Over the past 3 years, DG CONNECT has managed to reduce the number of copies of paper publications we produced from 68,400 to 4,480, a reduction of 93.5%.
This is illustrated best by one significant change in the way we communicate as a public institution to a group of our key stakeholders: a couple of years ago, we moved from producing annual telecoms implementation & benchmarking reports – a brick of a document with 500 pages – to a web-based scoreboard, where the data is available for download and graphics are as important as text.
While we may produce the odd A4 leaflet from the in-house print shop or print out a couple of papers if people ask for it, we are committed to no longer paying to print the kind of brochures & glossy reports which have traditionally been the mainstay of Commission communication, but which have often failed to achieve the intended impact.
Aside from aligning our communication output with our overall policy goals as a Digital Department, this decision helps us reduce our paper consumption. It also means we no longer pay storage & distribution costs for paper publications. Storage costs had been brought down to double figures last year, but it is clear that sending people a web link is not only cheaper but also quicker & more likely to lead to someone browsing for related information elsewhere on the Internet.
Most importantly, this enables us to focus our resources on what we do best: DG CONNECT has made great strides in engaging with our stakeholders on line, combining a new open-source based web site with our social media presence across blogs, Twitter & Facebook.