Pakistani companies’ efforts to adopt sustainable practices 

05:26 PM | 31 May, 2022
Pakistani companies’ efforts to adopt sustainable practices 
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Being eco-friendly and sustainable are no longer buzz words but have become increasingly important to protect our planet. There are alarm bells from all quarters that sustainability is the need of the hour and must be immediately addressed. We will deplete the earth’s resources; run out of fossil fuels, run out of lumber and huge numbers of animal species will become extinct. We will damage the planet beyond repair if we don’t amend our ways. To prevent this from happening, we need to be environmentally cognizant and advocate for sustainability in our homes, in our communities, in our ecosystems and around the world.

With a big social push for environmental awareness, many organizations are pushing for eco-friendly practices and adopting sustainable ways to run their businesses, produce their products and are opting to go paperless. If we talk about Pakistan in particular, the country’s forest cover is one of the lowest and something needs to be done to improve this as the long-term ramifications are disastrous. Going paperless is not only beneficial for the company but also proves to be advantageous to the environment in the long-term.

In Pakistan, these are the four companies that are making sustained efforts to go paperless and it’s important to recognize the positive environmental impact they are making so we can appreciate and support their efforts.

PTCL: Since 2021, the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has been encouraging customers to opt for e-billing instead of receiving monthly bills, in an effort to help save the environment. According to the company, this initiative will not only create awareness about the environment but also give their customers an opportunity to contribute and fight climate change.

In a statement issued last year, PTCL’s chief commercial officer said that being a national company, PTCL took its responsibility to reduce paper usage throughout the company very seriously.

For a smooth transition to e-billing, PTCL has made a user-friendly website where customers can subscribe to their bill via ptcl.com.pk/eBill and through the TouchApp (Android & iOS). They can also call on the PTCL helpline 1218 and subscribe to e-billing. New customers will automatically receive e-bills.

PCB: In 2020, the Pakistan Cricket Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) for the implementation of e-Filling and Office Automation System (e-FOAS). This was done to improve the cricket board’s day-to-day operations and enhance their archiving capabilities.

For years, the PCB had been looking for a quick solution for approvals, tracking reference, retrieval of documents and archiving. By using the e-FOAS, the PCB is now saving time, costs and helping the environment.

PIA: Following the success of PCB and PTCL’s paperless approach, last year Pakistan International Airlines also signed a MoU with the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) to implement an e-filing and office automation system which will lead to a greener environment and better communication.

This system now allows departmental workflow automation, receipt and issuance management, e-noting and e-letter management using digital signatures, electronic record room, and meeting scheduler. The system also ensures efficiency, transparency and security while reducing administrative costs.

JBS: Jaffer Business Systems (JBS) first step towards going paperless is called Operation Green Up. “Since it is very difficult to just suddenly stop using paper, we thought it would be great to first recycle all of the used paper that isn’t needed,” shared the JBS spokesperson.

“Every Wednesday, we sound a small siren of 20 seconds after which our 'agents' go around the office and encourage employees to organize their workstations and discard unnecessary items. All discarded paper is collected in cardboard boxes and is later sent for recycling. We are collaborating with TrashIt, a startup that empowers communities to reduce their carbon footprint. Through this activity, so far we’ve been able to recycle about 20KGs worth of paper,” the spokesperson added.

For JBS, the ultimate goal is to reduce paper usage by at least 90% by eliminating the use of all unnecessary paper and shifting to digital alternatives. According to the spokesperson, one of their acquired start-ups, Blutech Consulting has already gone paperless last year.

Besides these four, the Federal Board of Revenue, Indus Hospital, pharmaceutical firms, Pakistan Customs and even the office of President Arif Alvi have opted to go paperless too