Run a Greener Business with Virtual Data RoomsAuthor: Dmitry Vavilkin
Before the creation of commercial computing, businesses were run with pen and paper and used bulky storage methods to store their data. For most people who are entering the work force these days, however, running a business without the use of computers seems impossible. Combined with the use of the internet, the world has benefited from a seemingly infinite number of new ideas that increase efficiency and productivity. With this movement to digital data storage, we see a great reduction in the need for paper in the workplace. If you still happen to be using those outdated, physical methods of information sharing and storage, here are some tips on how to move your business to the virtual realm. In particular, how using a virtual data room (VDR) can help you do this and create a greener business; something everyone should be striving for by now.
What is a Virtual Data Room?
Before we look at how using a virtual data room can help your business become more environmentally friendly, we first have to understand what exactly these things are. VDRs operate to replace physical data rooms, something any information-intensive process that requires security would normally involve. They are online repositories of information that a business can use to safely store and share their information. Employing the use of cloud computing, users can access their VDRs from anywhere and at any time. Not only does this improve efficiency in decision-making, but it also removes the need to travel to a physical data room to view the necessary documents. This means they will benefit your business in terms of speeding up transaction times and decreasing costs.
With the organizational and sharing tools that VDR solutions provide, companies often use them as a means of data distribution within the company as well as to outside parties. Not only is this more efficient for employees as they don’t have to find hardcopies of documents in huge piles of paper, but it also cuts costs that are incurred in buying storage space and paper. This, coupled with the security features that VDRs provide, means that they are great for any business that wants efficiency in any process, especially information-heavy processes such as performing due diligence. Security was the one main risk for businesses in going digital, but that has all but been cured by the creation of VDRs.
How Can They Help You Be Greener?
If a tool (in this case VDRs) can just about completely remove any need for paper, there’s no question that it will make a business greener. Paper is the number one largest single component of solid waste, accounting for over 25% of all waste sent to landfills and incinerators. Among other things, paper decomposes to release methane gas, a greenhouse gas that is roughly thirty times (!) as potent as carbon dioxide. As such, reducing paper use is imperative in our environmentalism quest.
Aside from paper production, a large cause of deforestation around the world is industrialization and urbanization. You might be thinking: “how is this relevant to me and my VDR?” Well, as we expand, we need more storage space to store old documents or to house our own server rooms. Using a VDR will mostly eliminate the need for either of these things as all of your data will be stored in secure centers that are more compact and efficient.
As previously stated, the use of VDRs instead of physical data rooms removes the need to bring potential investors or bidders in to view documents relevant to the transaction. This will lead to a lower fuel usage as you won’t have to fly or drive them to your premises. You may not think this is a lot, but considering that transportation accounts for about 27% of global emissions, it will add up as businesses around the world start to evolve into the digital space.
Data centers do, obviously, need large amounts of electricity to run their servers 24/7 so that you always have access to your data. However, there is an increasing trend of using renewable energy sources to provide said electricity. As such, most of these centers are probably greener than the warehouses that you would have had to use to store your hardcopy documents, with their need for constant temperature and humidity control.