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Vodafone pledges to make European network run on renewable energy by 2021

Nick Read

UK-based telco Vodafone has pledged to make its entire European network run 100% on renewable energy by July 2021.

Vodafone operates in 11 European markets –  Germany, UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Romania, Albania, Czech Republic and Hungary. It said that it will create a ‘green gigabit net’ across these countries, with the entire thing powered by wind, solar and hydroelectric sources.

In particular, Vodafone said that four-fifths of the energy used will be from renewable sources obtained from the electricity grid via power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the remaining fifth coming from Renewable Energy Certificates and on-site self-generated power – mostly from solar panels.

This is an extension of a previously announced commitment from the telco to purchase all of its electricity from renewable sources in an effort to half its environmental footprint by 2025. It also had previously pledged to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of its network waste and help its business customers reduce their own carbon emissions by 350 million tonnes over the next decade.

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: “More than ever, Vodafone is relied upon to connect millions of people around the world. As society rebuilds and recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, we have an opportunity to reshape our future sustainably to ensure that recovery does not come at a cost to the environment.

“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.”

The telecommunications industry is becoming increasingly focused on green initiatives, with an ever-increasing demand on data centres causing energy demands to skyrocket amid the climate crisis.

Sky launched a similar carbon neutral initiative earlier this year, where it committed to a number of measures including the creation of a zero emissions fleet of trucks and making its tech products more energy efficient.