Bureaucracy and the environment: how much does it cost us to sign a document? The importance of the electronic signature

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An average of 2610 sheets of paper printed every month, for a production of 88 kg of CO2, for the sole purpose of affixing one (or more) handwritten signature. These are the numbers of the average costs – operational, but above all environmental – of the documentary bureaucracy of Italian companies. The data comes from Yousignthe French startup that is bringing the advantages of electronic signatures throughout Europe, and highlights how the potential of digitization and dematerialization is still largely underestimated in the Bel Paese.

The electronic signature is convenient: word of Fabian Stanciu, Senior head of Sales of Yousign

“The data is striking because it highlights, in addition to the positive impact of document digitization, the knowledge and information gap that determines this number: with Yousign we serve 830 customers in Italy today, which correspond to 0.02% of our potential market . With these numbers, it would be enough to “convert to digital” 1% of the market, and therefore 40,000 companies, to save 3520 tons of CO2 every month – explains Fabian Stanciu, Senior head of Sales at Yousign.

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That’s why, like Yousign, we are much more than a software provider. In Italy, more than in any other country in which we operate (France, Germany, ed.), our work begins before providing our solution: the challenge is to become ambassadors of digitization and explain to entrepreneurs and managers how many implications there are behind a simple signature”.

Electronic signature: the 3 sectors with the most documentary bureaucracy

But which are the most “wasteful” sectors from a documentary point of view? Is there a correspondence between the amount of documents produced and the document digitization speed?


With over 104,400 signed (and printed) documents per month, the Insurance sector is undoubtedly the sector that produces the highest amount of documents. But, on the other hand, it is also the one with the highest penetration of digital solutions, with a process of digitization and dematerialization of insurance practices that is starting to take hold.

“The volumes are not only written on the signing of the policies, but also on the pre-contracts: all the fundamental documentation to then proceed with the research and stipulation of the final policy is often managed in the traditional way, on paper or even worse with scanned signatures or contracts photographed from a mobile phone – explains Fabian Stanciu, Senior head of sales of Yousign – However, brokers and agencies are digitizing themselves very quickly, making a virtue of “necessity”: document digitization naturally follows that brought about by digital marketing tools. Today, many more insurance customers are acquired online, and the electronic signature is the tool that helps operators conclude the purchase of the policy online, in a perfectly legal way”.

HR and Work

Administration, temps, fractional management, but also the dear and old employment contracts: the HR and Labor segment ranks second in terms of document volumes, with over 87,000 signed (and printed) documents per month. In this case, it was the pandemic and the emerging smartworking and teleworking phenomena that accelerated the digitization process.

“The work sector has been totally revolutionized by the changes brought about by the pandemic: the extent of the change is evident to everyone in the operating methods, but the changes relating to the more administrative aspects are also significant – explains Fabian Stanciu, Senior head of sales at Yousign – In this case, digitizing the recruitment processes to allow for entirely remote hiring was a forced choice: we have seen a growth of +43% in the last two years in the HR segment alone, and today our leading client is signing over 70 contracts every month to new hires”.


In third place in the ranking of the most “wasteful” industries is the energy sector: yes, because if it is true that every new activation, switch or supplier change brings with it contracts and paperwork, this is even more true after the crisis that has Driven energy costs crazy over the last couple of years. “The energy sector has always been very traditional and, for this reason, very ‘paper’: how can we not think of the papers to sign every time we change supplier? – comments Fabian Stanciu, Senior head of sales of Yousign.

Here digitization and dematerialization not only lead to less impact on the environment, but help bring transparency to the industry: in fact, digital signing helps to bring awareness and enables many of the new operators that are emerging online”.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.