Orange falling short of 2020 emissions target
Orange has reported an absolute increase in CO2 emissions over the period of 2006-12 of 14% in its annual CSR report, making its target of a 20% reduction by 2020 increasingly unlikely.
Emissions reduction has proved fundamentally difficult due to the rapid growth of Orange, which has seen its customer base grow to more than 178m, an increase of 34% compared with 2006 levels.
The most recent figures, however, do show some improvement, with the company emitting 1,503,945 tCO2 in 2012-13, a 1.1% decrease compared with the previous year.
Expressed on a more comparable basis, CO2 emissions per customer, the performance looks more positive, showing that Orange produced 7.2kg CO2 per customer in 2012, a 13% decrease in CO2 per customer compared with the baseline.
And there are a few areas of the business in which Orange is on track to meet its emissions targets. The period 2006-12 saw vehicle fleet emissions fall 16%, aided by reducing the size of the fleet by 5,000 vehicles and introducing more efficient hybrid vehicles. It also saw tertiary buildings emit 40% less CO2 in 2012 than the 2006 baseline.
However, conversely, network CO2 emissions rose 44% and the report stated that Orange will step up its efforts in reducing network and IT power consumption by replacing network infrastructure. It plans to achieve this by introducing next-generation equipment which will provide energy savings of 50% by 2016-17.
The company was much less forthcoming about its water usage and the CSR report gave no details of its water consumption results for 2012-13. The report states that Orange is conducting a new study to identify the impact of the company's water use. This follows Orange's 2012 CSR report which included inaccuracies relating to its water consumption as discovered exclusively by edie.net last year. It incorrectly reported that Orange had seen a 34% decrease in water consumption, when it had actually experienced a 7.8% increase.
Orange's chairman of the governance and corporate social Responsibility committee Muriel Pénicaud acknowledged the challenges faced by a growing organisation like Orange, "While there is still a long way to go, I think that Orange is on the right track."
She added, "Meeting the combined social, industrial, economic and environmental requirements is also part of Orange's daily CSR challenge: supporting the upsurge in network uses and trafﬁc while consuming less energy and emitting less CO2, and organising the difﬁcult task of collecting end-of-life equipment."