Niagara Catholic School District turns to e-docs to cut paper and transport costs

2009 Green 15: Electronic content management system helps schools save both time and trees

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Moreover, school administrators waste less time and fuel travelling between locations to collect documents and signatures. "When we look back now at where we are, there is not one person in our department that would ever want to go back to paper again," says Lana Pasto, human resource coordinator for the district.

With its ECM implementation, the NCSDB was able to reach its sustainability goals by drastically cutting the district's paper consumption while unlocking new efficiencies and cutting costs. For example, the district can now publish its monthly newsletter online rather than printing it and mailing it out, thus sparing the lives of many trees while saving the district $38,000 per year on printing and postage. Additionally, the board has eliminated one courier driver responsible for transporting hard copies among locations, thus reducing wear and tear on local roads, cutting down on fuel usage, and saving money.

Additionally, now that the district's HR department has digitized some 800,000 documents, the NCSDB is no longer struggling with a shortage of storage space. Furthermore, 8,000 old hanging folders previously used to store paper documents were given to the district's elementary schools, "thus giving them money to spend on other things rather than stationery for the school," says Pasto.

"We [also] took the used binders and sent them to schools with students whose parents couldn't afford to buy them binders. Other binders were shipped to third-world countries. We're all about recycling," says Pasto.

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