The government of India has taken a lot of initiative to cut down the usage of paper. The biggest effort to cut the usage of paper was undertaken by IRCTC for internet ticket booking. Almost 5 lakh A4 size papers were used daily for taking print out. Now with a declaration that SMS is valid for ticketing is a boon for travellers as well an eco friendly feature in the right direction. The department of company affairs has mandated that hard copy of annual reports need not be published and circulated to shareholders instead soft copies can be shared. There is no need of hold share certificates in physical form which is under Demat, which has also lead to greater savings.
I feel the day is not far off when we get into the habit of reading newspaper on the net or viewing news on TV channels. Further maybe even reading novels in PDF forms. If this logical step is taken forward how long will it take school text books, research papers, examination etc are conducted online. This would ensure that tonnes and tonnes of paper being saved along with the need for storage. This will eliminate the need to slaughter trees, reduce chemicals in form of ink production and save storage space for the same.
The most essential credentials such as school marks card, degree certificates, property documents, recognition & awards etc which are vital needs to have hard copy, so that manipulation can be avoided. The only flip side of these moves is that legally there can be manipulation when it comes to evidence production. The present system of preserving the evidence in hard copy format helps in court matters. However finger printing and retina technology will ensure that fake signatures are not incorporated.
Cash less economy too will help in bringing down crime rates. The introduction of internet transfer of funds, cellphone transfers and wire transfer of funds helps in reducing paper less transaction. This will eliminate fake currency under circulation and eliminate crimes in the form of mugging to an extent.
I hope the day is not far when we are able to use less and less of paper which will help in reducing deforestation. This will in turn ensure that rainfall does not get disturbed due reduced green cover. It will help us maintain the balance in flora and fauna too. Overall moving toward paper less economy should be endeavour at each and every level of enterprise. Only the accountants will have an issue in accounting I presume.