Fundtech Accountis: E-invoicing and the Environment

February 28, 2011  |  Electronic Invoicing

The amount of paper wasted in the UK each year is mind-blowing. We consume approximately 12.4 million tonnes of paper every year, and according to Envirowise around 60-80% of all office waste is paper. Considering that each invoice amounts to an average of 3 sheets of A4 paper, it is not difficult to see just how much global waste this amounts to when looking at the number of invoices your company produces each year.

Issuing and receiving paper invoices is causing organisations to persistently waste high volumes of paper, due to the fact that manually printed invoices frequently incur mistakes and end up being resent. With e-invoicing ( however, this is completely avoided due to the fact that electronic systems will instantly pick up and rectify errors prior to the invoice being sent. An extra benefit is that whereas paper invoicing requires masses of storage, e-invoices are all stored digitally which removes the need to fill cabinets jam-packed full of hard copy invoices for several years; which of course end up being destroyed anyway in accordance with the data protection act.

Additionally, the global impact of wasted paper is a mounting concern. According to recent statistics, within just 15 years approximately 20% of Africa’s forests will be gone. The World Conservation Union’s Red List has confirmed that more than 12,000 species (out of the 40,000 assessed) will end up facing extinction as a result. This equates to an alarming 1 bird species in 8, 13% of all flowering species and a huge 25% of all mammals being affected.

Invoicing electronically is hitting environmental issues right at the very core. Reduction in fuel and energy also occurs when invoices don’t need to be carted around in a Royal Mail van, and as a result will help preserve our dwindling fuel resources. It is estimated that just one paper invoice leaves a 100g carbon footprint, meaning that if an average company sends out 12,000 invoices per year this would save 14.4 tonnes (1) of carbon, 57.6 trees (2), 180,000 litres (3) of water and 1872kg of solid waste (3).

Fundtech have an excellent ‘Green Calculator’ ( on their Accountis EIP website, which will calculate and display the approximate carbon footprint, number of trees, amount of water and solid waste you could end up saving with e-invoicing. Viewing these figures in plain back and white is undeniably shocking.

By removing the need for printed invoices, e-invoicing is addressing environmental issues by helping save forests, preserve energy, and saving oxygen. By opting for e-invoicing, not only will you be replacing a slow, inaccurate manual process with a smooth, more efficient electronic service, you will be saving an astounding amount of energy and resources the second you make the switch. With all of these positives, it is tricky to understand why some companies are still issuing invoices as paper documents ( at all.

(1). Ind. est. of 1 inv.=100g carbon footprint
(2). Euro Banking Association Report 2008
(3). Environmental Defence Fund

Fundtech FSC Ltd is an international provider of invoicing scanning ( and payment services including Bacstel-IP, direct debit and direct credit management, account validation and SWIFT.

Founded in 2002, Accountis became part of the Fundtech group in early 2008 and processes over 1 million transactions every day. The Fundtech trusted transaction network is used by many of the World’s largest corporations to leverage existing systems and maximise efficiencies across the financial supply chain.

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