Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 12th 2014 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, November 12, 2014
IT'S TIME TO ORDER YOUR
Year 2015 CALENDARS
& DESK PLANNERS
as a separate fee to establish a database
for the ministry.
The ministry is also using new
printers that automatically print on
both sides of paper and even older
machines are now set to print dou-
Going paperless, Fontenelle believes,
is necessary for sustainable develop-
ment and protecting the environment.
"Our ministry led a discussion in
Rio in 2012, where we produced a doc-
ument called Working for Sus-
tainable Development. Sustainable
development was not only seen
as an environmental issue but a
social one as well and they over-
lap, they are not different and
apart. So if you want people to
be environmentally conscious or
focused on sustainable develop-
ment, then the way they do things
has to lend itself to using less
paper, because this will cut cost
of using paper and the obvious
environmental impact of using
The hope is not just that at
work that people will use less
paper but they will become more
environmentally conscious in their
own lives as well.
"We are taking the lead. We
have been talking with Plastikeep
about setting up a recycle bin,
which will be part of the ministry,
but we want to put it on the Brian
Lara Promenade," Fontenelle said.
Plastikeep is an initiative of the
Greenlight Network, an NGO
involved in recycling and cutting
The pro-environment public ser-
vant said offices like Town and
Country Planning were also making
efforts by making certain applica-
tion forms available online, which
would make them easier to track.
There are also a few private companies taking steps to reduce their
paper use. One is the Eastern Credit Union, which recently announced a
plan to go paperless in the new year.
The decision was taken not only because of environmental concerns,
but because a number of customers have complained about not
receiving their mail, Eastern's deputy CEO David Bazil told the T&T
"The paperless method offered us the flexibility of knowing for sure
that it (financial statements and notices) has been delivered. We also
know for sure that the probability that correspondence has been
wrongly intercepted is lower. So we know that the person who is
receiving the document is the person we intended to send the
document to," he said at his La Joya, St Joseph office.
Bazil said the move was also prompted by credit union members
who were asking what it was doing to "go green."
The paperless move was easier for Eastern because it recently
upgraded its systems with financial banking software that made
storing files a little easier.
Bazil said at least 40 per cent of the company's more than 100,000
customers have already signed up for the new services, but the credit
union isn't going fully paperless as yet. Older members are still
somewhat suspicious of the internet.
IT manager Charlene Webb-Brereton explained, "We recognise that
we have a lot of members who don't have e-mail addresses, because
they believe having something in their hand is important. We have
made provisions for those members that they can get a printed
Membership applications or loan applications will now be offered
online, but members will still have to print the document for a
signature. Bazil explained that this was necessary because electronic
signatures are still not recognised, as the necessary legislation to do
this has not yet been passed.
Webb-Brereton also said data protection systems have been put in
place to protect members' identity and financial information.
Eastern Credit Union can't put a figure on how much it will save from
going paperless, but Bazil anticipates it will save a great deal from
buying less stationery to send statements. He also believes time and
labour will be better managed as staff will no longer have to take the
time to fill envelopes and send them out. His goal is for the company to
be totally paperless within the next four years.
PRIVATE-SECTOR PAPERLESS DRIVE
Hope for a more environmentally-conscious T&T
From Page A29
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