The recent fires in the Amazon Rainforest have raised public awareness of the importance of trees! If you don't want to find out it's already too late when the next disaster strikes, then we must start taking our responsibilities to protect trees and the earth more seriously. One effective approach is to reduce paper usage. Given there are many simple ways of cutting paper usage, it only takes a few changes to our everyday habits to make a difference. If we can involve everyone around us, the impact may exceed our expectations.
We can start conserving papers in our personal life by choosing to receive various statements and bills in electronic format. These can include monthly bank and credit card statements, water bills, electricity bills and so on. Not only is it eco-friendly, it also saves time from having to handle and sort out the paperwork. This just makes sense.
Don't think that such a personal change cannot bring about change. According to Hong Kong's Water Supplies Department1, if every account in Hong Kong chooses electronic billing, 120 tonnes of paper – equivalent to 2,000 trees – can be conserved each year.
Going Paperless in the Office
The office is one of the places with the highest paper usage. A green group previously announced the results of a survey2 on paper use in the office, which showed that an average of 190 million pieces of paper are used in Hong Kong offices each week. The figure translates to 16,000 trees that had to be chopped down and over 19.3 million gallons of water used. If stacked vertically, the sheets of paper will be taller than 51 Hong Kong International Finance Centre Phase II buildings combined!
Fortunately, many businesses consider reducing paper usage as part of their corporate social responsibility and encourage their staff to do their part for the environment. Helpful practices include: two-sided printing, reusing papers and keeping a collection bin in the office to facilitate recycling. Companies can also leverage advances in cloud technology and document digitization to complement conservation. Having adopted the paperless approach, MSIG Hong Kong saved over 1 million pieces of paper – equivalent to 120 trees – in 2019 already.
Digitizing Application and Claims Forms
Many public and private organizations, not to mention governments, have started making some applications and claims forms electronic, as well as processing them on-line. Not only is the entire process simpler and more efficient than completing forms by hand, it also conserves paper.
To help protect trees and biodiversity, MSIG Hong Kong has introduced an online claims platform. Customers no longer have to worry about filling in, printing and posting paper forms. The entirely digitized journey can be completed much more quickly. As of November 2019, over 90% of MSIG Hong Kong customers have used the online platform to submit claims and upload supporting documents. We are deeply grateful for their commitment to helping protect the planet and making a difference for our future.