Lees Paper-More Life Project
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Lees Paper-More Life Project

Last updated Nov 23, 2014

The Less Paper, More Life project seeks to establish a culture of responsible paper use in Ecopetrol, defining the guidelines and the application of electronic information management to increase productivity, generate savings and reduce the environmental impact caused by the use the paper. 

In its efforts to mitigate the environmental impact that administrative support causes due to the use of paper, since 2009 it has advanced efforts to position paper as a valuable resource within Ecopetrol, in order to improve and optimize processes to reduce paper use at a country level. 

To fulfill the project´s objectives, activities have been executed and benchmarks developed aimed at promoting responsible paper consumption habits , and at monitoring the results obtained. 

Thus, there has been involvement with areas of greatest consumption nationwide through awareness raising workshops, the provision of indicators and commitment sessions in Cartagena, Vasconia, Santa Marta, Barrancabermeja, Neiva and Bogotá, achieving not only awareness raising, but the commitment to reduce the use of paper by 10% within 2 months. With this activity, awareness has been raised amongst more than 660 people. 

In October 2011, the Ecopetrol No Printing Day was carried out for the first time, in a joint effort between VST, HSE, communications area, and the project, which resulted in a 9.8% decrease in the daily average. 

In 2011, action was taken in the Shared Services Center, in search of initiatives to reduce paper consumption. After reviewing the records generated by each of the services as evidence, several initiatives were identified that according to their impact on the organization, were assessed and then filtered for their implementation with the support of the different areas involved. The initiatives implemented in 2011 were:

  • Travel Logistics Management: The process was changed by reducing the requirement for copies and improving processing times. The paper saving with this initiative translates into 270,000 less pages per year.
  • Twin Contract Folders: Action has been taken in a contracting sub processes that is one of the largest consumers of paper in the entire organization, through an initiative that involves P8 development of the repository for storing documents, training in the process´ changes, a baseline survey on paper consumption and preparation of the mass P8 load file. By 2012, this process is projected to reduce its paper consumption by 500,000 sheets per year, only in Bogotá.

These initiatives not only reduced paper consumption in these services, but had an impact on times, reducing the service?s man-hours. 

Subsequently in 2012, action has focused on the processes in Supply Management, Financial Management and Human Resource Management, for which baseline paper consumption was identified for document transfers to the management file, SOX controls and the forms used for process management. This baseline was used to identify the document series that, within the document retention tables, generate the most paper and thus 12 initiatives were proposed that today are part of the Administrative Efficiency and Zero Paper Plan, created based on Presidential Directive 004 of April 3, 2012 from the Presidency of the Republic. 

Another initiative that has been worked on since last year, and supports the overtime management process, is the development of a solution in P8 for the approvals flow and the storage of documents. For this process, there is a defined baseline, stakeholder analysis and preliminary assessments, prior to the realization of the pilot. 

We also made formal delivery to the target group (Traders), of an electronic repository, in p8, for contract negotiation supporting documents from the International Trade Department, for the storage of documents, which is an initiative that had been in development since last year, supported by the project. 

Thanks to the support of the corporate communications office, it has been possible to establish monthly communication regarding the indicator on paper consumption within Ecopetrol, through Iris. 

In August 2011, the first Expert Level Meeting (RANE) on Electronic Documents was held, which enabled the integration of the project with national and international agencies. For the realization of this event, paper was not used and it was an example that has been adopted by the Company to generate events that are paper-free and that use technological tools to a great degree. 

During the Occupational Health Week (SemanaSO) the "Less Paper, More Life" competition was held, which involved 370 people divided into 12 groups. The group in first place managed a reduction of 68.93% in printing compared to the previous year, and the second placed team managed a reduction of 55.75%. 

Awareness was raised amongst 400 people directly through talks and workshops on issues related to printing indicators, responsible paper consumption habits, and support for paper saving initiatives within the processes 

Regarding achievements, we can be sure that a reduction in average paper consumption in Ecopetrol, of 23% since 2009 when the project started through to now, is the result of thousands of intangible contributions that are reflected in new behaviors, and a strong recognition of the words Less paper, More Life, which within Ecopetrol´s corporate culture are mentioned to remind us that we must be responsible in the use of paper. We have contributed to Ecopetrol´s environmental policy, reducing the environmental impact that administrative support generates in the company, saving about 200 trees per year, without including the contribution of initiatives implemented for the processes, which are estimated to save another 150 trees in 2012.