State program reduces paper use while saving money, resources

In July, State of Hawaii Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) announced that a six-month paper-reduction pilot program involving nine state departments reduced paper use by 20 percent, which translates to a savings of one million sheets of printed paper.

One of Gov. David Ige’s first goals for his administration was to transform government into a more paperless and digital process.

“I am told that the state goes through about one million pages a month,” Ige said in his first State of the State address back in 2015. “That’s about 12 million pages a year. A little effort could go a long way to alter that. A change in mindset could take us so much further. We must reduce the amount of paper we use every day…”

Three and a half years later, the governor is applauding the state’s successful efforts to transform from a paper-dependent culture to a digital environment, which also improves public accessibility to government documents and increases transparency for our citizens.

“As we continue to reduce paper processes and transform government through digitalization, it encourages the adoption of new technology, while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our S]state,” said Todd Nacapuy, state chief information officer, who leads ETS. “Paper reduction is beneficial for the environment as well as for our tax payers.”

According to ETS, one of the ways they reduced paper usage was transitioning departments into producing electronic reports instead of printing hard-copy documents. ETS projects additional benefits in coming years as more departments and agencies reduce or entirely eliminate printed paper reports by moving to digital documents. In three years, ETS even projects a savings of $500,000 and 10 million sheets of printed paper.

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