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Study: Online Notarizations Result in Meaningful Environmental Impact

Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from in-person notarizations would be equivalent to removing 800,000 cars from roads each year.
Notarize
September 15, 2022
3 min

We all know that digitizing the way we complete transactions can help to reduce the need to drive to an office or print stacks of paper. But now we have the data to prove it. A new study from Notarize and Bridgespan Social Impact, a global nonprofit advisory firm, examined the potential and positive environmental impact of online notarizations.

The findings reveal Notarize’s platform leads to material positive environmental impacts for notorious paper, car and shipping-dependent industries like real estate, financial services and automotive by reducing their dependencies on processes that produce greenhouse gas (GHG). By 2031, digitizing the entire notarization market across all industries is expected to reduce nearly four million metric tons of GHG emissions, or the equivalent of over 800,000 cars a year.

Additional key findings of the report found that transitioning to remote online notarizations can lead to:

  • A 10% decrease in printing on a per-notarization basis 
  • A reduction of 1.9 Kg of GHG emissions per-notarization in e-commerce transactions
  • A reduction of 2.3 Kg of GHG emissions per-notarization in business transactions
  • A staggering 9.8 Kg reduction of GHG emissions per-notarization for real-estate transactions
  • Better access and climate-positive outcomes for rural and suburban areas. Rural and suburban areas are on average 33.5 and 7.8 miles round trip, respectively, and the biggest contributor to GHG emissions per-notarization

“We have been diligently building the infrastructure needed to make remote online notarizations compliant, simple, and secure since 2015. We launched the company knowing we could expand access to notaries and to anyone with wifi, while also evolving the legacy process to make it more delightful for customers. Years later, a global pandemic created a greater need for safety and convenience for transactions, and now online notarizations also have the ability to support pen-and-paper industries in their ESG goals,” said Pat ​​Kinsel, founder and CEO of Notarize. “The data tells us just how impactful this is — not only for consumers but also for waste prevention in these very traditional businesses.”

At Notarize, we’re committed to helping companies go fully digital and make meaningful progress towards sustainability and ESG goals. Complete findings from the study can be viewed here.

Bridgespan Social Impact Methodology

In the pursuit of rigor, Bridgespan Social Impact’s methodology bases all estimates and assumptions on the most rigorous research and evidence available. Bridgespan Social Impact applied a discount to future projections for early-stage organizations, mirroring the risk adjustment that venture capital investors assume when they consider forward-looking projections; this means that despite Notarize’s track record of consistently hitting goals, Bridgespan Social Impact applied a discount factor of 15% to all forward-looking projections. This risk rate also factors in the likelihood that the share of the US electrical grid supplied by renewables will continue to increase along with the number of electric vehicles in use.

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