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Basware reports e-invoicing can cut carbon emissions by 30%

Thursday 28th February, 2019

Basware has published a detailed review of the climate impact of its e-invoicing services. According to the report the transformation from paper invoicing to e-invoicing can cut down carbon emissions by more than a third.

Most of the emissions savings compared to paper-based systems, comes from improved efficiency in invoice handling. Companies reap the benefit of a reduced carbon footprint when employees spend fewer hours on tasks which are better automated. These efficiencies positively impact reducing electricity and commuting costs.

Printing, distribution and paper manufacturing also affect the carbon impact results, but overall their share of the savings is smaller than the efficiency advantage e-invoicing brings. Surprisingly, the emissions of computing are not a big factor as most paper-based systems today involve scanning and further handling by computers as well.

“Digitalisation of financial services is partly about making processes more efficient. Greater efficiencies help our customers build more sustainable businesses,” Vesa Tykkyläinen, CEO of Basware. “Basware customers have a distinct advantage in this regard and we are pleased to help quantify carbon emissions savings through this research.”

The research noted the increasing energy efficiency of cloud computing. The energy demand for production and operation of outsourced servers has only seen limited growth since 2010, despite the rapid increase in demand for their services. Future decarbonisation of the electricity grid will improve and further benefit the aim of cutting carbon emissions.

The report was composed by reviewing five different studies researched by universities and businesses during the past decade. Three additional sources of emissions in the Basware value chain were identified as being the production and operation of outsourced servers, customer office energy use, and customer travel.

Basware reports its carbon emissions regularly to UK-based environmental reporting organisation CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project). 70 % of Basware carbon emissions result from electricity use and business travel.