is a cloud-based software that helps you digitize the way you perform quality control.
Quality control is majorly comprised of a quality control checklist and material testing reports. Also, paper documents like non-conformance reports and other formal documentation on quality. This is a major contributor to the increase in the height of the paper heap.
How but how can digiQC help your company become environment friendly? and how does it work to promote the idea of sustainability in the construction industry?
DigiQC has two modules. First is the web module which key stakeholders of the company have access for setting up checklist types and conditions for filling it. Customized checklists can be made for tailor-made projects
The other is a mobile app. It is for site personnel and has a biometric security feature. It allows capturing images, recording audio, and uploading photos of related drawings and witnesses as required. App also has GPS enabled feature which helps in making these checks real-time and authentic.
Given are basic steps on how you can transform your QC into digiQC:
- Lead the way
According to studies, 47% of employees think that a lack of management initiatives creates problems in going paperless. So be the leader, you're meant to be in this fight for the environment and get your team to appreciate the idea of going paperless. To increase amount overall motto and enthusiasm, set up a reward system in the initial stages. This will help them to do better work and will create a positive work environment.
- Get everyone on board
Majorly finance and legal department have concerns with going paperless. Make sure you ensure them that every quality check is performed as it was done before, just the method of transmittance has changed. Demonstrate that compliance with policies will be enforced with the ability of digital apps to secure vital information and make it easily retrievable anywhere and anytime unlike paper-based documents.
- Get software training
Once everyone is on-board, start the training. What to do? How to fill out the checklist? How GPS-enabled service only lets you fill a checklist only when you're in a defined radius! How to raise an issue and how performance analysis is done for employees?
- Share the switch with clients
The most important thing is to notify clients about the shift. Tell them and assure them this will benefit them as well. More productivity and transparency will be a by-product of this shift.
By using digiQC, approximately INR 60,000 is saved per month by reducing rework, wastage, and paperless documentation. This means the complete elimination of paperwork, printing, space for storage, and filing cabinets is included in this cost.
The essence of the blog
Digitization is one of the important transformation humans needs to embrace in order to promote good quality of life for present and future generations. The forest is not the property of taxpayers only, but also of those indigenous people and animals that reside in heart of them. Thus we can transform to digital documentation and contribute to a noble cause and in turn, gain many benefits for ourselves too. Thus, digital documents help us promote sustainability and help us save from further damaging the planet by the burden of waste paper.
With digiQC, celebrate world environment day and read the blog post; Going Green with Construction: A World Environment Day Special; to know more about sustainability in construction.
Willing to know more about the benefits of Digitization in Construction? Discover its role beyond sustainability with the exclusive blog Digitization in construction—An Overview.