Vodafone unveils climate transition plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040

Vodafone has outlined specific regional pathways towards achieving net-zero operations.

Vodafone has set near-term science-based targets, validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). By 2030, the company aims to reduce emissions from its own operations (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) by at least 90% globally, aligning with the pathway required to limit global warming to 1.5C.

As part of its Transition Plan, the company has committed to multifaceted and time-bound climate goals. By 2025, Vodafone plans to match 100% of its grid electricity usage globally with electricity from renewable sources. By 2028, it aims to achieve net-zero emissions from its operations (Scope 1 and 2) in Europe. Furthermore, by 2030, Vodafone aims to halve emissions from its value chain (Scope 3).

Moreover, Vodafone has outlined specific regional pathways towards achieving net-zero operations. In Europe, the company aims to reach net-zero emissions from its operations no later than 2028, while in Africa, the target is set for 2035.

Notably, where feasible, Vodafone intends to exceed these regional targets. For instance, Vodafone Germany is striving to achieve net-zero operations by the end of 2025, three years ahead of the European regional target.

Vodafone Group’s chief executive Margherita Della Valle said: “We have established Vodafone’s climate ambitions – to reach net-zero by 2040.

“Now we are focused on the most challenging part: executing the plan to achieve our goals and make the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Vodafone’s transition plan prioritises action across six key areas: extreme weather, rising average temperatures, energy costs, regulatory compliance costs, greenwashing, and expectations of business customers.

The company aims to drive progress towards its climate goals through transparency and disclosure, power purchase agreements (PPAs), climate-related policy, sustainability by design, and enhancing the climate resilience of its business.

Additionally, Vodafone sees customer enablement as a significant climate-related opportunity, aiming to realise opportunities for commercial growth while addressing climate challenges.

Overcoming obstacles in climate transition: Challenges and strategies

Vodafone acknowledges the importance of data-driven management decision-making in its decarbonisation strategy. The company plans to enhance its carbon data analytics capabilities to better measure and manage its emissions, particularly in its supply chain.

The lack of high-quality data on the product carbon footprint currently poses a challenge, but Vodafone aims to collaborate with stakeholders in the telecommunications value chain to address this issue.

Vodafone’s climate transition plan also emphasises collaboration with its more than 9,000 suppliers to align their climate ambitions with its own and accelerate decarbonisation efforts.

Additionally, the company will prioritise absolute emission reduction and intends to use carbon offsetting only as a last resort to neutralise any remaining emissions.

Each climate transition initiative within Vodafone’s plan has been assigned to an accountable owner within the business function responsible for its delivery to ensure effective management and allocation of resources to achieve the company’s ambitious climate goals.

Earlier this year, edie interviewed Andrea McCormick, Vodafone’s global environment lead, about the extensive process spanning over a year to formulate the company’s climate transition plan. Read here for insights into the challenges and opportunities encountered behind the scenes.

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