FEB 11, 2022

EcoChampions Devise Digital Solution That Makes Paperless Possible

Necessity is the mother of invention. The CN Customs Brokerage group in Brampton, ON, proved this to be true when they needed to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and invented a way to make it possible.

Their solution not only enables them to work remotely, but has eliminated reams of paper, freed up their printer and produced substantial cost savings.

“We handle as many as 12,000 clearances related to border crossings per month and each one includes multiple documents,” says Alice Peres da Silva, Senior Manager, Customs Brokerage. “Previously, every document came through our printer.”

When the pandemic started, team members were going into the office on a rotating basis in order to access the paperwork. “We said let’s see what can be done to change that,” says Alice.

Supervisors Lara Rebello and Krista Middleton with Analysts Jennifer Zhang, Shirfaz Faizal, Yong Liang,, Yanni Zhang, and May Jiang put their heads together and came up with a digital solution which uploads documents into the team’s LAN system and allocates each step of the clearance process by color. Once implemented, all team members were able to access and process the documents while completing their work remotely.

“We had been using more than 50,000 sheets of paper a month and are now down to zero,” says Alice, “We estimate we are saving $2,000 a month in costs, not to mention the environmental impact of going paperless. This solution also puts less of a burden on our printer. And it provides the flexibility to work remotely.”

For EcoChampion Alice, it was the outstanding team effort that made this win-win solution possible.

CN’s EcoConnexions Employee Engagement program – a partnership with Earth Rangers – drives sustainability across CN's network by empowering employees and their families to conserve energy, reduce waste, and improve housekeeping.

Visit our "Delivering Responsibly" section to learn more about sustainability at CN.