Vodafone’s European networks will be entirely green by 2021
Vodafone is setting itself ambitious new environmental goals, with plans for its European networks to be powered by 100% renewable energy no later than July 2021.
The operator currently has networks in 11 European countries – Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Romania, Albania, the Czech Republic, and Hungary – all of which will be expected to hit this target using solar, wind and hydroelectric power.
According to the operator, around four-fifths of this target will be met simply by purchasing green energy from suppliers, while the last fifth will be reached through Renewable Energy Certificates and self-generation, primarily through the installation of solar panels.
This is not the first environmental goal Vodafone has targetted in recent years. The group currently also has the goal of economising 100% of its network waste by reusing, reselling or recycling it, as well as reducing its overall carbon footprint by half by 2025.
“More than ever, Vodafone is relied upon to connect millions of people around the world. As society rebuilds and recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, we have an opportunity to reshape our future sustainably to ensure that recovery does not come at a cost to the environment. Our accelerated shift to 100% renewable electricity on our European networks will change the way we power our technology for good – reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, helping our customers manage their resources more effectively and reduce their carbon emissions, while helping to create a healthier planet for everyone,” said Nick Read, Group CEO.
While Read attributes this acceleration towards environmentally friendly energy as part of the telco’s coronavirus response, the reality is that many operators around the world are being to focus their attention on their carbon emissions. Earlier this month, Telstra was certified by the Australian government as being a carbon neutral business – albeit much of the company’s achievement lies in its support of foreign environmental initiatives to offset their own emissions. Similarly, Telefonica’s environmental initiatives are going so well that they were last month able to reduce their target date for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 20 years.
While a certain amount of this acceleration towards environmentally friendly business models is driven by altruism and genuine concern for the natural world, it is also worth noting that going green when it comes to energy can deliver huge cost savings for operators. Energy consumption is a major drain on telcos’ finances and an ever-growing demand for data in the digital world will only see these costs go up. Investing in clean, energy efficient solutions can pay dividends in the long term, making it a win-win situation both for the planet and the operators.
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