Mobile phones have a major influence on sustainable development, especially in emerging markets like Pakistan. While some of us depend on connectivity to maintain lifestyles in today’s increasingly digital age, the mobile phone remains the only means of getting online and accessing information for millions across the world.
Interestingly, the mobile industry became the first sector in the world to commit to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016, becoming a major contributor and a key enabler of sustainable economic growth.
Globally and in Pakistan too, the mobile industry’s socioeconomic impact has been strong and Telenor Pakistan has been at its forefront.
While the company’s socioeconomic contributions have been highlighted before, Telenor Pakistan’s measures for sustainable development in the past two years were underscored in its Sustainability Report 2017-18 launched recently.
The way Telenor Pakistan is innovating to deliver the benefits of communications technology to the masses while working on enhancing connectivity and reducing mobile broadband penetration gaps continues to set new industry trends and benchmarks.
Some of the Sustainability Report’s highlights that are helping reshape critical areas of life in Pakistan are as follows:
The Economic Impact
Since inception, Telenor Pakistan has made investments worth $4 billion, with $305 million being the average annual investment. The company also remains a responsible taxpayer having made a fiscal contribution of PKR 310 billion to the national exchequer since its inception.
In terms of employment creation, Telenor Pakistan maintains a prominent position with 1,600 direct employees and 220,000 indirect and induced jobs. Moreover, the company was awarded seven projects by the Universal Service Fund (USF) out of which four have been delivered and three are underway connecting over four million unconnected people in remote areas.
The Social Impact
An enhanced focus on the SDG#10 resulted in many sustainability developments on the fronts of diversity & inclusion, DBR (Digital Birth Registration), mobile agriculture, internet literacy for youth, health safety & environment, and human rights, ethics & compliance.
Telenor Pakistan’s Naya Aghaaz initiative, which aims to reduce the skill gap in women who have been on a career break, has on-boarded 69 associates since its inception. Moreover, 73 persons with disabilities (PwDs) have received job training under Open Mind Pakistan, Telenor Pakistan’s flagship inclusion initiative for the differently-abled.
Under the UNICEF-collaborated DBR project, over 580,000 children have been registered in five districts of Sindh and Punjab. The project aims to give the children their right to identity and thus access to basic amenities of life by simplifying the birth registration process.
Significant progress was made in mAgri too with Telenor Pakistan’s flagship mAgri product Khushaal Zamindaar reaching a user base of 6 million male and female farmers and the program’s extensions Khushaal Aangan, Khushaal Sehat, and Khushaal Maweshi coming into being.
Staying committed to spreading internet literacy among Pakistani youth, Telenor Pakistan’s Safe Internet & School Outreach Program has educated over 450,000 children in public and private schools on the safe and constructive use of the internet.
Moreover, the second installment of the company’s digital awareness training program iChamp (Internet Champion) covered 1,800 underprivileged schools across Pakistan, training 630,000 male and female students.
Telenor Pakistan also made major progress on the environment and climate change front. The company reduced its total CO2 emissions by 4% whereas per customer emission was reduced by 14%, per customer energy consumption was also reduced by 13% .
Green energy use was also enhanced by Telenor Pakistan with the total number of solar sites increasing by 51% over the last two years.
For Telenor Pakistan, being a high performing company is not only about performance, goals, and achievements, but also about its commitment to conducting business in a responsible, ethical, and lawful manner.
The company also aims to be a trusted partner to its customers, shareholders, colleagues, business partners, and the communities where it operates.
For that purpose, the company organized numerous awareness and training sessions on the code of conduct, compliance, anti-corruption, human rights due diligence, privacy, and cybersecurity, ensuring that the highest standards of responsible business are met.
Awards & Recognition
Telenor Pakistan continues to champion sustainability, bagging a number of awards and recognition. The company won a PBC (Pakistan Business Council)-IFC (International Finance Corporation) joint Employer of Choice for Gender Balance Award 2018, and another accolade at the OICCI Women Empowerment Awards.
Another Diversity & Inclusion Best Practice Award in ‘Flexibility, Work-Life Integration & Benefits’ category was conferred to Telenor Pakistan by HR Metrics. The company was also a recipient of the Shaukat Khanum Social Responsibility Award. Moreover, Telenor Pakistan was certified to the ISO 14001:2015 Environment Management System through SGS Pakistan (Pvt). Ltd. as well.