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Investment Firm Trades iPads for Thousands of Wasted Sheets of Paper

Welcome to the latest in what will almost certainly be a slew of green iPad related stories. You may recall that last month we reported on a TV station that replaced printed scripts with iPads, saving $2,000 a month in printing costs.

The latest company to tout how the iPad is saving them big bucks is SageView Advisory Group, an investment firm based in Irvine, Calif., but with offices across the country.

SageView has recently purchased a half-dozen iPads for their West and Northeast regional offices, with the goal of replacing thousands of printed pages for quarterly client meetings with sleek, multi-touch tablets.

The company is bringing the iPads, loaded with PDFs of investment materials, to meetings with clients instead of stacks of bound, printed material. Clients can then flip through the reports just like they would a printed report, but with less waste and more panache than a printed report.

SageView expects to save over 12,000 pages of paper per quarter through the use of the iPads. CEO Randall Long told me he expects that the company will eventually end up with 50 iPads or so (about $25,000 worth of iPads), but will recoup those costs within 3 months.

"So far the response has been great," Long explained, adding "no one's said, 'bring me that paper back!'"

{related_content}The iPad campaign was the evolution of an efficiency program that started last year, when SageView kicked off a corporate-wide duplex printing policy. Seeing the benefits of double-sided printing, and following the popularity of the iPad through the relentless media coverage, SageView realized that they were already sending PDFs of reports to clients (in addition to bringing printed copies), they realized that they could cut their paper use by much more than half if they moved more aggressively away from paper.

"It was a collaborative effort amongst the team," Long said," although we do have some Apple nerds on staff." He also expressed some surprise as to how well it's been perceived by the clients. Across the board, clients have been quick to grasp both the technology and its impacts.

Long said that although younger clients are already familiar with the touch-screen technology, the firm recently met with a client in his 70s who got up to speed nearly as quickly.

And SageView's iPad campaign has led to some interesting discussions about corporate environmentalism with clients.

"I think everyone's trying to be more environmentally friendly, and realizing how much paper they were printing in ink," Long said. "It's led to discussions with investment committees that we work with about what are we doing in our company, how can we implement some of these best practices to be more efficient."

That's two examples of companies that are really putting the iPad to work for green benefits; I'm still not sold that it's a planet-saver, given how many other gadgets it'll replace and send to landfill, but I'd love to hear more of these examples. Add them to the comments below or send me an email.

Photo CC-licensed by Flickr user

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