Vodafone commits to net zero carbon emissions by 2040

Approved by Science Based Targets initiative to keep global warming within 1.5°C
Image: Stockfresh

25 November 2020

Vodafone has committed to reducing its total global carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2040. The telco has confirmed that its 2030 carbon reduction targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in line with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5°C.

By 2030, Vodafone hopes to eliminate all carbon emissions from its own activities and from energy it purchases and uses (Scope 1 and 2).  Vodafone has also pledged to halve carbon emissions from Scope 3 sources by 2030, this includes joint ventures, all supply chain purchases, the use of products it has sold and business travel. By 2040, Vodafone said it will have eliminated Scope 3 emissions completely – bringing forward Vodafone’s original 2050 ambition to reach ‘net zero’ across its full carbon footprint by ten years.  

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




Previous commitments to the planet 

Vodafone said the announcement “further supports its aim to build a digital society that enhances socio-economic progress, embraces everyone and does not come at the cost of the planet.”

In 2019, Vodafone committed to purchasing all electricity from renewable sources, halving its environmental footprint by 2025 and reusing, reselling or recycling 100% of its network waste, supporting the move towards a more circular economy. Last July, Vodafone announced an ambitious new target to help 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. In September, it said it would assess supplier commitments to the environment, diversity and inclusion when they tender for new work, with a supplier’s ‘purpose’ accounting for 20% of the evaluation criteria for a ‘Request For Quotation’ (RFQ). 

By no later than July 2021, Vodafone said its European network will be powered by 100% renewable electricity – creating a Green Gigabit Net for customers across 11 markets that will grow sustainably using only power from wind, solar or hydro sources.

Science-based targets 

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets in line with the latest climate science.  

Vodafone is one of over 500 companies to have its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets validated by the SBTi, and is one of the first major telecoms operators to develop science-based targets that follow the pathway recently developed for the information and communication technology sector through a collaboration between ITU, GeSI, the GSMA, and the Science Based Targets initiative. The pathway sets out specific emissions reduction trajectories in line with climate science for companies operating mobile networks, fixed networks and/or data centres.

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