OB10 launches environmental program

August 4, 2010  |  Electronic Invoicing

OB10 (www.ob10.com), the leading global e-Invoicing network, today announced that it is launching an environmental program that recognizes its corporate and supplier customers who are taking significant steps to positively impact the environment by eliminating paper from their back-office accounts payable processes.

The initiative, titled the OB10 Green Program, is a continuation of OB10’s strong foundation of facilitating good environmental stewardship among its global customers and their suppliers. Paper-based invoicing is still a regular practice among many companies, whether they are sending and receiving invoices through the mail, implementing OCR or e-mailing an invoice that is printed at the recipient’s end.

By transitioning to OB10’s electronic invoicing network, companies have saved over 60 millions of sheets of paper as well as additional resources that go into the manufacturing and distribution of paper such as trees, oil, electricity and water. OB10 is recognizing a select number of customers and suppliers that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and e-Invoicing by awarding them the OB10 Green Award.

“OB10’s e-invoicing network automates and streamlines back-office accounts payable procedures in a manner that is environmentally prudent and makes good financial sense,” said Jamie Gunn, Chief Executive Officer for OB10. “In the course of our relationships, OB10 customers and suppliers have demonstrated an enthusiastic commitment to positively impacting our environment. We will continue to work with our customers and suppliers around the globe in a way that extends their sustainability programs while improving their bottom lines.”

For Accounts Payable OB10 Green Award winner and OB10 customer Mohawk Industries, a leading supplier of flooring for both residential and commercial applications, selecting OB10 as its e-Invoicing solution has complemented its sustainability platform that focuses on the five “Rs” - reduce, recover, reuse, renew, and recycle.

“Within five months of selecting OB10 as our e-Invoicing solution provider, more than 75 percent of our initial suppliers had enrolled in the OB10 Network, enabling our company to eliminate more than 400,000 paper invoices a year,” said Tracy Bryant, Accounts Payable Manager at Mohawk Industries. “The recognition of Mohawk’s sustainability efforts by Newsweek, Wal-Mart and the US General Services Administration is a testament to the strategic position that sustainability is given within our organization.”

As an OB10 customer, supplier to Mohawk and Accounts Receivable OB10 Green Award winner, Congoleum is another organization enhancing its green initiatives by leveraging the OB10 Network. To date, the New Jersey-based manufacturer of resilient sheet and tile flooring for both residential and commercial uses has saved more than 375,000 sheets, or three tons, of paper since joining the OB10 Network.

Congoleum isn’t the only supplier on the OB10 Network committed to sustainability. OfficeMax, a leader in business-to-business office products solutions and recipient of the Accounts Receivable Award, has saved over 300,000 sheets of paper, or the equivalent 40 trees, since joining OB10.

“We look for partners, like OB10, who deliver a value proposition that goes above and beyond the norm and helps us extend our environmental policy,” said William Bonner, Senior Director, External Relations at OfficeMax. “We believe there is more that we can achieve, so we always invite our associates, customers, shareholders and neighbors to join us in our effort to minimize adverse environmental impacts.”

In addition to the above, HP, an OB10 customer since 2003, also received the Accounts Payable OB10 Green Award. The recognition of HP illustrates the company’s commitment to electronic invoicing as a component of its overall environmental sustainability initiative.

OB10 will continue to recognize those organizations transacting on its network that are committed to sustainability. “As more organizations and their suppliers join the global OB10 e-Invoicing network, we’ll have a greater opportunity through the OB10 Green Program and accompanying award to hasten the permanent transition from paper to electronic invoicing,” said Jamie Gunn. “In addition, we offer a substantive way for our customers to decrease energy consumption, protect more of our green spaces, and facilitate good corporate citizenship and environmental sustainability.”

For more information about the OB10 Green Program, visit http://ob10.com/Country/US/OB10_Green_Program

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1 Comment

  1. This initiative is, I’m afraid, misguided. Promoting on line billing and communications may not be a sustainable way to market a business! It may bring companies directly in conflict with advertising authrities who are increasingly concerned by ‘Greenwash’.

    Encouraging customers to get their bills online and also stating that this is better for the environment is increasingly being questioned. In the past two months, faced with being reported to the Advertising Standards Association, (ASA), several very large nationally known UK organisations have stopped similar messages, having accepted they were being made without adequate research, contravening CSR Europe and CAP (Code of Advertising Practice) guidelines.

    Whilst the efficiency of electronic communication is clear and initiatives to reduce waste are to be encouraged, the Two Sides organisation, which exists to explore the Myths and Facts concerning the sustainability of Print and Paper, and has members spanning the whole Graphic Communications Value Chain, is concerned that incorrect and damaging impressions are being given if ‘go paperless’ initiatives are promoted as ‘green’ or seek to gain credibility by purporting to aid sustainability at the expense of the print and paper industry.

    It is increasingly clear that electronic communication and in particular the energy requirements of the increasing worldwide network of servers which are necessary to store all the information needed for immediate access, has a significant and increasing carbon footprint. Electronic document storage must be recognised as delivering efficiency but not sustainability. In the UK it has been suggested that PC’s and servers may consume up to 50% of household energy requirements in the next 10 years. Greenpeace has reported that electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream and there are extremely serious disposal costs emerging.

    All those who encourage customers to switch to e-billing, or any other form of electronic communication, largely to reduce costs, should re-examine their messages as it is certainly questionable whether e-billing or e-communication has a lower carbon footprint. In fact, with all the environmental costs of electronic communication and with many customers printing out their bills at home for reference, (a recent study has assumed this between 10% and 30 % depending upon whether you are a business or private consumer), at a possible higher environmental cost than a centrally produced and distributed bill, print and paper may well be the environmentally sustainable way to communicate.

    Paper is a renewable and recyclable product that, if responsibly produced and consumed, is an environmentally sustainable media. It is often surprising to learn that in Europe, where 93% of our paper comes from, the area of forest has grown by 30% since 1950 and is increasing at a rate of 1.5 million football pitches every year.

    And with 55% of the worldwide forest harvest being consumed for fuel and 34% for construction and other uses, only 11% is actually directly used for making paper.

    So, if your organisation is using messages that e-billing, or any other form of electronic communication, is more environmentally friendly than traditional print and paper, please check that you have not only calculated your own savings but also accurately assessed and calculated the downstream consequential costs.

    Misleading environmental claims are not only increasingly being examined by regulators but jeopardise the livelihood of the many thousands of people employed in the Graphic Communications Value Chain.

    It is encouraging that responsible organisations are now thinking carefully about the statements they make and ensuring that they are not simply repeating old misconceptions.

    Martyn Eustace
    Two Sides
    4th June 2010

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