On World Environment Day, Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone UK, details the measures Vodafone is taking to reduce its carbon footprint and explores ways the Government could support a sustainable economic recovery.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a terrible toll, but from an environmental perspective, there have been some benefits.
Air quality has improved as lockdowns have drastically reduced both air and road traffic. Indeed, the International Energy Agency predicts that global CO2 emissions will decline by 8% in 2020 – to levels last seen 10 years ago.
Given that climate change will remain the biggest challenge we face, even after we’ve learned to cope with COVID-19, this is welcome news. But there’s no room for complacency.
So, how can we get our economies going again without returning to the polluting ways we’ve relied on in the past?
How Vodafone is performing
This week, Vodafone Group’s Annual Report announced that in the last financial year, the company reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 9% across the globe, and that 25.9% of its electricity is now from renewable sources. In 2019, we raised €750m (£678m) through a Green Bond to fund energy reduction projects around the world.
At a Group level, our current aim is to derive all our electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
Making our networks more efficient
One key way that we can reduce our global carbon footprint is by making our network as energy efficient as possible, as this is by far the biggest consumer of energy. It’s a huge job. Across 22 countries we have:
- 164,000 mobile base stations
- 89,000 servers
- 3,200 buildings (including 400 technology centres)
…accounting for 94% of our total energy use.