Is chasing paper a thing of the past?

Just think of all the paper we haven’t used in the past year!

Communications and Public Relations
April 23, 2021

This week we observed Earth Day at a time when many of our habits and impacts on the environment have changed radically. Daily commutes to the office and the CO2 emissions associated with them feel like a thing of the past. Airline travel is still far below pre-pandemic levels. Bicycle sales, for Pete’s sake, have skyrocketed.

Which leads us to wonder which of these changes we will hold on to post pandemic and ask what more we can do to be less wasteful and reduce our environmental impact.

Think of all the paper we haven’t used in the past year!

Two LAA departments have gone the distance in that respect. Our Business Intelligence team operates in a paperless environment and now our Finance department is on the very brink: it uses paper only in transactions in which the provincial government demands hard copy.

But it’s the million little things that lead to big change.

And there are, as pointed out by Finance Director Dale Burgess, multiple reasons for going paperless. It’s good for business continuity and emergency and disaster recovery.

“Finance does things like this for good business reasons,” he says, crediting finance Manager of Accounting and Reporting Dale Smith with leading the charge to go paperless.

“A lot of lawyers like paper—they’re comfortable with it. But the pandemic has helped us with that. Working remotely, you don’t have a choice.”

“I was banging the drum right from the beginning,” says Smith. “A lot of lawyers like paper—they’re comfortable with it. But the pandemic has helped us with that. Working remotely, you don’t have a choice.”

Lost or misplaced documents and waste of paper are no longer challenges when working in a paperless environment, and Smith says it simply improves productivity.

“It’s easier for me to do my job when I just have to click on a file instead of go looking for a file folder that has been misplaced,” she said.

Smith adds that her team was able to transition to a work-from-home scenario smoothly because it already made enormous strides toward going paperless.

Government and courts still rely heavily on hard copies of documents but Smith has seen significant changes during the pandemic and expects some will be permanent.

“I think the way the pandemic has played out has shown us that we need to be prepared to work under any circumstances. This happened fast, and our team was ready.”

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