If just 20 percent of American households switched to paperless billing for things like utilities and mortgages, it would prevent nearly 700 million pounds of greenhouse gases from being produced, according to NACHA – the electronic payments association.
Electronic billing is on the rise. Americans wrote just 18.3 billion paper checks in 2010, down from 37.3 billion in 2000. Yet many business owners still struggle to get customers to switch to paperless billing.
An appeal to conscience might be the answer. Here are some tips to help you sway consumers with an eco-responsibility message.
1. Have an Environmental Mission Statement
On your website (and all marketing materials), be sure to include an environmental mission statement that outlines your commitment to the planet. And in that statement, highlight the importance of moving away from a paper-based society.
2. Alert Your Customers to Your Electronic Billing Option
When you send out brochures, marketing materials and invoices, you need to alert your customers to the fact that you offer paperless payment options. Lead every message with the environmental benefits of electronic bill pay. And then wrap up that message by touting the many conveniences that electronic bill pay offers.
We recommend sending out these alerts electronically if possible. But you may need to mail some materials by post in order to reach a wider audience.
3. Make It Visual
We read somewhere that 92% of Americans love statistics. There’s nothing like a good infographic to visualize the environmental impact of paper consumption. Consider these shocking statistics:
- North Americans use more paper per capita than any other region of the world — roughly 500 pounds every year.
- Industrial-scale paper production is the third most energy-intensive manufacturing industry on the planet. And it is the fourth largest source of greenhouse gases in the manufacturing sector.
- In the United States, the average office worker uses nearly 10,000 sheets of copy paper annually.
- According to the EPA, paper represents up to 27 percent of all municipal waste throughout the country.
- The amount of paper and wood that Americans throw away is enough to heat more than 50 million homes for the next two decades.
Has Your Business Switched to Electronic Billing?
Of course, we’re assuming your company has already embraced paperless billing. If not, making the switch could cut down your printing, postage and handling costs and reduce the paper trail your business leaves behind.
To learn how easy it is to switch to electronic billing and invoicing, speak with one of our payment experts.