Pakistan, as a nation, is facing enormous environmental challenges. In 2018, Pakistan was declared as one of the top ten countries most affected by climate change in the Global Climate Risk Index released by the public policy group, Germanwatch.
Along with its adverse effects on the planet, climate change has a huge impact on health, agriculture and thus, the overall economy of the country.
Pakistan has already faced floods and drought since its inception and is now dealing with ever-rising temperatures. One of the biggest reasons for this is the increasing deforestation in the country. Despite its two annual plantations drives, Pakistan could not achieve the UN’s set target of 25% of forest cover on its total area. Commercial and domestic use of paper, as well as the energy crises, has created an even larger imbalance in the ratio of trees planted and trees taken down to produce paper and fuel.
Some organizations in the country have taken responsibility in this regard and have come up with initiatives to play their part in saving the environment.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has partnered with WWF Pakistan in the past for a tree plantation campaign and planted 200,000 Mangrove seeds in the Lasbela district of Balochistan, which will act as a first barrier of defense in the event of an imminent flood in the area a few decades from now.
Recently, PTCL signed an agreement with Ministry of Climate Change and agreed upon afforestation of 200,000 trees across PTCL sites in the next five years and initiating cleanliness drives in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to assist the solid waste management. Furthermore, the organization pledges to ban non-recyclable plastics in PTCL HQ in Islamabad, arrange clean drinking water for its employees and install filtration units to provide clean drinking water for the general public.
However, the company’s latest initiative is by far the most engaging. PTCL has started to seek consent from customers to stop sending them monthly bills on paper and instead opt for e-billing. This initiative has created awareness on the issue as well as given an opportunity to the customers to contribute to the cause.
The organization has taken steps to ensure that all avenues are open for customers to opt for eBilling. From now on, all new customers will receive only eBills instead of monthly paper bills. Customers are being sent emails and text messages to inform them in this regard.
Additionally, customers can subscribe to eBilling and opt out of receiving paper bills by either calling on the PTCL helpline 1218, or subscribing online through the PTCL website at ptcl.com.pk/eBill or through TouchApp (Android & iOS).
An eBilling campaign is already underway on the company’s official social media platforms to create awareness about the benefits of opting for eBilling.
Furthermore, customers can also pay their bills through UPaisa without showing a paper bill, as they only need to provide a telephone number and area code without the hassle of providing more details.
PTCL employees are at the forefront and supporting this initiative as the entire workforce has shifted to eBilling. Since the company operates on a national level, taking responsibility to reduce paper waste throughout the country can have a significant impact on going green.
The company has made it easier by adopting a faster and more convenient way of paying bills, which is environment-friendly and saves time.
Deforestation doesn’t just affect one person or a community, it impacts the world. With more examples of responsible organizations looking forward and aiming to save what is left of our forests, we can try and save Pakistan from environmental degradation.