Eco-Friendly Document Design: How Your Business Can Contribute To Sustainability

In today’s fast-evolving business environment, the push for sustainability has transcended being merely a trend; it’s now a crucial imperative. As a professional you play a vital role in this movement. An often-overlooked aspect where you can make a significant impact is through your company’s document design. At Make Better Documents, we are dedicated to blending eco-conscious practices with professionalism. Here are actionable steps your business can take to adopt eco-friendly document design, demonstrating that responsibility and efficiency can indeed coexist.

1. Shift to Digital Formats

The simplest step towards sustainability is minimising physical printouts. Digital documents are not only eco-friendly but also more accessible and manageable.

2. Select Eco-Friendly Fonts

Some fonts require less ink to print. Choosing fonts like Garamond or Times New Roman is not only professional but also ink-efficient.

3. Adopt Efficient Document Layouts

Design your documents to minimise paper usage when printed. Adjust layout elements like margins, spacing, and font size to use less paper. Even opting to not have printing go edge can save ink and trimming excess paper.

4. Encourage Double-Sided Printing

For essential documents that must be printed, advocate for double-sided printing. This practice can cut your paper usage in half.

5. Utilise Cloud Storage

Cloud storage reduces the need for physical document storage and paper use. It also improves document accessibility and collaboration.

6. Prefer Recycled Paper

When printing is unavoidable, choose recycled paper made from post-consumer waste. This significantly lowers the environmental impact of your document production. Another considerations for paper is choosing non-bleached paper. If not choosing recycled paper, at least choose FSC-certified paper.

7. Embrace Digital Signatures

Moving to digital signatures removes the need to print documents for signing, making your operations more efficient and eco-conscious. As a bonus, this method is usually quicker than printing and signing manually.

8. Discourage Email Printouts

Promote a culture that discourages printing emails unless absolutely necessary. Most emails can be archived digitally for future reference. You can easily add a message to your email signature that makes it clear your business discourages printing emails.

9. Adopt Sustainable Design Practices

Collaborate with designers knowledgeable in creating both visually appealing and eco-friendly documents, using sustainable design principles. Some examples include the use of certain paper and ink.

10. Educate Your Team

Raising awareness is crucial. Teach your team about the importance of eco-friendly practices and their role in mindful document handling and design.

11. Move Towards a Paperless Policy

Aim for a paperless office. Start with digital meetings, online forms, and electronic memos.

12. Choose Environmentally Friendly Ink

If printing is necessary, opt for soy or vegetable-based inks, which are less harmful to the environment than petroleum-based inks.

13. Optimise Document Management Systems

Invest in document management systems that enable efficient digital filing, searching, and sharing to reduce unnecessary printing. These systems also offer the ability to select who has access to the documents.

14. Keep Digital Documents Updated

Ensure digital documents are always current to avoid needless printing of outdated versions, saving on paper and ink. This can be managed with your document management system.

15. Promote Responsible Paper Waste Disposal

Set up recycling programmes within your office to ensure proper recycling of any unavoidable paper waste.

16. Tailor Documents for Efficiency and Reduced Waste

Instead of relying on one-size-fits-all printouts that often lead to surplus, custom-tailor your documents to meet the precise needs of your audience. This approach not only prevents waste but also enhances the effectiveness of your communications. Utilising bespoke digital templates allows for this customisation while maintaining an eco-friendly ethos.

17. Perform Regular Audits

It is likely that your business is already performing sustainability audits. Don’t forget to add documents to that list. Continuously review your document handling practices to identify sustainability improvement areas. Hopefully you got some ideas from this list.

18. Lead by Example

Management should lead by example, adopting and advocating these practices in their workflows to encourage team adoption.

19. Explore Technology for Sustainability

Investigate new technologies that support sustainability, like eco-friendly printers and energy-efficient devices for document management. Perhaps moving contracts and proposals to electronic format with e-signatures.

20. Seek Professional Assistance

Consider engaging experts like Make Better Documents to efficiently implement these strategies. Our bespoke document design services ensure your business’s sustainability commitment is evident in every aspect of your document handling and design processes.


Adopting eco-friendly document design practices not only benefits the environment but also positions your business as a progressive, responsible leader in your industry. At Make Better Documents, we’re here to help you achieve this goal. Working together, we can devise a document design strategy that aligns with your eco-conscious objectives without compromising on professionalism or efficiency. Contact us today to discover how we can help transform your document management practices towards a greener future.

Kassandra Marsh

Kassandra Marsh

Document Designer and Owner of Make Better Documents