BT is urging companies to look at the environmental benefits of billing their customers online as it announced that more than a million BT customers are expected to have switched to paper-free billing by the end of May – and more than 250,000 saplings had already been planted around the UK as a result.
In 2005, BT joined forces with the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, The Woodland Trust, to pay for a native sapling for every BT customer that signed up to paper-free billing. More than 450 acres of saplings have already been planted around the UK through the scheme, the equivalent to 250 football pitches or an area bigger than London’s Hyde Park.
By going paper-free, BT’s customers are also saving the equivalent of 60 tonnes of paper each year. If these paper bills were stacked on top of each other, they would reach 1.2km high – seven times the height of BT Tower.
Gavin Patterson, MD of Consumer at BT Retail, said: “Many companies have started to conduct their customer communications via the internet, including their billing, but the dramatic success of BT’s e-billing scheme has been boosted by the support we’ve had from the Woodland Trust. For BT’s customers, not only do they get the convenience of managing their account online, but they also contribute in protecting the environment through reduced paper and the planting of a native broad leaf sapling.”
“We would hope this encourages companies to consider the opportunities presented by communications technologies to help them and their customers to cut carbon emissions and reduce waste.”
Sue Holden, Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust, said: “Thank you to BT and its customers. This is a great example of how companies, consumers and charities can work together: we’re limiting our impact on the environment by cutting down on paper, and taking a positive action to reduce it further. The UK is way behind the rest of Europe when it comes to woodland cover, so it’s important that we plant more trees.
“On an international scale, the UN made a plea for a billion trees to be planted as part of a global action to address climate change, encouraging everyone to make a pledge to plant a tree. Here’s just one way companies can encourage their customers to contribute.”