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DocuSign Aims to Impact Sustainability at WashU

Photo of forest taken by Steven Kamenar.

Written by Brian Lallish, Communications Specialist, Office of the Vice Chancellor & Chief Information Officer

Does your department or group use written agreements that require ink-on-paper signatures with a printing, faxing, scanning, and emailing process? Washington University in St. Louis uses DocuSign to automate and manage documents that require signatures. DocuSign enables faculty, staff, and students at WashU to easily collect eSignatures on documents sent to collaborators and colleagues on campus and around the world. With DocuSign, electronic signatures can be securely and easily collected. Anyone with a WUSTL Key can use the WashU DocuSign account free to quickly sign and submit crucial documents. 

The DocuSign electronic signature service has significantly reduced businesses reliance on traditional, more antiquated methods of communication by revolutionizing the way documents are shared, signed and stored. DocuSign eSignature service eliminates the need to print, fax, scan, mail, and store paper documents by providing a fast, green, easy-to-use electronic document signing process.  

As a result of the streamlined workflows, people have more time to allocate to other tasks. DocuSign enables us to work towards the university’s goal of a more sustainable future by eliminating the large amount of energy used to produce the paper to print and recycle agreements.  

These figures represent data as of December 1, 2021.

Since 2003,* DocuSign has helped replace over 38 billion sheets of paper, saving an estimated 4 million trees, 4 billion gallons of water, 3 billion pounds of CO2, and 64 million kilograms of solid waste in the process. Today, as COVID-19 accelerates the shift to virtual work, modern systems of agreement increasingly power the shift to digital agreements online. As part of ongoing efforts, DocuSign has recently made the commitment to being carbon neutral by the calendar year 2022.  

That commitment is what excites us about offering DocuSign’s services to the WashU community. Washington University in St. Louis is fully committed to being a national leader in sustainability, a core priority that runs through all aspects of our community, our operations, and our work as a leading teaching and research institution.  

*Estimates of paper savings are current as of September 2021 and are based on the aggregate number of transactions via DocuSign eSignature since the company was founded in 2003. The model assumes that recipients of a document would print the document once, on average.