Evaluating impacts of paper and electronic billing and invoicing business systems from an environmental and energy perspective.

Publication date: Jul 12, 2023

The environmental and energy impacts of ICT were identified using a comparative life cycle assessment (CompLCA) focused on business invoicing processes comparing online to paper processes. There were net energy benefits from online billing. The potential impact across the economy and society is large, particularly as COVID-19 has forced many businesses and government services to shift to online service provision. For one million bills produced electronically and received by customers instead of a paper bill, 18. 9 t COe is avoided, which translates to a national saving of 22,680 tCOe, assuming 1. 2 billion annual invoicing transactions. The impacts of CO are sensitive, however, to several assumptions. The study’s originality was to show the range of invoicing variables that impact energy and the environment and to highlight which ones can be influenced. For example, the number of online bills produced was the most sensitive. However, the results are reversed under commonly occurring customer use situations. The study demonstrates the positive and negative impacts from the digitalisation of businesses. It suggests remedies based on the main drivers identified under company, contractor and customer control that led to energy consumption and environmental and land use impacts.

Concepts Keywords
Annual Business processes
Businesses E-business
Covid Electronic invoicing
Digitalisation Energy usage
Environmental Environmental impact
Land use impact


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO company

Original Article

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