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1 million paper pages made digital and 100 trees planted by Hinckley & Rugby

Our staff have hit an impressive target in their commitment to helping Hinckley & Rugby become a more sustainable organisation, digitising one million paper documents.

In February 2019, we set a goal – to scan paper documents in a bid to increase sustainability and become more environmentally friendly. The initiative is a component of the Society’s wider digital strategy and has seen all departments getting involved to scan as many of its paper records and documents as possible. Through these efforts, in August 2020, we reached the fantastic milestone. We are very proud that all of our staff have played a part, whether in branches or head office, and have contributed to making the Society a greener organisation.

Our teams believe in digitalisation and its positive effects on reducing the amount of paper printed, and ultimately how much paper goes to waste. All of the pages scanned will never be printed again and are stored on a secure digital document archiving system – however after some calculations, we found that one million pages equates to roughly 63 trees.

To offset the historic paper we have used, the Society has committed to planting 100 trees with EForests in areas where they are most needed. This contribution will not only replace trees used for printing, but will also help the Society with carbon offsetting, a process which offers a way to cancel out our carbon footprint through tree planting and sustainable energy projects.

While we have reached this milestone and cut down drastically on paper waste, the other benefits of going digital and paper-free include reducing physical storage costs and saving space in the office. Minimising the use of printers means a saving on electricity and less usage of toners too.

Previously, our lengthy, computer-generated reports were printed, requiring a considerable amount of paper. However, as part of the scanning project, all of our old paperwork is now being digitised and fed into an online system. This is one of the key areas which has helped in achieving one million scans in the last 18 months.

Colin Fyfe, CEO of Hinckley & Rugby Building Society says:

“This project reflects our aim to increase the sustainability agenda within the organisation and instil this message amongst all our staff. We are continually looking at ways to become more environmentally friendly and this is one of the areas where we can make a big difference to achieve a greater goal.”

When Hinckley & Rugby’s head office staff moved into their new headquarters in 2019, the scanning project was well under way and there was lots of paper that had already been scanned and needed to be disposed of – by recycling, of course. A group of Society staff volunteered to help with the clearing which took all day and amounted to a large lorry’s worth of paper.

The Society is committed to continuing to scan its existing documents, and to working more digitally, to help the environment and reduce waste, while also looking at other ways to be greener.

Colin Fyfe is the CEO of Hinckley & Rugby Building Society and is the Chair of the Building Societies Association’s Green Finance Taskforce.

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