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How Start-Ups are Promoting an Eco-friendly Tomorrow With a Paperless Work Culture If an e-gift voucher platform sells 10 million vouchers in a year and one tree is used to make 10,000 physical vouchers, it is equivalent to saving 1,000 trees if they go digital

By Arvind Prabhakar

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According to an article published in The Guardian, the world's 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01per cent of all living things. And yet, humanity alone has caused the loss of 83per cent of all wild mammals and 50per cent of plants. Human activities have also severely deteriorated the environment, increasing water pollution, accelerating the depletion of natural resources, and precipitating global climate change.

It is always an opportune time to look ahead to a different facet of the challenge – and focus on how new-age start-ups are trying to drive a positive change when it comes to protecting the earth and its fragile ecosystem.

Start-ups Push for a Paperless Economy

Going paperless is a small yet significant step in the journey towards saving the earth from the dire consequences of unchecked human activity. Across the world, businesses, whether small or large, are adopting automated workflows or digital technologies to reduce paper waste and promote a greener environment.

Many businesses are pushing for paperless processes by doing away with physical paperwork. Forms, letters, reports, and proposals are all being digitized in the form of PDFs. Apart from being environment-friendly, this digital "paperwork' can also be disseminated, shared and signed much quicker, thereby increasing productivity. New-age businesses are also automating previously paper-intensive tasks such as payroll and invoice generation, further contributing to sustainability.

Start-ups are also leveraging cloud-computing to digitalize and preserve their critical data such as company and employee information. Transferring data to the cloud not only reduces clutter but also keeps confidential information secure. So, companies are safeguarding their planet as well as their stakeholders' data.

Currencies Going Digital

Some forward-looking companies are also leveraging digital solutions such as online payments and e-gift vouchers to reduce paper use, gradually yet substantially.

But why is this important? Because millions of trees are cut down every year to manufacture paper currency. Similarly, physical gift vouchers, which are more popular than ever, are also a major part of the burgeoning problem of paper and plastic use. According to some studies, making 10,000 paper gift vouchers requires cutting down one tree. With the Indian gifting industry slated to grow to USD 84 billion by 2024, how many millions of trees will be chopped down?

This is exactly where new-age platforms are stepping into the foray. Just as digital payments are replacing paper money, e-gift vouchers are emerging as a viable and environmentally sustainable alternative to physical gift vouchers.

Through their concept itself, these platforms are contributing to the upkeep of our environment. These digital vouchers can be bought online and redeemed by using an SMS or e-mail, thereby nullifying the need for physical vouchers.

This means that, if an e-gift voucher platform sells 10 million vouchers in a year and one tree is used to make 10,000 physical vouchers, it is equivalent to saving 1,000 trees. Further, since one tree produces 260 pounds of oxygen per year, an e-gift voucher company will be able to contribute to the creation of 260,000 pounds of oxygen in one year.

This the simple calculation makes it apparent that even one company that adopts a the digital-only approach can make a huge difference to the current environmental situation. Apart from the obvious ecological impact, this also allows for a simpler, more efficient, and sustainable gifting and redemption process. Such platforms, with their seamless e-gifting solutions, encourage customers to make the switch from physical vouchers to their digital, more environment-friendly counterparts – promoting sustainable practices that contribute to the preservation of our Mother Earth.

This World Environment Day, instead of cutting down trees, let's pledge to cut down on paper use. Technological innovation has enabled us to adopt a lifestyle that is not just efficient and fast-paced, but also mindful of the needs of our planet. Sustainable alternatives can be created to combat all human activity that is detrimental to our environment. The answer, evidently, lies in adopting digital solutions so that the world can move towards a truly paperless tomorrow.

Arvind Prabhakar

Co-Founder and CEO, GyFTR (Vouchagram)

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