Vodafone has announced that its European network will be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity no later than July 2021.
In 2019, Vodafone committed to purchasing all electricity from renewable sources, halving its environmental footprint by 2025 and reusing, reselling or recycling 100 per cent of its network waste.
The move follows a commitment from O2 in March to reach net zero carbon by 2025 and work with industry partners to lower their emissions too.
Vodafone has made a similar pledge and said it would help business customers who use its services to reduce their own carbon emissions by a cumulative total of 350 million tonnes globally by 2030.
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “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 per cent 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.”
The new carbon reduction target was developed with support from global carbon and sustainability experts, the Carbon Trust.
It calculated the total quantity of emissions Vodafone has helped business customers avoid and has modelled potential future scenarios to inform Vodafone’s target setting in this area.
The Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said: “We have been working closely with Vodafone on its sustainability agenda since 2010, and for the last seven years on quantifying the carbon enablement impact of Vodafone’s products and services.
“There is a growing and important opportunity for the ICT sector to develop and enable new solutions that help drive decarbonisation and this target represents a very high level of ambition for Vodafone to continue to drive this strategy, further developing its IoT and other services, and engaging with its business customers.”
Around four-fifths of the energy used by Vodafone’s networks will be from renewable sources obtained directly from national electricity grids via PPA and green tariffs.
The remaining fifth, supplied by Vodafone’s landlords on buildings and other infrastructure, will be covered instead by credible Renewable Energy Certificates. Where feasible, Vodafone said it would also invest in self-generation on site, mostly via solar panels.