Negative impact of business cards on the environment

Find out how much your company harms the environment when using printed business cards.

Raquel Medeiros


Raquel Medeiros


April 15, 2024

the value of a business card

The production of business cards can have several negative impacts on the environment, especially due to the materials used and the manufacturing processes involved.

For every ton of paper produced, 11 eucalyptus trees are needed, which is equivalent to around 90 kg of paper per tree. Considering the average annual consumption of paper per person in Brazil, which is 55 kg , each individual is responsible for consuming approximately 0.61 trees per year just for this purpose. This annual demand totals around 128 million trees to serve the Brazilian population.

In addition to the primary materials, other aspects of the business card manufacturing process must also be considered:

  • Use of Paper: Most cards are made from paper or cardboard, which can contribute to deforestation if not from sustainable sources. Furthermore, the production process consumes energy, water and generates pollution.
  • Chemicals: The inks and chemicals used in printing can contain toxic substances, polluting the air and water during manufacturing and disposal.
  • Energy: Production requires energy, often from non-renewable sources, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
  • Disposal: Many cards are discarded quickly, increasing the volume of solid waste, especially if they are not recycled properly.
  • Transport: Transporting materials and the cards themselves also has an environmental impact, due to the use of fossil fuels and pollutant emissions.

Researchers in India have reported on the environmental impacts of paper production , including energy and water consumption, pollutant emissions and greenhouse gases. Bleaching with chlorine-based compounds is one of the main problems, resulting in the production of organochlorine compounds, which are harmful to human health and the environment.

To mitigate these impacts, measures can be adopted such as the use of recycled paper or sustainable sources, eco-friendly printers, reducing unnecessary packaging and promoting the digitization of business cards.

Using Paper Calculator, it was possible to quantify the environmental impact of producing business cards in companies. For example, a company with a thousand employees ordering business cards would result in:

  • 0.7 U.S. short tons of wood used
  • 4.4 million BTUs of energy consumed, equivalent to the energy consumption of 5.3 residential refrigerators operating throughout the year;
  • 3.110 pounds CO2, equivalent to 0.3 of a car's emissions generated for one year;
  • 3.700 gallons of water used, equivalent to almost 3 washing machines operating all year round;
  • 204 pounds of solid waste generated, equivalent to the waste produced by 47 people daily.

Every year, 504,000 trees are cut down in Brazil to meet the demand for business cards for companies.

Why do companies use business cards?

Many companies still value the tradition and tangibility of business cards, even in a digital age. However, to face this challenge, ClickCard developed a solution for this company profile.

By offering customers the option to obtain a digital business card with the ability to request an NFC card, ClickCard provides a unique hybrid experience . This allows contacts to be shared virtually, while maintaining the much-loved physical sensation.

The NFC card represents an ecological approach for companies that want to maintain the tradition of the printed business card. With reduced paper consumption, only one card is needed to share contact information, eliminating the need for disposal and reordering .

Furthermore, changes and customizations are made digitally , ensuring a unique experience for each user. With this, companies can reduce costs and their environmental impact , while maintaining the effectiveness and charm of physical business cards.

How to purchase an NFC card with ClickCard.

Replacing printed business cards with digital business cards

The gradual replacement of the traditional printed business card with a digital business card is a change that reflects not only technological evolution, but also adaptation to the needs of an increasingly connected and digitalized world.

The digital business card is an electronic version of its physical equivalent. Instead of carrying around a stack of physical cards that can easily get lost or damaged, a digital business card allows professional information to be shared quickly, conveniently and in an environmentally sustainable way.

One of the most obvious advantages of the digital business card is its practicality.

Instead of searching for a physical card in your purse or wallet, just a few taps on your smartphone can instantly send you all your contact information, including your phone number, email address, website and social media profiles.

This speeds up the networking process and facilitates the exchange of information at business events, conferences and meetings.

In addition to convenience, the digital business card also offers greater flexibility in terms of design and content. While space on a physical business card is limited, a digital business card can include links to online portfolios, presentation videos, client testimonials and more, all in a compact, interactive format.

Another point in favor of the digital business card is its ability to be instantly updated. 

While the information on a physical business card can become obsolete over time, especially if job titles, companies or contact information changes, a digital business card can be easily updated with just a few clicks, ensuring people always have access to the latest information.

Discover some of the benefits you have when obtaining a digital business card with ClickCard:

  • Sharing Benefits : With ClickCard's digital business card, you have multiple options for sharing your professional information quickly and conveniently. Using NFC technology, QR Code, interactive PDF and a customizable link, you can ensure that your contact information is always within reach of your contacts, whether through a simple tap, code scan or digital sharing.

  • Benefits of Digital Tools: When you opt for ClickCard's digital business card, you will also have access to digital tools to help maximize your impact and effectiveness . This includes detailed engagement insights like the number of clicks, how many people accessed your information, and how many times your card was shared. Additionally, our platform offers a business card scanner and an integrated digital wallet, further simplifying the management and organization of your professional contacts.

  • Economic benefits: With ClickCard digital business cards, you eliminate the recurring costs associated with printing and replacing traditional business cards. Additionally, our platform offers flexible and affordable plans, ensuring you can enjoy all the benefits of a digital business card without compromising your budget.

  • Sustainable features: When you opt for a digital business card, you are making an environmentally conscious choice. By eliminating paper waste and the negative impacts associated with the production and disposal of printed business cards, you contribute to preserving the environment and building a more sustainable future.


The transition from printed business cards to digital format offers a significant opportunity for companies to reduce their environmental impact. By adopting solutions like ClickCard, companies not only simplify the exchange of contact information, but they also demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

By eliminating the need for mass production of paper business cards, we reduce the consumption of natural resources, minimize waste generation and reduce emissions associated with transportation and production.

ClickCard offers a convenient and effective platform for sharing contact information quickly and securely. To access it, simply download our app from the App Store or Play Store .

You can also contact our team via the website.

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