Vodafone has pledged to power its European network using 100% sustainable sources by next year.

In what it is calling a ‘Green Gigabit Net’, a blog post on the Vodafone website revealed that it will solely rely on sustainable sources such as wind, solar or hydroelectric to provide its services by July 2021.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read highlighted the importance of an environmentally conscious recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, saying that there is an “opportunity to reshape our future sustainably.”

He continued: “Our accelerated shift to 100% 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.”

Around 80% of the energy for Vodafone’s fixed and mobile networks will be supplied by green tariffs and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), with the remaining covered by ‘credible’ Renewable Energy Certificates and on-site self-generation via solar panels.

Vodafone also announced a commitment to help its business customers to reduce their own carbon emissions by a total of 350 million tonnes globally between 2020 and 2030.

This will largely be done through the company’s “Internet of Things” service which streamlines logistics such as route management technology within vehicles and smart energy meters which have saved an estimated 4.8 million and 1.6 million tonnes of CO2e respectively.

Other savings are said to be made through healthcare services, cloud hosting and home working.

The target was developed alongside Carbon Trust, sustainability experts who work with businesses like Vodafone on assessing the carbon impact of their products and services.

Carbon Trust Chief Executive Tom Delay said: “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”.

This is not the first effort Vodafone has made in improving their environmental impact. In fact, the ‘Green Gigabit Net’ pledge brings a previous commitment to source 100% renewable electricity to its fixed and mobile networks.

In May 2019, they issued a €750 million green bond to finance or refinance projects to help meet its company’s environmental objectives, and FY20 saw a €77 million investment in energy efficiency and renewable projects that led to 186GWh of annual energy savings.

Vodafone follows mobile rival, O2, in their plans to become a Net Zero Business by 2025 in what they claimed to be the “fastest and furthest reaching carbon reduction programme”.

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