Vodafone is setting itself ambitious new environmental goals, with plans for its European networks to be powered by 100% renewable electricity latest by July 2021.
The operator said that its Green Gigabit Net for customers will be powered by renewable energy across 11 European markets, and will grow sustainably using only power from solar, wind, or hydro sources.
Vodafone also committed to helping its business customers to reduce their carbon emissions by a cumulative total of 350 million tonnes globally over ten years between 2020 and 2030. The target is said to be ambitious, as it is equivalent to the UK’s total annual carbon emissions for 2019.
Vodafone committed to purchasing all electricity in 2019, from renewable sources. The operator aimed to halve its environmental footprint by 2025 and reuse, resell or recycle 100% of its network waste.
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read reiterated that the accelerated shift to 100% renewable electricity on the European networks would change the way they powered their technology for good. He added that it would reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and help their customers manage their resources more effectively and reduce their carbon emissions.
The company will also invest in self-generation on-site, mostly via solar panels. Green Gigabit Net will be enabled across Vodafone’s markets in Europe, including Germany, UK, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Albania, Greece, Romania, Czech Republic, and Hungary, no later than 31 July 2021.
In the context of renewable energy achievements, Vodafone Italy, the Czech Republic, and Ireland have used renewable electricity tariffs for several years already. In 2019, Vodafone Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Greece all sourced renewable tariffs or certificates (‘RECs’) for the first time.
The company’s cumulative enablement target of 350 million tonnes of CO2e over the ten years from 2020–2030 will be largely delivered via Vodafone’s IoT services. Other savings are expected to be made through cloud hosting, healthcare services, and home working.
In 2019, Vodafone improved its energy efficiency, achieving a 38.5% reduction in the total amount of GHG emissions per petabyte (PB) of mobile data carried to reach an average of 230 tonnes CO2e per PB.
Vodafone’s energy efficiency initiatives are focused on sourcing and implementing more efficient network equipment, reducing energy demand by installing lower-energy power, and cutting energy use by decommissioning and replacing legacy equipment. The operator issued its first €750 million green bonds in May 2019 to finance or refinance projects to meet the company’s environmental objectives.