Vodafone announced that its European mobile and fixed network will be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity no later than July 2021.
The development will be creating a Green Gigabit Net for customers across 11 markets that will grow sustainably using only power from wind, solar or hydro sources.
Vodafone also committed to helping business customers who use its services reduce their own carbon emissions by a cumulative total of 350 million tonnes globally over 10 years between 2020 and 2030 – an ambitious new target equivalent to the UK’s total annual carbon emissions for 2019.
In 2019, Vodafone committed to purchasing all electricity from renewable sources, halving its environmental footprint by 2025 and reusing, reselling or recycling 100 percent of its network waste.
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “Our accelerated shift to 100 percent 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.”
Vodafone’s Europe-wide Green Gigabit Net commitment brings forward by three years an earlier pledge to source 100 percent renewable electricity for the company’s fixed and mobile networks by 2025.
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.
Vodafone 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, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Romania, Albania, Czech Republic and Hungary, no later than 31 July 2021.
Vodafone and renewable energy achievements
Vodafone Italy, Czech Republic and Ireland have used renewable electricity tariffs for a number of years already.
Vodafone Spain announced a Power Purchase Agreement with Iberdrola for 540 GWh from renewable sources, including 140 GWh from a new wind farm.
In 2019, Vodafone Germany, Romania, Greece and Hungary all sourced renewable tariffs or certificates (‘RECs’) for the first time.
In FY 2019-20, Vodafone Business customers globally were able to save 6.9 million tonnes of CO2e, nearly four times the emissions generated from Vodafone’s own operations.
Vodafone’s cumulative enablement target of 350 million tonnes of CO2e over the ten year period from 2020 – 2030 will be largely delivered via Vodafone’s IoT services, including logistics and fleet management, smart metering and manufacturing activities.
Other savings are expected to be made through healthcare services, cloud hosting and home working.
Vodafone is committed to improving the energy efficiency of its base station sites and in its data and switching centres, which together account for 95 percent of the company’s total energy consumption. During 2020, Vodafone invested €77 million in energy efficiency and renewable projects, which led to annual energy savings of 186GWh.
Last year Vodafone improved its energy efficiency, achieving a 38.5 percent 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 cooling technologies, and cutting energy use by decommissioning and replacing legacy equipment.
Vodafone in May 2019 issued its first €750 million green bond to finance or refinance projects to meet the company’s environmental objectives.