There are a number of ways in which you can make sure that your board meetings are green. The most common way is to invest in a web-based board portal system. However, meeting remotely is not always an option. Other options include: receiving electronic rather than printed documents and receiving links to news articles rather than printed versions.
In discussions with corporate, municipal and non-profit businesses, a common complaint is the amount of paper and time that goes into creating Board Packets. I learned of one board that meets bi-monthly, has 40+ members and each board packet contains an average of 100 pieces of paper. Think about all of the boards out there… school boards, government boards, corporate boards, non-profit boards, hospital boards… it’s endless. AND think of all of the paper, printing, collating, stapling and shipping that is required to get these packets into member’s hands. THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!
One solution is to invest in a web-based board portal system that allows for secure, on-line board governance. There are several companies that offer these services. Although pricing and specialties vary, common attributes allow board members to securely:
- Upload and view board packets (agenda, supporting documents, policies, drawings)
- Vote online
- Discuss and collaborate online
- Archive all past board packets
- Track all board actions
- View the calendar
Stated advantages of web-based board portal systems include increased efficiency and effectiveness of the board where members have more time to read materials, prepare for meetings and collaborate; ease of assembly and distribution, and the saving of time and money. Here are a few of companies that offer this service:
Company & Specialty
Board Effect– Non-profit; healthcare, education
BoardVantage – Clients of all sizes
My Board Packet – Clients of all sizes
Boardbook – School districts
Directors Desk – Large corporations; hospitals
Diligent Board Books – Large corporations; hospitals
BoardDocs – School districts; local governments
If a web-based board portal system does not make sense for your board, see if there are ways to cut down on the amount of paper and processing that you typically expend. Start by surveying your board. Let them know of your intention to save paper, save money and become a more efficient and effective governing body. Would they be willing to receive electronic rather than printed documents? Receive links to news articles rather than printed versions? An analysis of the typical components of your board packet may lead to ways to trim it down.
Do you sit on any boards or know anyone who does? Please share this information with others and I look forward to your ideas and stories on greener board meetings!
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