Vodafone UK targets emissions reduction following CSR report

Vodafone UK reported significant increases in CO2 emissions and energy use over the past year, but the phone giant has attributed the jump to operational growth and said it has a programme in place to reduce emissions by 3% this year.

Energy use more than doubled to 708 KWh in 2013/14 because the report counted fixed line operations for the first time – acquired from the takeover of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) in 2012.

Energy use was also inflated by heavy investment in new networks, expanding 4G coverage and tackling rural “not-spots”. The company expects to see further upward pressures as it hosts more data centres. 

Vodafone UK also saw a 250% increase in CO2 emissions, which came mainly from purchased electricity as well as company vehicles, business travel, refrigerant gas losses, fire suppression gas losses, and diesel used in generators.

The telecoms company is working on a programme to reduce carbon emissions by 3% in the next year.

Initiatives include:

– An agreement to share radio base station sites with Telefonica (O2) which will result in around 10,000 fewer sites across the combined portfolio of both operating companies.

– A partnership with EnergieKontor which plans to build a small onshore wind farm near Daventry in Northamptonshire in 2015 and buy the energy it produces for 15 years. The farm should supply 5% of the necessary power for the UK network

– Investing in free-air cooling across our telephone exchanges and radio base stations and plan to do more next year.

– Removing inefficient legacy equipment from network sites and upgrading to more capable and more efficient technology.

– Investing in energy efficient LED lighting and building controls across our office and retail estate and have plans to do more next year.

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Brad Allen

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