Why practice sustainability?
On average, paper bills consume as much energy per year as 20 million households. Especially in the context of climate change, it is therefore becoming increasingly important to make small differences in our everyday lives that have a significant impact on the big picture. In addition to the well-known changes, such as recycling, saving energy, etc., electronic invoicing can also have a sustainable effect, not only on the environment but also on your business.
With our modern technologies, we already have all the resources we need to prevent the numerous documents and papers that are probably lying around in your department, only to be passed on from one person to the next and eventually scanned or thrown away. In addition, paper invoices have a fairly short lifecycle, and trees have to be cut down to make up for it – about 10% of all trees cut down worldwide. So why not use an existing technology that completely replaces paper?
What are the advantages of e-invoicing?
The Bilentis report this year shows that automated e-invoicing enables cost savings of 60-80% compared to paper invoices.
How do these savings occur?
According to Bilentis, we can expect around 550 billion invoices worldwide, which could even quadruple by 2035. In contrast, only 55 billion invoices are processed electronically, but this number is increasing by 10-20% annually.
So what can be done for more sustainability?
The number of companies digitizing their invoicing processes is currently higher than ever, but huge amounts of paper are still being used and wasted, with the global sending of invoices also having an additional negative impact on trees and CO2 emissions.
After all, paper invoices generate three times more CO2 than electronic invoices, so e-invoicing is among one of the easiest ways for businesses to strive for sustainability. Even though the technology also causes some carbon emissions, e-invoicing still avoids a significant portion of the overall environmental impact. In addition to this, apart from paper consumption, companies can also help reduce fossil fuel pollution by eliminating traditional mail.
On average, an invoice is 2.5 pages long and requires a paper envelope and stamp. This includes shipping and the energy that must be used to turn a tree into a paper bill. In the process, the former tree loses its ability to absorb greenhouse gases and counteract climate change and global warming. Global deforestation is already a major problem that many are aware of.
As a result, the negative impact of paper invoices on our environment is significant and a better alternative is urgently needed. So, with the help of the switch to e-invoicing, on the one hand, deforestation can be curbed. On the other hand, e-invoicing can also improve your cash flow, making it a much better alternative for your business. There are good reasons why the digitization of invoicing processes is high on the agenda of many companies.
The problem in numbers
- 1 tree = 8,500 pieces of paper
- 1 million invoices = 118 trees
- 1 million invoices = 36 tons of CO2
- 1 billion invoices = 118,000 trees
What are the advantages for my company?
As mentioned earlier, e-invoicing improves the overall accounts payable process, where existing human resources can be used for value-added tasks instead of wasting time scanning and processing invoices. That’s because these processes are not only time-consuming but costly in the big picture.
In a study conducted by Sterling Commerce, it was proven that companies that switch from paper invoices to e-invoicing can save up to 90% of costs within their accounts payable department. In addition, the study found that manually processed invoices cost an average of $30, while fully automated invoices only cost $3.50 per invoice. If invoices contained errors, correcting these errors cost a company as much as $53.50 on average.
Take the step to change now!
With this, we find that the automation and digitization of the entire invoicing process represent better transparency and control of corporate spending. It also makes it easier to ensure global regulatory and tax compliance for all countries and to archive all invoices. This is because digital archiving can achieve savings of 67% on supplier invoices over a 10-year period compared to other archiving methods.
Consequently, with the help of e-invoicing, we can extend the life expectancy of trees and do business with a clear conscience, since not only costs and resources are saved, but you and your company also make an active contribution to sustainability.
Switching to e-invoicing is thus a responsible choice for the planet and should be considered by those companies that want to establish more efficient business practices in the future in order to actively contribute to the protection of the environment. This is because e-invoicing not only changes the way you do business, it significantly optimizes it. This makes e-invoicing a modern and secure way to improve the efficiency, costs, and satisfaction of your employees and business partners while reducing your company’s carbon footprint and proactively striving for sustainability.
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