An Interesting step to secure a greener future for Pakistan To minimize the usage of paper and Meet UN SDGs
Pakistan is among the few developing countries, which is experiencing adverse effects of climate change due to worldwide excessive use of fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) in the last few decades, which is resulting in intense heat waves and torrential rainfalls causing severe droughts and floods. The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report makes it overwhelmingly clear that there is a dire need to invest in renewables and switch away from fossil fuels much faster to secure a safe climate future. Climate change is impacting our environment in unimaginable ways, and the need of the hour is to move from ambition to action.
Today, Pakistan is facing numerous environmental problems such as global warming, ozone depletion, crowded cities and pollution. The universal solution in general and Pakistan, in particular, has no other option but to address these problems by planting more and more trees and making the nation greener and eco-friendly. According to famous saying “A man doesn’t plant a tree for himself. He plants it for posterity”. A growing trend in business is the emphasis on sustainable “green” business practices. Going “green” means many things to different individuals as well as to different business enterprises. On one hand, it could mean reducing energy use or supporting the use of alternative energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. On the other hand, it could include cutting operating costs, enhancing employee health and productivity, enhancing business reputation or reducing the risk of running afoul of environmental regulations.
KE has taken a pioneering step within Pakistan’s corporate sector to address climate change by introducing its ‘Hara Bill,’ (Green Bill). This endeavor is an impactful and environmentally friendlier way of communicating vital billing information with the customers.
KE is forward-thinking in tackling the most pressing issues that Pakistan faces today – the energy crisis, water scarcity, and increased paper usage that results in felling of trees. All of these are major causes, the repercussions of which have a macroeconomic impact in the form of floods, food insecurity, marred water and sanitation, etc.
Looking at the past trajectory, when Pakistan came into being, nearly 40% of the country had forests. Today we have less than 10%. While Pakistan contributes 0.9% to the gas emissions, the country has been hit the most. With longer summer and rainy periods, we experienced extreme weather disasters. For instance, if tree plantation takes place now, it will bear fruits in 10 years time. So NBHQ initiative not only protects existing trees, saves water now, but also prevents landfills with paper-based litter – Right now!
Following on the same tangent, f every household and user in Pakistan shifts to e-billing, every utility and every company who issues their bill follows KE’s footsteps, the results can be multiplied by a thousand time. KE has proved that for protection of environment, we need to think innovatively and by improving our conduct we can save the environment and serve our people better.
By revisiting its core processes and identifying opportunities for improvement, they have managed to engage their entire customer base in participating for a sustainable future of Pakistan.
While reduction in paper usage is a stepping stone towards a healthier ecosystem, the company intends to go further with innovation and digitization of services, shifting towards an increasingly paperless environment. Through this opportunity, they plan to integrate a sustainable mindset with their customer base of over 3.4 million, many of whom are receiving paper bills.
The breakthrough is in the introduction of a new, environmentally friendly bill which immediately inducts KE’s entire customer base as protectors of the environment. A simple move with a big impact preventing over 92 tons of paper-based waste entering Karachi’s landfills, preserving over 4200 trees, and conserving over 265 million liters of water on an annual basis. Paper production is one of the world’s top industrial processes and globally consumes precious natural resources. This innovative thinking and step gives KE first mover advantage in the country and sets the precedent for industry players to join the bandwagon.
At a time when the world welcomes the COP27 and reevaluates its alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this new bill provides an opportunity for responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), takes urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG 13) and protects terrestrial ecosystems (SDG 15). According to KE’s CEO Moonis Alvi, their new green bill perfectly embodies KE’s ethos and philosophy on sustainability and represents an extensive design and process evaluation effort.
This bill is a concrete and immediate step to conserve existing resources and lower our carbon footprint. In parallel, their future plans are geared towards achieving 30 by 30 – 30% renewable generation by the year 2030.
The need of the hour is that the government, through collaboration with universities, should encourage and support research projects related to renewable and alternative sources of energy and introduce technology competitions. Entrepreneurs should also establish innovative businesses that tap into the rising demand for electricity. Moreover, the government needs to introduce tax rebates and custom incentives for people investing in such environment-friendly green stations. In addition to awareness programs, governments and businesses will need to come up with financial incentives to attract people to travel the road of sustainability.