Vodafone confirmed that its entire European operations – including mobile and fixed networks, data centres, retail and offices – will be 100 percent powered by electricity from renewable sources from 1 July 2021.
Vodafone’s goal is to reduce its own carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and across the company’s entire value chain by 2040.
Vodafone will celebrate the milestone across Europe and raise awareness of its green network with a simultaneous consumer campaign that will include Vodafone’s iconic brand turning green across key digital and social channels in 12 markets.
In July 2020, Vodafone brought forward its plan to purchase 100 percent renewable electricity in Europe to July 2021 from its previous target of 2025 and is committed to achieving the same target in Africa by 2025.
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “This is a major milestone towards our goal of reducing our own global carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.”
The telecom operator said 96 percent of Vodafone’s total energy use during FY21 was in the form of purchased electricity. Following today’s announcement, 100 percent of Vodafone’s purchased electricity in Europe is now from renewable generation sources including where Vodafone is a tenant on other landlord’s sites.
Vodafone’s energy use has remained broadly flat during the last year, despite a 47 percent year-on-year increase in mobile data traffic over the same period from 7,983 petabytes (PB) in FY20 to 11,714 PB in FY21. This is due to increased use of more energy efficient mobile technology and analytics, including M-MIMO that is approximately 70 percent more efficient than 4G.
Vodafone has invested €65 million during the last year in energy efficiency and on-site renewable projects, leading to annual energy savings of 135 GWh. Energy efficiency initiatives have also included sourcing and deploying more efficient network equipment, switching off the relatively less energy efficient 3G network and decommissioning legacy equipment in our core network.
From October 2020, Vodafone introduced a 20 percent weighting for environmental and social criteria when suppliers tender for new work. Vodafone’s updated process now examines whether suppliers have environmental policies to address carbon reduction, renewable energy, plastic reduction, circular economy and product life cycle.