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Idealog Podcast: Showcase’s Millie Blackwell on sustainable business and saving the planet

Top image: Showcase Workshop co-founder and CEO Millie Blackwell.

Calling a spade a spade here: a lot of folks talk about “going paperless.” But are they? Look around any office. The answer is often… not. At all.

Showcase Workshop is a company that’s putting its proverbial money where its mouth is – and spreading the word that going paperless, and saving the planet, isn’t anywhere near as hard as it seems.

In short, Showcase is a software platform that enables a business to create apps for use by the company. Employees don’t need to be knowledgeable about coding, and it’s as easy as using PowerPoint. With Showcase, a business can take all of the files a team needs (like slides, videos, catalogues, photos, order forms) and put them into a beautiful app for smartphones or tablets. In other words, no more passing around paper memos that pile up and result in even more trees having to be chopped down (we all know how harmful that is).

Since starting in Wellington in 2012, Showcase has grown exponentially, with hundreds of clients and thousands of users. But that’s part-and-parcel of a lot of businesses. Yet few businesses do this: ever since co-founder and CEO Millie Blackwell started Showcase, it’s been a goal to use some of the profits to contribute to a programme or charity that makes the world better – and so, in October last year, the Showcase Forest Releaf Fund (clever play on words, huh?) was launched.

The way the fund works is pretty simple: for every 8,500 digital page views in Showcase, $10 is donated to Trees that Count. The idea is that $10 buys and plants one native tree. Seeing as the average tree produces 8,500 sheets of paper, 8,500 sheets of paper equals 17 reams of standard office copier paper, that’s some serious savings.

But don’t take our word for it – have a listen to what Blackwell has to say about it all:

Review overview