Wednesday, 08 April 2020

O2 pledges carbon neutrality by 2025

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Wednesday 04 March 20

The company aims to become the UK’s first ‘net zero’ network, as well as reducing supply chain partners emissions by 30%

On Monday, O2 announced its goal to become the UK’s first carbon neutral network operator by 2025. This ambitious target would undercut those of rival operators, such as Sky, targeting 2030, and BT, aiming for 2045.   Sadly, the connectivity industry is inevitably not a very green one…

On Monday, O2 announced its goal to become the UK’s first carbon neutral network operator by 2025. This ambitious target would undercut those of rival operators, such as Sky, targeting 2030, and BT, aiming for 2045.
 
Sadly, the connectivity industry is inevitably not a very green one. As data consumption continues to increase, especially with the advent of 5G, power demands continue to rise, as does the amount of infrastructure required.
 
Despite this, O2 has proven itself something of a champion of environmentalism, operating on 100% renewable energy at the point where it controls the energy bill since 2008, as well as lowering their network capacity when demand is low and organising handset recycling schemes.
 
But these steps alone will not be enough to reach the carbon neutral target. As the company digs deeper into its carbon footprint, offsetting these emissions will become harder and harder, such as removing (or at least reducing) employee air travel. In order to achieve their target, O2 will need to develop and implement technical and energy transition solutions throughout its business.
 
This is especially true of third parties in the company’s supply chain, which O2 intends to incentivise to reduce their own carbon footprints by 30%. It is not yet clear what will happen to suppliers that do not meet O2’s environmental demands.
 
“Today, we’re putting a stake in the ground. We want to go further and faster, setting the bar in our industry to tackle climate change and build the greenest network for our customers. Every office, every store, every mast. We will get the changes done to be a Net Zero Business by 2025,” said O2 CEO Mark Evans. 
 
As always in the telecoms industry, being first is always perceived to be of the utmost importance, regardless of its ultimate impact on the industry. But when it comes to greener connectivity, it truly is a case of the sooner the better. 
 
 
Environmental responsibility is a key topic for the UK’s connectivity industry. Find out more at Connected Britain 2020
 
 
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