Go Digital, This 2023 Earth Day!

by PracticeLeague
April 2023
earth day

“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.”

—Helen Keller


Life is sustained by the Earth, which determines the nature of the existence of all life on Earth. On Earth Day, we recall and appreciate how fortunate we are to live here. This blog intends to draw your attention to the problems the planet is currently facing, how deforestation increases paper consumption, and how the legal sector is now the biggest consumer of paper. The idea of turning digital at courts, law firms, law offices, and businesses is also brought up, which would make a significant improvement in the management of deforestation. As we talk about moving digital, this blog offers solutions and details how cutting-edge technology may make those solutions better. Stay tuned for a truly informative blog!

Knowing the threats to the planet goes beyond cheering for Earth Day!

While the challenges are many, this blog talks about just one of these - how deforestation has had a significant impact on the planet in this blog. The incalculable number of trees taken down for logging and paper production is simply a catalyst for many problems that follow! Yes, cutting trees for a countless number of things itself is a huge topic to be discussed – trees are known to be central to life in many ways.

Despite the advent of digital technology, paper is still widely utilized every day. In actuality, more than 400 million metric tonnes of paper and cardboard are produced worldwide each year. The most common type of paper is packing paper and board, whose demand has risen recently as a result of the explosion in online shopping.

In 2021, 408 million tonnes of paper and paperboard were consumed worldwide. The expected increase in consumption over the next ten years will bring it to 476 million tonnes by 2032, as per a Statista Report (Statista - The Statistics Portal).

About four dozen sheets of paper are used daily by the average office worker in each industry, of which about half are considered waste. Paper makes up nearly 70% of all office waste, and up to 30% of print jobs are never even picked up from the printer. The amount of documents utilized by the legal sector is astounding. When it comes to the Law firm management system Legal technology could be used for Legal Document Management, Legal Billing, Litigation Management etc. for excellent transformation.

It's time to take appropriate action in light of the shocking figures mentioned above. It is time to consider going digital. More than half of the paper will be saved after we transition to using technological tools for the majority of tasks that require paper, which will result in saving several trees. It is highly advisable to choose these solutions when they are readily available to us.

India’s Legal System!

One tree may be felled and pulped to produce 8,333 sheets of virgin paper, according to Ruth Anne's study, "Conserving the Canvas: Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Legal Briefs by Re-imagining Court Rules and Documents Design Strategies." Additionally, it takes about 10 liters of water to make one sheet of paper. Based on the newspaper report in the year 2022, it was found that approximately 3 crore paper sheets have been saved in the past two years as a result of the Supreme Court of India's decision to switch all judicial submissions from legal to A4 size paper with the ability to print on both sides.

According to reports, this is a realistic estimate based on an annual average of 41,000 newly filed cases with 200 pages in each paper book. A committee of Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Hemant Gupta advised the switch from legal paper with one-side printing to A4 size paper with double-sided printing. This is a classic example of our legal system being not technologically advanced or a not embracing legal technology in legal transformation.

Former Chief Justice of India SA Bobde took the initiative to form the Committee as a step to protect the environment by reducing paper use (India’s Judiciary Uses (And Wastes) A LOT Of Paper. 11 Billion, To Be Precise (thequint.com). Based on the 2021 report by News18 (How Indian Courts Plan To Save Thousands of Trees By Reducing Paper Usage). Approximately 20,000 reams of green ledger paper, legal documents, and petition papers with wide margins are reportedly utilized annually in court and law offices. And the decision of the Supreme Court is expected to save 2800 trees and conserve 1Cr litre of water annually. Similarly, the High Courts of Calcutta, Karnataka, Kerala, Sikkim, Tripura, and Allahabad have also adopted green measures.

What's the way forward?

When the pandemic hit, It was the biggest game changer and introduced the role of technology in many fields. The legal industry is no exception. The courts have now completely altered the path, though. Covid-19 gave rise to a world bound by digital space.

As a result, courts likewise made changes to their system. Judges, attorneys, lawyers, and legal companies were urged to conduct their legal correspondence via email and other internet channels, using essentially no paper in the process. However, the Indian courts continued to set an example rather than stopping here. Legal technology tools, such as Legal CLM, contract management tools, matter and risk management systems, can always be used by legal corporations, firms, and lawyers to automate their job and produce better results.

The amount of paper utilized ultimately began to decline once it was discovered that both sides of the paper were being utilized. Imagine carrying this forward digitally - a world as much as possible is digital. This will bring an advanced legal technologically advanced nation. The information above gives us a clear illustration that suggests we cut down a significant number of trees each year to make paper.

This will have a direct impact on the Earth. The best course of action, when such a crisis is directly affecting the entire world, is in the legal business to go digital. By switching to digital alone, courts can save a million documents with effective technology and solid tools.

Concluding thoughts

While it will raise other questions on the sustainability scale, there are green options in them as well as answers. Key learning for us is to move ahead, slowly but in a planned manner, towards a progressively greener world. And what better way to start in our professional lives than to try and save the paper as far as possible? That also gives clear advantages in other ways to organizations. This way, where everyone wins and the business also gets identifiable takeaways like increased efficiency is perhaps the only way to build a greener world.

Being Pioneers in offering legal technology tools to prospective clients, PracticeLeague Legaltech Pvt. Ltd is already accelerating the pathway of going digital. Our goal is to globalize the digital connection between law and business through product services. Any such effort encourages sustainability across the board in the digital sphere. Isn't this gesture the best way to embrace modern technology on this Earth Day? Take advantage of PracticeLeague's product services for a better future, and celebrate Earth Day by going digital with PracticeLeague!