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Vodafone Targets Net Zero for 2040


Mobile operator Vodafone has pledged to reach net-zero emissions across its global operations by 2040, a decade earlier than previously targeted.

The telecoms group also announced intermediate goals of eliminating emissions from its core activities and purchasing all electricity from renewable sources by 2030, eliminating its Scopes 1 and 2 emissions. It will also seek to halve its Scope 3 emissions, those from joint ventures, supply chain purchases, use of sold products and business travel, by that date.

These targets are in line with 1.5 degrees of global heating, the ‘safe’ upper limit and the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious goal.

The FTSE 100 business joins more than 1,000 companies around the world in aligning their operations with efforts to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Vodafone chief executive Nick Read said: “We are committed to reduce our carbon footprint through improved energy efficiency, renewable energy supply, reducing our network waste and new environmental criteria when we select suppliers.

“Vodafone will also enable our customers to reduce their environmental footprint through use of our services, including the Internet of Things.”

The commitment comes several months after Vodafone announced its intention of powering its entire European mobile network, spanning 11 countries, with 100% renewable electricity no later than next July. 

Four-fifths of this energy will be secured through power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable generators and renewable energy tariffs. Most of the remaining fifth is supplied to facilities let by landlords and will be covered by renewable energy guarantees of origin (REGO) certificates, but a small remainder will be produced by on-site installations, primarily solar PV arrays.

Vodafone has already made significant progress in slashing its UK carbon footprint. Building energy efficiency upgrade achieved with facilities management firm Mitie have saved 100GW of energy over three years—the equivalent of powering 65,000 homes for a year—and 25,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Other mobile operators are also targeting net-zero ahead of the UK’s overall deadline of 2050. O2 says it wants to be the UK’s “first net-zero mobile network,” with a goal of eliminating its scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions from electricity purchased and used) emissions by 2025 and cutting its supply chain emissions by 30% from that date as well.

BT, which owns EE, aims to hit net zero by 2045, while Three and parent company CK Hutchison have yet to announce a net-zero date.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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