‘What Did You Do To Stop Climate Change, Daddy?’ A Sobering Perspective On World Paper Free Day 2015

I can’t help but think about that old recruitment poster from the First World War that features an ashamed dad hiding behind his newspaper after one of his kids asks him, in all innocence, What did you do in the War, Father?

I know that’s a manipulative image and a lot of people have big reservations about that military message.

But I don’t ever want one of my children or grandchildren asking me something similar about another sort of ‘war’ we’re all engaged in, with our being conscious of it or not:

And that’s the war to save the Planet from our own industrial and lifestyle excesses.

So my nightmare version of that poster goes something like this:

What are you going to say when they ask, What did you do when we knew that climate change was caused by Mankind – was it nothing, Pop?

Sorry. That’s quite heavy, I know.

But we’re dealing with heavy, serious issues here.

Probably nothing less than the future viability of the world.

That’s partly why I am a strong backer of our #WPFD initiative here at AIIM.

‘#WPFD,’ of course, is the handle for our World Paper Free Day annual global campaign to draw attention to the benefits of cutting back on the endless paper we pump out, needlessly, in our 21st century lives.


After all, paper is an industrial product – they grow trees commercially for it, but paper isn’t what’s burning down the rainforests.

It’s the farming, transportation and supply chain around it, the disposal of product, as well as the vast amounts we spend on printing it all (from the oceans of chemicals that it needs to the costs of working with it in offices) – that’s a serious addition to our global carbon footprint.

Let’s all do what we can to promote this great cause

We want to make that footprint as light as we can – We are sure you do too.

So can I ask you to spread the word with us? 2015 World Paper Free Day is taking place only a week away now, on Friday, 6th November – check out our dedicated micro-site here

It would be so helpful if you could sign up and take the ‘Pledge’ with us – or if you already have, suggest a colleague or customer or other contacts who might want to join in this year too?

We’ve got some great buzz around #WPFD 2015, but I have no shame in wanting to generate more!

After all, I don’t want to hide my face or be evasive if things go the wrong way and we end up unable to reverse or contain the side-effects of anthropogenic climate change.

That’s not a War any one of us wants to fight – so let’s all do our bit to head it off.

Thanks for any help you can give the campaign for less paper in our lives,

John Mancini


John is President of global information managers community group AIIM

Here at thedmcollaborators, we agree with John and the principles he’s talked about here. So we’d love the UK DM community to get behind #WPFD, as it’s a campaign that promotes business adoption of paper-less working and digital ways of working with content.

The simplest way to do that is for you and your team to ‘sign the pledge’ and agree to go paper-free on November 6. Find out about signing up here. There, you can easily download the logo and automatic updates on what the rest of your paper-banners are up to.

As an added incentive, be aware that each registration means one immediate contribution to this year’s supported charity, One Laptop Per Child, a drive to put tech in the hands of children in the developing world.

If you are feeling inspired by all this – and we hope you are! – then you can go one step further by entering a fun competition AIIM’s set up with Fujitsu.

If you take a photo that somehow illustrates the hassles that paper creates in your worklife or office, share it on social media with the #WPFD hashtag, and a joint AIIM-Fujitsu team will be looking out for it. Be as creative and humorous as you like, that’s what the competition’s all about – and if you win, one of five of the new lovely Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 mobile scanners will be on their way to you.

Finally, follow all the #WPFD fun online at all the links below – but don’t just follow it, join in the debate. We want to know things like, How is your company getting rid of paper? What is the business process that’s most benefited from having paper squeezed out of it? Is paper an issue in your personal or home life? What do you want to see as the lasting result of #WPFD 2015? And so on – don’t be shy about sharing your views.

Twitter and #wpfd
Google +

See you on the Day – which is, one last time, Friday, November 6, 2015. Good luck to all #WPFD supporters!


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